This song will forever be related to September 11th for me.
I had the “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” CD on constant repeat at that time and “Beautiful Day” was my alarm every morning.
On 9/11/01, I woke up to the synthesizer intro and Bono’s voice…then turned on Good Morning America to the sight of utter turmoil just after the second plane hit the Twin Towers.
That day is branded on my mind and in my heart. I was living on campus at the time and all classes were cancelled after the attacks took place in the morning. Most likely all of campus, and many office buildings, stores, schools, churches and homes across America turned on televisions to find out the latest horrific stats and tiny bit of potential news on victims and the attackers.
I sat in my tiny dorm room riveted to my TV and calling all my family and friends to find out how they were doing. I bawled my eyes out as the footage of people jumping from the towers repeated on the news. I fervently prayed for all involved and all who were anticipating news about their loved ones.
I only left my dorm when I found out my church was opening their sanctuary for prayer that evening. I drove over overwhelmed by thoughts of how the people I was driving past and all around were struggling in this new reality.
Terrorism was not a foreign concept. It was now a reality in our lives.
I walked into the sanctuary, sat midway in a pew. Soft music was playing, a few people filled other pews. And I prayed.
I remember how the country felt during the days and months after the attack. Even with the pain and tragedy looming heavy, there was such pride in the citizens of this country, the coming together and caring for your neighbor, and the diligence of the first responders and our leaders.
I cannot fathom what it is like, even now, for those who lost someone, who served at Ground Zero or who continues to do all they can to prevent a terrorist attack of that magnitude from happening again in the US. Even though I have not been in their shoes, I stand united with them.
I will never forget.