School had been canceled on Sept 12, 2001. On September 13, 2001, my daughters would choose to go to school. My older daughter, E, was a senior and younger daughter, M, was a freshmen. It won’t be until weeks later that I would realize that M had only been at her new school for a few days when September 11 happened. After attending freshmen orientation a few weeks before school started, M had told Bruce and I that she had asked a few people if they knew E and they didn’t. And then she said “Everyone will know who I am within a month of me being there.” And they did but not for a reason we could have ever thought of. My daughters are very different people. They are each wonderful but different. As a teacher, who had both of my daughters said, “I had E who was this quiet, attentive student and then this wind named M blew in”. I am forever grateful to the students, teachers and staff of Eastern Christian High School who made school a safe, secure place for my daughters to be as we were on this journey we never expected to be on.
In the days after Sept 11, I would pull out my Bible to read verses that I felt would give me strength and wisdom. The first verse I looked up was Philippians 4:8 ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” This was always called the “qualifying” verse. My girls heard this constantly while growing up. But on Sept 13, 2001, after I read that verse I looked up the page and read “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Today September 13, 2012, there was a memorial service for Neil Armstrong at the National Cathedral in Washington. I watched part of it on television and saw Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, talk about his friend and the first person to walk on the moon. One think that Cernan said that really struck me was “it was never about Neil”. Wow! that is something to think about…