“Silent Skies” by Theresa Hupp, Kansas City MO

September 11 October 26, 2011 03:35

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

On the evening of September 11, I watched the news with my teenage children. We said little, because whatever we said would seem trite compared to the video of fire and smoke and debris that rained repeatedly from towers that once had soared. My throat was tight with unexpressed love and fear for my children, and my only comfort was that we were together.

I had been involved in my Midwestern employer’s crisis management efforts throughout the day, from the time the second plane hit and we realized this was a terrorist act, not an accident. My colleagues and I found ways for employees to gather together, helped managers communicate what was known and unknown about the disaster, started finding ways home for people who were stranded on business travel, and consoled friends who couldn’t find loved ones in New York and Washington. Logical actions in a world where logic had fled.

I was drained by the time I got home, only to be confronted with the same terrible images over and over.

The enormity of the tragedy didn’t sink in until I walked my dogs that evening under soundless skies. We live under the flight path of a busy commuter airport, and most nights planes approach to land every few minutes, their engines rumbling above me.

But not that night.

That night even the skies were shocked into silence. With all flights grounded, the neighborhood was still, traumatized, though we were 1500 miles away from the calamity. Because truly, this calamity hit us all.
I gazed at the stars, twinkling softly. Without any flashing jet lights to compete, I saw a sky more primitive in its beauty than any I had seen in years, evidence of God alone in his glory. And I tried to remember that God would shepherd us through our fears and sorrow.

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