A Day Of Infamy Becomes A Day Of Prayer
Writer Author Gregory Rummo
- Fiction No
This week, we pause to remember the events of a year ago that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. For most, their only crime that day was to go to work.
It's not that any of us have forgotten the sights and sounds, the thoughts and the emotions that have been etched deeply into our national psyche. Sept. 11 has become the day of infamy for those of us born after World War II. Like the assassination of President Kennedy, Americans will be able to recall precisely where they were and what they we were doing when terrorists hijacked four airliners and turned them into fuel-laden missiles.
I was sitting at my desk when our bookkeeper walked in and announced that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. "What!?" I shouted, getting up from my desk and walking into the main area of our office.
"I don't know the details. I think it was a small plane," she explained. That answer was typical as initial reports of the first plane hitting the north tower filtered out.
But it wasn't long afterward, when a second airliner hit the south tower, that we all realized what was happening.
I called my wife at home and asked her to turn on the television. Then I walked down the hallway where a small crowd had gathered around a 13-inch television set.
That was my first glimpse of the towers shrouded in a hideous cloak of black smoke. The close-in shots that revealed office workers sitting on window ledges gasping for fresh air on the upper floors of the north tower coupled with the video footage of panic-stricken New Yorkers running through the canyons of lower Manhattan to escape the spreading dust cloud as the south tower collapsed offered us a brief glimpse through a window into hell itself.
I left the office around 10 a.m. for a luncheon appointment with the director of admissions and the president of Somerset Christian College in Zarephath.
"If you want to cancel we'll understand," they told me when I called to confirm that I was still intending to meet them. What better place to be than among brothers and sisters in the faith, I reasoned with myself. And what more important task is there than to join with them in prayer for our nation on such a terrible day? Driving south on I-287 through Oakland and Ringwood the ominous dark cloud was visible on the horizon, spreading out like some evil monster, its hateful tendrils threatening to engulf everything in its path. The specter provided an eerie contrast to the lush green hills of New Jersey's lower Highlands on that sparkling late summer morning.
Suddenly, the news came over the radio of a third plane crashing into the Pentagon. This was followed several minutes later by the news of a fourth airliner going down somewhere in rural Pennsylvania.
Arriving on the campus early, I walked into the chapel, quietly taking a seat in the back. One other person was kneeling in the front. It was a woman and I could hear her sobbing as she poured out her heart to God. Her testimony mirrored the actions of millions of Americans on that day. I believe it is one of the reasons why we have been spared additional attacks and why our prayers must not cease.
Let us cry out like David, who prayed, "Deliver me, Oh Lord, from evil men. Preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts, (who) continually gather together for war."
As we honor the memories of those who died a year ago, let Sept. 11 become a solemn day of prayer when we remember the importance of interceding before the throne of almighty God for our nation.
Gregory Rummo belongs to Madison Avenue Baptist Church in Paterson. He is the author of "The View From the Grass Roots" (American Book Publishing). You may e-mail him at TheRecordReligion@northjersey.com. Visit his website at www.GregRummo.com
Copyright © 2002 North Jersey Media Group Inc.
Reproduced with permission of The Record (Bergen County, NJ.)
Gregory Rummo Website
North Jersey Media Group Inc.
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