13 years ago today, my late husband, Bob Swets and I were in our respective home offices in our home in Boca Raton, Florida, writing sports features stories and listening to tapes. I had to call the Sun-Sentinel offices for some reason now forgotten so I went into the kitchen to the land line. As I was speaking to the person on the other end, she SCREAMED into my ear.
They had the TV on in the newsroom offices, and the first plane had just hit the towers. She yelled, “Turn on your TV! America is under attack!” So we did. At first it looked like a movie set, with a bright blue cloudless sky. Then I realized that one of the towers was on fire, with black smoke billowing. We stared at the TV, work forgotten.
While we were watching, the second plane came out of nowhere and impacted the other tower. That’s when I knew that Hell had come to America. And we were caught flat-footed.
That entire day, we stayed glued to the TV. I’d stop now and then and call the newsroom back for updates on our deadlines. Our stories were put on the back burner for a couple of weeks while the papers and the broadcast news outlets all focused on our generation’s Pearl Harbor.
I still shudder when I think of what could have happened if the passengers hadn’t fought back and crashed the plane in Pennsylvania. We found out later that plane was headed for the White House and the Capitol Building grounds.
Today we are in a long drawn-out battle against an implacable foe that I believe is being fed by powers beyond our sight. We are in a war for our very existence. And we dare not stop being vigilant.
So remember this day, never forget the original 9-11-01 attacks. But also, never forget that the battle is not won, the war is not over.
I, for one, take comfort in the fact that I know Who is truly in control. And I pray that, regardless of our beliefs, feelings or wishes, that we unite against this threat posed by ISIS and other fanatical groups whose only aim is the total destruction of Western Civilization.
The fanatical terrorists of 9-11-01 ripped our heads out of the sand once. We dare not be complacent. We dare not pretend all is well. We dare not put our heads in the sand anymore.
I can pray for their souls. But I will not allow them to rule my life. Only One does that.