I was talking with my wife after we watched several shows commemorating that awful day. As we watched, I was hit by how horrible and senseless the act was, but at the same time the beautiful way God made us to respond in his bitter sovereignty. What other time in my memory have I seen such bravery, felt such a oneness with my country, such a willingness to sacrifice for who she is and who I hope her to be for my children. I am grateful and sad at the same time.
On that day, 10 years ago, I was working in my home office in Maitland, Florida. This was when I was trying to open a branch there. It was a challenging effort and one that ultimately led me back to Nashville and allowed me to embrace this place as home.
But on 9/11 I was working in my office, and I got a call from my wife to turn on the TV. She was at a Bible study and on her way home. One plane had already hit the tower. We had a friendly yard man named Rudy and he was spraying fertilizer outside. It was a beautiful Florida day. I was awestruck at what I saw. When I had heard that a plane hit the towers, I thought it was a little Cessna or something. But I turned the TV on and then brought Rudy in and we watched the coverage together. We just kept repeating ourselves watching in horror. The rest of the day was just spent watching it all go down. Trying to work, but just deeply disturbed at the same time.
In the next few days I had to travel, I remember the ghostly silence of the airport, walking through the typically busy Orlando airport alone – usually packed with Disney visitors – there were only a few business travellers like myself. I wore my flag lapel pin and did what I could – I was determined terrorists would not stop me from working and using my freedom to do so. I heard a quote from General Stonewall Jackson that said something to the effect that if we believe and trust in God’s plan for us, then we are as safe on the battefield as we are in our beds. I took that to heart and still do as we all travel around this great country doing what we love.
“Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave. “