September 11, 2001– a day that changed so many lives. Every anniversary of that horrible day, I think of this song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” by Alan Jackson. I go to YouTube and listen with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms.
Jackson wrote the song in October of that year, but he was uneasy about recording it. He was concerned about capitalizing on a tragedy, but when he played it for recording executives, they all said it should be recorded. The single was released in November and Alan sang the song at the Country Music Association’s annual awards show on November 7, 2001, where it won multiple awards including Song of the Year, and also earned Jackson his first Grammy Award for Best Country Song.
Heaven forbid we should ever forget.
When I heard the news that September day, I was preparing to go to the hospital where I served as a chaplain. It was with a heavy heart that I finished getting dressed and drove the few blocks to work. The whole day was so sad and somber and the patients needed to talk about how the tragedy affected them. We had a special prayer service, which seemed to bring some peace and comfort, but I think we all still struggled with the shock and sadness. I know I did for a long time afterward.
As traumatic as that day was for us who were several steps removed from the horror, I imagine it was ten-fold more extreme for people who lost loved ones and homes and livelihoods, as well as all those who risked so much to help at Ground Zero.
I stand and salute you.
Because of the importance of this day, I will forgo my usual Friday Odds and Ends. Please do listen to the song then tell me “Where Were you When the World Stopped Turning?”