Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 -- a day late

I remember 9/11/2001 clearly.

I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom when I heard that a plane had struck one of the twin towers. I think I first heard it on NPR so I turned on the TV. As I stood there watching and brushing, the second plane hit the towers. I couldn't fathom it was a terrorist attack. I also couldn't believe that a pilot couldn't see the Tower and had struck by error. The whole thing was just . . .unbelievable. It still is.

Going into the #3 Telephone company where I was happily employed as a contractor, most of us just stood around in the aisles outside our cubicles, asking each other what we knew, what we had heard, what we supposed might have actually happened.

The Sunday following 9/11, standing in the choir loft, and wondering what we could possibly sing that was inspirational, we debated how to carry on with regular worship. We had an interim pastor at the time, a wonderful, decent, soul-searching man and we loved him. He met with us and spoke with Hubby, who was the choir director. He thought my suggestion that Hubby open the service singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" was a good one. So we all sat down, the pastor sat in the front pew, and the congregation was silent. Hubby stood and sang. His voice was magic, it soothed us, it spoke of the pain we felt and how we wanted to reach out to all the dead and wounded and lost in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. At the end of the song, when Hubby had wrenched our hearts with "When you walk through a storm . . . " and then soothed our pain with the final words "Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, but you'll never walk alone" the Pastor came forward, knelt at the prayer rail and prayed, silently. He stayed, kneeling for maybe 10 minutes in silence. When he turned, he said to the congregation, "No message can be more profound than the one we just heard. No other words could bring about more healing. Come and pray as you feel the urge, then leave us in contemplation and peace." And the service was over.

Hubby's voice, raised in one of the most beautiful and prayerful of songs, is my strongest memory of that terrible tragic time ten years ago.


Donna said...

What a wonderful story of a ray of light shining through in a time of darkness.

Margaret said...

Music can say it so well and express not just the words, but the emotion of the moment.I wish I could have heard him!

snugpug said...

Do you still have that compilation of what people remember of 9/11? I can't remember when you did it. A year after? It would be worth another read at this time.