The year 2014 marks the 13th anniversary of the horrific attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists on the U.S. Memories of the day that saw thousands of deaths and injuries and loss of pivotal infrastructure will always remain engraved in the hearts of Americans. Sept. 11, 2001 was one of the saddest days in the history of the world. On Thursday, the world will remember the day that changed the life of millions.
This date of September 11 will be engraved on the memories of people everywhere for generations to come. On that terrible day when terrorists commandeered several passenger planes and killed thousands of innocent people in New York and Washington, we began to realize the true depths of evil in the human heart, and the uncertainty and fragility of life itself.
What lessons would God teach us from such an appalling tragedy? I confess I don't know the full answer. Many people, I know, for the first time faced the shallowness of their lives, and turned to God as a result. Millions came together to pray. -Billy Graham
You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.
I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Goodbye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK ... I am ready to go." I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.
I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will show you the way home - only believe on Me now."
I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.
I was with the Firefighters, the Police Officers, the Emergency Workers. I was there, watching each brave step they took.
I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.
I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?
But one lesson God would teach us all is this: Our only lasting hope is in Him. Life has always been uncertain; September 11 only made it clearer. Where will you turn for your security? Put your life in Christ's hands, for only He offers us "a kingdom which cannot be shaken". - Billy Graham
He sent people trained in dealing with earthly disasters to save those that were injured. And he sent in thousands of others to help in any way they were needed. And He brought people together across the world in a way that moved thousands to tears and hundreds of thousands to prayer—and caused millions to turn to the one true living God.
He still isn't finished. Every day He comforts those who lost loved ones. He is encouraging others to reach out to those who don't know Him or believe in Him. He is giving the leaders of our great nation the strength and conviction to do the right thing, to follow His will, not a popular poll.
So if anyone ever asks, "Where was your God on 9/11?" you can say, "He was everywhere! And, in fact, he is everywhere today and every day." Without a doubt, this was the worst catastrophe most of us have ever seen. I can't imagine getting through such a difficult time without God at my side. Without God, life would be hopeless.
How did 9/11 change you? We asked our Facebook fans—but tell us your story in the comments below.
- I pay more attention to the people around me when I am in a crowd. Jane Carder
- We now avoid air travel because of the hassles involved. Terri DuVal Riffle
- I honor military, police, firefighters, and other service people and try to remember to say thank you when I see them. Andrea Pandeloglou Smolin
- I was 14 and could not wrap my mind around the tragedy. Years later, we went to see Flight 93 in theaters, and I finally cried. Stephani Blair
- I had been to the Twin Towers in 1984, so I often think it could have been that day I was there. I moved closer to my family. Dorothy Elizabeth Pine Mets
- My partner and I were on duty as paramedics. We watched a man pass out hundreds of U.S. flags to drivers on the street. I saw something I had never before seen personified: pride, love of country, solidarity, determination. Tears ran down my face. I knew America would not only survive but recover, overcome, and thrive. I’d always loved my country, but that day I fell in love. Tammy R. Musgrove
- We don’t travel far from home anymore. Sheila Halet
- I realized life can never be taken for granted. Nancy Shaftang, Sabah, Malaysia
- It helped me meet my husband. Partly because of 9/11, he was inspired to join the Army. During his first deployment to Iraq in 2006, we met online. We married in 2007. Angela Metcalf, Tucson, Arizona
- My wife and I joined the St. Peters, Missouri, Community Emergency Response Team to help both our neighbors and the brave men of the fire and police departments in case of a disaster. Arizona Scott Epstein, St. Peters, Missouri
- My eyes were opened to the cruel, scary world that existed outside the safety of my small town that day. Being in only the sixth grade, I felt like a huge chunk of my innocence was taken by the terrorists. Miranda Reid, Ackerman, Mississippi
- It was a reminder that we should not wait to say “I love you” to our loved ones. Pamela Madrid, Manila, Philippines
- It opened my eyes to the fact that America is not invincible, which was a very scary feeling. Kate Nessler, Cincinnati, Ohio
- I found myself examining what freedom really means to me. I realized we are not one world, as much as we would like to be. Stephen Greg Legat
- I became more world-aware instead of self-aware. I’ve lost a lot of my self-entitlement. Annamarie Cardinal
- I have learned that Muslims in other countries were also horrified and grieved on 9/11. It is past time we understood that fact. Susan Diane Cain