I've come to the realization now that I've been near two major news happenings as they were taking place. The first was the Branch Davidian crisis outside of Waco in 1993. Any time I tell people I'm from Waco, they always ask if I was there. I was in a roundabout way. I do remember being able to hear the loud booms of the tanks driving into the compound the day it all went down.
And on September 11, 2001, I was in my first few days working for a government contractor about 3 miles from the Pentagon in Alexandria, VA. I was scanning documents into their electronic filing system when I heard someone say something about the World Trade Center getting hit by a plane. I logged onto NBC's website and saw the replays over and over and remember thinking how could a pilot not see that big building? Then the second plane...and then news that the Pentagon was hit...then came the word that we were leaving for the day. What happened that day was obviously bigger than a pilot swerving off his flight path! It was a long drive down Braddock road as everyone who worked in the DC Metro area was heading home. I can remember walking the 4 flights of stairs to my apartment in shock and wonder about what was really happening. My roommate and I ended up spending the rest of the day at her parent's house in Springfield - because there was comfort in being there with them and they had cable TV, which was a luxury our $1400 a month rent payment didn't allow us to afford! At the time, we did have friends who worked at the Pentagon and spent many days wondering about their safety until we would see them again at church on Sunday. To see a great testimony from a Lt. Col who was at the Pentagon that day and who attended the church I went to in VA - click here. You can also hear their testimony on Family Life Today by clicking here.
To now be a member of the Army family, 9/11's impact on my life is so much greater. We were questioned on numerous occasions why Jake would want to join the Army while we're a nation at war. As I've said many times, it's not really about joining, but about accepting God's call to ministry in this capacity. We want to be givers of hope in an environment where hope seems to fade on a daily basis. We're definitely not perfect people when it comes to this, but we pray that we can be a beacon through every interaction we have with people within our Army community.
Take some time today to pause and pray for our military men and women and for our nations' leaders. Regardless of which side of the political coin you stand on, there are men and women who have volunteered their lives to continue to insure our freedoms here in America.