Ten years ago I was living in Hawaii. A full time missionary about to embark on a new adventure being a co-leader of a team of young adults that would end up going to India for two months. I was on staff with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). One of the leaders of the Discipleship Training School (DTS).
Being that there is a 6 hour time difference from the East Coast to Hawaii, I didn’t know what happened until I got up several hours after the terrorist attacks. I remember walking from my room to the kitchen looking up to see in big bold letters “THE WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWERS HAVE BEEN HIT” on a white board just outside the kitchen door. It was a place to put announcements up for the day. I remember thinking what in the world is going on. I wanted to watch the news all day and mostly I wanted to be with my family back in North Carolina. I really don’t remember what I did the rest of the day after learning about the attacks. I’m sure I talked with the other staff members and we gathered around a TV at some point to watch the news, prayed. Life didn’t slow down much for me and others after the attack. We had phone calls to make to the students who were supposed to arrive for the DTS a week later. I was preparing myself for students saying they would not be flying any time soon, that I would understand. But that didn’t happen. Every single student said they were coming as on time as possible. They were determined to be at the school. For that, I was grateful. It seemed to bring some sense of “normalcy” to a situation that was anything but normal.
As I reflect on that time, I feel some what disconnected from the heart ache and pain that was brought on by this devastating attack. I recently told my mom that I will want to be glued to the TV on Sunday to watch as much footage of all that happened so that I can at least get a small glimpse of what took place. Being away from home at a time like that is not easy to begin with but the detachment I have felt for over ten years is also hard for me to grasp.
I don’t know if it is my way of dealing with emotions I have yet to give a voice to…
If you are reading this and you were in Hawaii with me, do you remember what we did? For some reason I only remember the first part of the day. Everything else is blank.
Where were you on September 11, 2001?