*I normally type and reread and edit, but in this writing I did not because I wanted the emotion so I apologize for anything that did not make sense and poor English in advance.*
Today is a day of remembrance. As we should pause today to remember those who lost and gave their lives and continue to give their life so we can live, say a prayer for them and their families. As many look back I do not think anyone can forget what they were doing that day. Myself, I was working in a body shop, I believe it was a Tuesday because that was Snap-On tool day. I always enjoyed chatting and buying the new tools that just came out. After the Snap-On man left, I continued to work a bedside on a truck. As I continued to sit there someone came by and asked if we heard that America was attacked that morning. This was before the first tower fell. The feeling I got was surreal and denial. I knew there was no way someone was stupid enough to attack America. We turned the radio on and listened intently. I have never heard it that quite inside that building. Soon we went to the boss’s house to watch on TV, and by that time both towers fell. Again, I was in disbelief. My stomach was upset and churning. It was shortly after we heard about the plane and it was all I could do not to sit and cry my eyes out. I cannot tell you what I did the rest of the day, but I can still smell the paint and feel the sun on that day up until I had to accept that this was real.
This event effected many people in many different ways. From the time 9-11 happened until the start of the war there was something happening with me. I had an urge to help in some way. I was 27 and 250 pounds, and at the age of 16 I had enlisted into the Marines and was denied due to weight so you see the irony here. At this point in my life, I thought this was pointless. But I decided to talk to an Air Force recruiter and I was told if I lost the weight first, he would be surprised, and second he would enlist me. This was the third recruiter I had talked to, because the other two basically laughed at me. If this was going to happen it had to be God’s will and I would do my part. I went on a strict rice and toast diet for approximately a month. This would not thrill the doctors at this point. I stayed in the gym, ate one cup of boiled rice, water, dry toast, and if I was good I may get a piece of grilled chicken. I want to remind you I lived right beside a Burger King so this was not easy. In that month I dropped to 205 pounds. I went back to the recruiter and needless to say he didn’t recognize me. In three months’ time I was below 200 pounds and enlisted into the Air Force. Isn’t God amazing! In three years’ time, I was able to do my part. No, I was not on the front line as many are, and I never fired a shot—unless it was for M-16 qualification—but I was able and willing to go at any time. In the meantime I stayed and kept the jets in the air awaiting my turn if it came. My time never came, but I supported in every way I could.
Every day that goes by, I thank God for those that have been placed into my life, even the ones who made it difficult. My motivating factor for joining the military was 9-11. It was not for the money, fame, or titles, rather it was to lend a hand in protecting this country. God has brought me a long ways since that day, and since that day, I am now an ordained preacher, pastoral counselor, going to Liberty University, have achieved my Associates degree and will have my Bachelors by December, and will start Seminary in the spring. I counsel individuals and try to show by my life, no matter how awful a situation is God will bring glory to His name and bless His children.
Many things happened that fateful day—I am sure God cried that day and I know lives changed that day, a nation came back to God only to step away again. Like the Israelite’s, we seemed to never learn, almost like selfish, spoiled, bratty children. Many men and women died to change my life and to provide me protection and freedom, and I honor those men and women everyday as I pray. Let us not just remember those on this day every year, but every day of every year. Remember their families every day because they still pay the price.
I have no clue why I decided to write this, often around this time I hear people reminiscing about what they were doing this day. I never really explained what happened to me until now. I know this day brings back awful and bad memories for many. On the same note though my life would be different if this event had not happened.
I see and felt many things on this day, and I am afraid I will never see these things again. On this day I seen a nation cry out to God, on this day I seen families hold each other, on this day I seen people actually love each other. Now, what happened? I see no love, I see families living in the fast food society only stopping to say hi and bye. I see a nation away from God once again. Why does it take a tragedy to bring people together?
In the end my life changed for the better, I served my country with pride, helped as many as I could, and now I am helping to change people’s lives for the better. I cannot do this on my own though. Stop long enough to talk to your family, kids, friends, etc… Pray for one another, place the petty things away because they are not worth it. Remember the men and women everyday who put their lives on the line. Military and police. Always remember Jesus, as He was the first to give us freedom from sin and death. Never forget, always learn, and lean upon God for everything!
I thank those who made it to the end of this, and pray you received something from it. God bless you all!