“Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance, this great land of liberty, for if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.”

~ Henry Cabot Lodge

SEPTEMBER TENTH, TWO THOUSAND AND ONE CLOSED as a happy Monday evening in my memory. We were just then settling in our huge house at the quaint town of Marion, Alabama. Piano lessons and ballet classes and our first pet cat and so forth were discussed in childish persiflage by my eleven year-old self and seven year-old sister, Rachel in our new bedroom. Everything was comfortably correct enough.

The next morning I awoke with a start. It seemed as though I had just had a bad dream, yet couldn’t remember a thing about it. The weather through my window was brilliantly sunny, and the house was calm, yet for a quirky moment I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. I lay there, staring blankly, until I heard shouting from my mother. “AMANDA!” Confused, I tried hard to figure out if I was in trouble or had slept in too late or had caused some other bizarre disturbance in the household unwittingly. “AMANDA!” Why does everything feel so funny? I know I’m not sick…I’m not grounded…

Six-year-old Joseph appeared at my doorway. As usual, he was dressed in his hobbit attire, complete with belt and dagger, fumbling with a play ring. He was always a quiet boy that sorely disliked conflict or argument of any sort. It struck me as nothing unusual that he was standing there with a nervous and timid countenance, preparing to give me a message. “Amanda,” he began, looking at the floor awkwardly, “um, Momma wants you to come downstairs.” That was it? As though I couldn’t tell already…alright, now things are getting annoying. I hopped out of bed clad in my handmade light-blue flanel nightgown, provoked out of my daze.

“Joseph! Why can’t you speak up and explain things better?” was my agitated response (in fact, I must humbly admit that I have abused that line even to this day). Rachel was beginning to wake. I walked towards the stairs, still bewildered. “What is going on?” I said, preparing to thoroughly interrogate Joseph. He apparently didn’t want to discuss daily events with his wordy elder sister. “Um, well…something on the TV…” he reluctantly attempted to mention. Oh, please. Nothing on the TV ever concerns us. This was not turning into a pleasant morning for conversation.

“AMANDA! THEY ATTACKED THE PENTAGON!” was Mom’s outcry from downstairs.

By now down the first step of our first flight of stairs, I wheeled around, facing Joseph. “The Pentagon?” I said. As military children we were especially aware of the significance pertaining to the iconical geometric building. In fact, Dad originally had an opportunity to take a job at the Pentagon before we decided to move to Marion. Furious and mystified, I dashed down the long stairway, my hand gliding over the fire station looking red metal rail which was a left over from the days when our house served as a dormitory and post office.

I finally arrived in the den to find Mom standing in front of the entertainment center, the plain yet decorative furniture that encased the television set. On the screen before us was Fox News’ conveyance of the insulting antagonism: The Pentagon, wounded and raging with fire and smoke.

“They attacked the Pentagon! Can you believe it?” said Mom, pointing at the screen with the remote. “Who did this?” I asked, almost surprised at myself for beginning to smirk at the offenders I didn’t even know. “Is this the beginning of World War III?” I apparently have a habit of voicing odd questions when feeling pressured. Joseph entered the room. Abigail and Mary, only four and two years of age, had little to state on the subject.

“They attacked the World Trade Center towers too,” said Mom. “This is war.”

“This is war, hobbit.” I stated to Joseph, standing next to me. But we were not in any sort of mood for amusement. I specifically remember sight of the Twin Towers falling…towers that we had several times in the past driven by.

Dad was in Montgomery that morning. Stepping outside in the yard that day, the strangest thing that struck me was how normal and safe everything could appear. It was evident that the skies and been silenced; not an aircraft passed by, with the possible exception of the metallic zing of fighter jets as they patrolled the nation.

There still remained a slim feeling of heroism and justice in discovering that a few Americans, rallying together and refusing to surrender to the terrorists that claimed dominion of their airplane, fought and turned the airplane off the enemy’s intended course. I repeatedly demanded to know who dared to cause the hi-jacking attacks.

My journal entry on September 11, 2001:

When I awoke in the morning, it was true. The World Trade Center Towers had been attacked by hi-jacked planes. The Pentagon was attacked by yet another hi-jacked plane. Grief and weeping seem to have taken over our nation – Land of the Free and Brave.

September 12, 2001

The towers of the World Trade Center are now nothing but a pile of rubble. The fire at the Pentagon continues to burn. Thousands have been killed…Who did this? We seek to know.

The name we were given to blame since that Tuesday of terror was Osama bin Laden. The crowd of Islamic women and children praising the attacks on TV footage left me even more infuriated. We learned that Saddam Hussein, who ruled a murderous regime in Iraq, also posed a threat because of his shady concurrence of terrorism and hatred towards America.

The next few journal entries were filled with general youthful sentiment for the United States of America. But one day my pondering was a bit different, yet similarly inscribed in blue calligraphy:

Oh Nation, we stand together as one, but we are not strong, not brave, nor great, though we seem through our own eyes and the eyes of other nations, we are not. We cannot put our faith in the military, nor the government. Any victory won is not ours, but THE LORD’S. We are known as Land of the Free and Brave because we are HIS Nation – let us not forget the Pilgrims, and the Prayer at Valley Forge. We are one Nation, Under GOD.

I was still a silly eleven-year-old girl and didn’t know how to get my point across much better than that. I repeatedly wrote out little such addresses that would most likely be read only by me and my siblings (which now get a good laugh at them), yet I was never completely discouraged from it. These six years later, we have seen the trials and triumphs of the War on Terrorism. We have also continued to witness the internal illness America suffers from – a drowning, swampy and godless culture.

The LORD’s Providence upon this country came from HIS gracious blessing towards the believers that prayerfully founded this nation.

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

~ James Madison

We must not lose sight of the vision while we still have a chance to glorify CHRIST on this earth.

“The end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord the comfort and increase of the body of Christ whereof we are member that ourselves and posterity may be the better preserved from the common corruptions of this evil world to serve the Lord and work out our salvation under the power and purity of His holy ordinances…

…We shall find that the God of Israel is among us – when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies..for we must consider that we shall be as a “City upon a Hill”…”

~ John Winthrop

PRAYERS FOR THE NATION AND THE WORLD,

~Amanda Read~

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Comments

Friday, September 14, 2007 – Untitled Comment

Posted by lotrsavvy
That is a great post.

I’ve never really done any state projects, and this is the first subject I’ve had on state history. My sisters did take a Florida History class when we were with the homeschool gorup doing co-op classes.

Ooh that’s cool. I’d love to learn to paint with oil paints. I did a piant by number with them before. Right now I… draw/paint with water color pencils. lol

Jennifer
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Friday, September 14, 2007 – Wow!

Posted by Jocelyndixon
Great post. I know what you mean… and I remember that day very clearly, too clearly.

And, Sorry, I hadn’t had time to put your link on the blogroll… but it should be on there now!

Jocelyn
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Saturday, September 15, 2007 – Congratulations

Posted by Bluejane
Hello,
That was a great post!

I gave you an award. You can see what it is on my blog.

Bluejane
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Monday, September 17, 2007 – Untitled Comment

Posted by christianmusician1
That is a really moving entry. God bless and have a good day.

Arya
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Monday, September 17, 2007 – Award

Posted by Cornflower
I have awarded you my dear friend!

*GBY*
~Cornflower~
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 – Untitled Comment

Posted by ChristineDaae
I awarded you!!! Great entry!

-Christine
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Friday, September 21, 2007 – Untitled Comment

Posted by Jocelyndixon
Hey – you know what… I was reading your article in GHC and you were born El Paso, TX and I was born in Las Cruces, NM which is only 45 minutes away! haha! I thought that funny…
Jocelyn