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The Day I Changed

September 11, 2013

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It was my senior year of high school. I was living in California, so everything happened just before I woke up for school. My alarm usually went off at 6am, but I slept through it that day. My little sister woke me up, saying we were late and that “some planes hit some buildings.”

My first period class was AP Statistics. The room was stirring with rumors and hearsay, because very few had actually seen or heard anything yet. There was no mention of anything by the teacher. She even became angry by the fact that we couldn’t stop talking, speculating about what had occurred. She was like that, though.

Second period was a different story. When I arrived, my teacher was weeping. The TV was on, and we spent the whole period watching the news. Very little was said as we watched footage from earlier that morning.

Plane 1 hits the first tower…

Plane 2 hits the second tower…

The buildings collapse…

I remember being confused by all the tiny debris falling from the upper floors of the buildings. Were people throwing things out of the windows in an effort to notify emergency personnel that there were still people up there?

Then the camera zoomed in…

It wasn’t debris… it was people…

That image is burned into my memory. I had nightmares about it for weeks. The sight of countless people, completely hopeless, jumping to their death…

That was the first time I had ever seen a person die. Hundreds killed in an instant. Hundreds more moments later. Thousands in a matter of hours.

There was an overwhelming weight to the situation, the first time I had ever experienced anything that serious, that grave… That was the moment I realized the true extent of religious difference, and the lengths to which some are willing to go to defend their beliefs…

It was also the moment God began working in my heart, awakening in me a love for all people.

Love is the only thing that can truly combat something like this.

Love is the only answer.

What do I take away from September 11, 2001?

Christ loves all. And if I don’t go to the ends of the earth to tell people about this crazy love, then things like this will continue to happen.

In the words of the man I respect most in this world…

If not me, who?
If not now, when?

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