Yesterday...

Yesterday was such a strange day. It was overcast and eerily silent. Oh, people were milling about conducting business as usual, but it felt and sounded distinctly different.

There was an almost palpable tension in the air each time a helicopter or airplane flew overhead followed by an imperceptable sigh of relief when they passed by without incident.

On the surface it looked like any other day, yet at the same time there was an edginess in the atmosphere because it wasn't just any other day. It marked 7 years from the date of one of the worst tragedies in American history; the effects of which are still with us.

I'll never forget. I was at work and got a call from one of my best friends asking me if I'd heard the news. I hadn't. I remember trying to get on-line to see what was happening and all the news websites being inaccessible due to high traffic volumes. What was going on?

I made my way down the hall to the employee lounges passing folorn faces and groups of whispering co-workers along the way. I walked into the lounge, where the television was already on, just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I felt light headed... What in the world was going on? It looked like a scene from Independence Day. No way this was happening in real life...

I stayed rooted in that spot long enough to hear that the Pentagon had also been hit. Now it was hitting even closer to home. My family all lived and worked in the DC Metropolitan area. I raced back to my desk and got started calling everyone - no answer... The blasted operator kept telling me all circuits were busy? "What is she talking about?" I thought.

By now I could feel fear and hysteria rising up in my throat. It would have been so easy to 'snap' in that moment, but instead I went and told my boss I had to leave. She understood - at least I assume she did, since I didn't really stick around for her response. Driving down Progress Avenue I rode in silence - radio off, windows up. I was not sure where I was going exactly... I honestly don't even remember the drive. All I know is when I looked up, I was pulling into my church parking lot.

I walked in to find others gathered there already praying - assurance that I was in the right place. It was such a comfort to see my brothers and sisters walking the sanctuary and praying, for the victims, their families and our nation. I found a spot in one of the pews and hit my knees. It was all I knew to do...

I don't know how long I prayed, but after a bit I stepped out to try calling my family again. This time my calls went through and within about an hour everyone was present and acounted for. I started calling friends then including my friend Renee who's office used to be where the hole in the Pentagon was. It 'just so happened' that they were rennovating their offices so she and her co-workers were working from home. I was speechless. There was one friend that I couldn't reach. I called a million times if I called once and left so many messages, I'm sure the voice mail was filled! I actually didn't hear from her until the next day. She explained that as an employee at the DEA Command Center she'd been working the scene and couldn't get to her phone. The relief I felt in those moments defies description...

I'm thankful to God that I didn't lose any loved ones in this tragedy, but my heart goes out to those who did. One thing is for sure. Whether you lost someone in this event or not, our lives were forever changed in one moment. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost someone in this tragedy and my prayer for you is that you are comforted with the comfort of God today and always and that His peace that passes all understanding fills your hearts and minds.
Blessings.
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