That Tuesday morning, I was headed out for an interview for a part-time job. My husband Jack was driving a school bus, and he called me moments before I left the house and told me to turn on the TV. I was flabbergasted to see that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, but, like most people, I assumed it was a terrible, tragic accident.
I turned off the television and went to the coffee shop where I was to meet my prospective employer. We chatted for about an hour. In retrospect, I am amazed to recall that no one in the almost-full restaurant seemed to be aware of what was happening in New York and Washington. People ate breakfast and drank coffee and discussed business. I commented on the horrific accident at the beginning of our conversation, but then we continued with our discussion with no further thought of planes and towers and New York.
It was only when I got home a couple of hours later that I realized our country was under attack by terrorists. I sat in front the television the rest of the day, mesmerized and horrified by the scenes unfolding on the screen. I wondered then and I still wonder today how everyone in the coffee shop, including me, could have been so oblivious. The part-time job that turned into a failed business is long gone, but the legacy of 9/11 lives on in the memories of the heroism of the first responders, the passengers on Flight 93, the men and women who joined the military to defend our freedom, and the unknown ordinary citizens who risked their own lives for others.
I thank God for them and ask His blessings on our country, our heroes, our fallen, and those who love them.
The following prayers are taken or adapted from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O LORD God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the heroes of our country—first responders, firefighters, police officers, security personnel, and military members. Support them in the day of trouble, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country or their fellow man. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
O MERCIFUL God, and heavenly Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men; Look with pity, we beseech thee, upon the mourning of thy servants who lost loved ones in 9/11 or its aftermath. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy; comfort them with a sense of thy goodness; lift up thy countenance upon them, and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Learn more about 9/11 heroes.
Learn more about the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The following video is a tribute on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.