I wonder if everybody remembers where they were when the airplanes flew into the Twin Towers. I sure do! I guess there are a few days that have such an impact on your life and the course of a nation that you are bound to remember them. I remember that I was in Spanish class in high school when President Kennedy was shot. I was coming back from a class at Ga Tech when we heard that Martin Luther King was assassinated. My mother died on the day of the opening ceremonies of the ’96 Olympics. Of course I was with Julia when she died. On 9/11/01, I was in a FTF (Flight Training Device – it’s like a simulator except it doesn’t have motion), getting checked out in the B737NG. That is the plane that I instruct on now. I remember that we came out of the FTD for a break; the Sim support guys had a TV on. They were showing the plane flying into the building. At first I couldn’t believe it. Then while we were watching, the second building was hit. We knew for sure that it was terrorist. I couldn’t believe it when the instructor made us go back to work. How could anyone train after seeing that? All that I could think about was what was going on in New York.
I remember thinking as the towers fell to the ground; “My whole life has just changed; nothing will ever be the same again.” That turned out to be a true statement as far as flying was concerned. Security was tightened to the point of ridiculousness. I cam remember threatening to strip down to my boxers after security had given me a really hard time one day. I wanted to tell them that the most dangerous weapons that I carried were my hands. That if I wanted a plane to crash, it would! But, I didn’t want to go to jail or lose my job, so I just kept my mouth shut like everybody else. The results of 9/11 were devastating on the airline industry, and were the primary cause of Delta’s eventual bankruptcy. I love flying, and I would have never taken early retirement if 9/11 hadn’t changed everything. I was just entering my peak earning years. So in many ways, 9/11 affected my standard of living both then and now.
I’m not bitter at Delta or anybody else. You have to learn that bad things happen in life. I think of all those who lost their life, and the survivors of those people. They have my utmost respect and admiration. I really admire all the first responders who put their lives on the line to try and save as many as possible. I don’t even blame the muslim people. In John 3:16 the scripture says “For God so loved the world….” That means He loves everyone, and wants none to perish. I have to have hope that the muslim world will come to know Jesus as Lord. So I have to pray for all people to be saved. I cannot live with out the hope.
But, we are at war. It’s really a war in the Spirit realm that has manifested itself in the natural. To think we are not at war is being naïve and really stupid. The war in the natural is one against radical muslims and their Jihad. In the spirit is against principalities and powers over areas and nations. The airlines are still the main target. According to USA Today, they are still the primary choice of terrorist. To think that they will not try to strike again is stupid. They will, and we need to pray for the safety of our nation and the mercy and favor of God over us,
As I look back nine years, I remember calling Julia and talking with her and praying over the phone for all that was going on. I remember what a comfort it was just to talk to her. Not that she had any great insight, but just to hear her voice. Boy, I would love to hear her voice again tonight. I can hear it in my memory right now. I wonder how many years that will last. I hope it will last as long as I live, but I am afraid that it won’t. I can’t here my mom’s voice anymore, although I can still see her face. So as I look back on 9/11, through all the sorrow, shock and pain, my main memory is coming home from training that night, sitting with my best friend and lover. We talked some and we prayed and then we just held each other for a while, as we watched our nation try to pick itself up.