I remember that it was early on a sunny morning. My husband and I - childless couple that we used to be - were getting ready for work. He kissed me goodbye and walked out the door, but two minutes later he was back.
"Turn on the TV," he said. "Something's happened."
We turned it on and stood in disbelief as we watched the screen. The towers on fire, crumbling. The shots of the planes hitting them, played over and over. We were stunned. Could this be real? What did it mean? What would happen next?
When I got to work, I was the one to unlock the doors and begin the day. Soon my co-worker arrived. She had heard nothing of the events of the morning, and I suspect she might've thought I was making the whole thing up. And who could blame her? This was unreal, unbelievable.
I remember the sense of uncertainly. The paper flags people put in their back windows. The pointed efforts to not discuss it - what had happened, what was happening, what might be happening - with the parents who dropped their children at our preschool for the morning. After all, we didn't want to frighten the little ones. Still, the tension in the air, the fear, was almost palpable. The silence, and our eyes, spoke fathoms.
I remember wondering what would happen next. Would there be more attacks in other cities? Was my husband, in a tall building deep in the metro area, in danger? Would would America look like in a week, in a month, in a year?
I remember the way people prayed. The sense of unity, and the powerful awareness of how much we needed Him. I remember the gathering of churches that night as dusk fell. I remember looking at my pregnant friend, wondering what kind of world her child would grow up in.
Eleven years have come and gone. Many things have not changed, and many things have. In many ways the world is a much scarier place. Yet - God is still on the throne. We continue to pray. We still desperately need Him.
And we remember.