This is a bittersweet time of year for me. I moved to Washington, DC from Memphis, TN on September 9, 2000 and started my career on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2000 — one year before the most terrible day I have ever experienced in my entire life.
I was working and living on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2001. The anniversary of this absolute catastrophe is loaded with significance and meaning for me. In 2008, I wrote a series about my experiences on September 11 and the days following. You can read those posts by clicking here.
This was a life defining time in multiple ways, including opportunity after opportunity to take the road less traveled, or in the words of one of my favorite literary quotes: “”Dark and difficult times lie ahead, soon we must all face the choice, between what is right and what is easy.”
The implications of that day have touched all the major areas of my personal life… my relationship with God, my career, my sense of well being, my tendency to over-react, my decision to continue living in this area, and so much more.
I am one of the lucky ones who did not experience loss of life or a loved one. For that I am eternally thankful. Yet at the same time, it was in my destiny to have somewhat of a front row seat to this tragedy… to have experienced it with all 5 senses, beyond what you could watch on TV. And I can say with conviction that, having had these experiences has shaped and molded my life in a unique way, for better or worse, I am thankful for how these experiences have shaped my life. I remain heartbroken and devastated over what happened to the country I love and the thousands of people who experienced death and loss like I may never know. I still hear the words of my former boss on Capitol Hill saying “Its not IF we will be attacked again, but WHEN” and I still get nervous at night when I hear fighter jets circling practice drills over my condo a few miles from Langley.
But no matter the level of sensory experience you endured 10 years ago today, if you are an American you are a part of this story. This attack happened to all of us. The realities of the heart and the hate behind our attacker’s actions are as real today as on September 10, 2001.
I really don’t mean for this post to sound so hippy. My heart in this is just to say that I believe God is paying attention and I want to have oil in my lamp when the next hammer falls.