I spent the morning with my family at the new George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU. It’s an impressive place. There is an exact replica of the Oval Office. There are lots of documents, appointment books, personal notes, even the dogs’ bowls. How does someone keep up with all that?
The section I was a bit anxious to see was the one dedicated to 9/11. The remembrance of that day almost always brings me to tears and today was no exception. I choked them back as my five-year-old niece asked me who were all the names on the wall. I told her that those were names of the people who died that day. It was a very sad day.
A video showed Condoleeza Rice explaining, “For all of us who were in office at that time, every day after was September 12th. Every day after the attacks was another day to work to make sure that kind of attack never happened again.” It opened our eyes to things we had never seen before.
September 11th changed all of our lives forever. For me it was the most frightening, unsettling and incredibly sad day I’ve ever been through. Our country and the rest of the world will never be the same. But we must remember that there was a September 12th. We got up, we went to work and went about our business of living our lives. We mourned, but we had a renewed sense of determination, patriotism and pride as Americans. We all wore the ribbons, the buttons, the “United We Stand” T-shirts.
When each of us faces life-altering events, it’s hard to see past to the next day. From that point on, there will always be a before and after. But there is an after. There is a September 12th. We must grieve the loss. But we can be determined that this will make us stronger. It doesn’t have to destroy us. God promises in His Word that He will walk with us through the fire, the storm, the flood, and when we get to the other side we know we are better for it.