At 7:00 o'clock this morning the telephone blasted me out of sound sleep.
"It's Nita ... sorry to wake you but New York has been bombed and DC is on fire."
I hung up the phone in a daze and clicked on the remote control beside my bed. Nita was the neighborhood's eldest, so probably she was confused.
The TV news proved to be more right than she was, and we sat up in our beds totally in dismay…it was unbelievable what had truly happened.
At 8:45 a.m. EST the World Trade Buildings in New York City had been attacked by terrorists who had hijacked our own American Airline Plane Flight 11. It crashed into the 110 story twin towers in the Big Apple. They were on fire and people were seen leaping or being blown out of the upper story windows.
At 9:03 a.m. Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower.
At 9:50 a.m. The North Tower collapsed.
At 10:29 a.m. The South Tower collapsed.
By the calculations of a Stanford physicist, the energy impact of one fully-fueled Boeing 767 is 40 times as great as the biggest non-atomic bomb ever dropped by the United States. The terrorists used our own planes to bomb us with jet fuel!
The imploding towers destroyed command centers on the ground and over 200 fire fighters and 70 policemen on the ground were crushed to death.
The World Trade Center Towers themselves house 50,000 workers. They have their own Zip Code, they are that big!. At that early hour it is estimated that a full complement of workers had entered the building. 200,000 estimated additional people a day visit and tour the buildings. It is not known how many are dead, missing or injured. It is totally horrendous!
The towers occupied 16 acres including a 5 acre plaza. There were 21,800 windows! The top floor housed a restaurant Windows to the World, and the early morning cleaning crew, cooks and bakers were on hand to begin their day. There were 104 elevators in each tower. Elevators were humming up and down. Stairwells were full.
It's being reported as the Second Pearl Harbor. And the devastation, debris and ash on the ground is the look of nuclear winter that movies have portrayed. The smoke and ash are devastating to breathing.
Screams are heard and recorded by video cameras from every direction as people are running for their lives down the middle of streets. Ambulance and police sirens are blaring and taxi cabs are being commandeered to carry doctors and nurses to the scene.
TV news breaks occasionally to implore people to go to Red Cross blood banks and give blood. Some of the lines are five hours long as Americans throng to the Red Cross Centers to give.
All airports are closed down and all flights are cancelled. All Government buildings nationwide are closed. Multi-storied towers in major cities are evacuated and closed down. Universities are closed. Roads to Boulder Dam and nuclear sites are blocked. Disneyland closed. Disneyland, that proclaims to be the happiest place on earth is closed down!
Then news comes that the Pentagon has been hit it Washington, DC The President is in Florida on a speaking engagement, but is commandeered to Air Force One and taken away to secret location of safety. It is assumed that he is being taken to Nebraska to the SAC headquarters for disasters.
Another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, for a total of four. Two United Airlines and two American Airlines. All International flights have been cancelled, and the stock market is closed.
This is thought to be an act of the Islamic Jihad, led by the international terrorist organization of multi-millionaire Osama Bin Laden. Television news has shown people in Palestine are dancing in the streets and passing out candy saying "God is good!" when they heard of the success of the terrorist raids.
All of our families are home now from Krishell and Justin's wedding last Friday, except Krishell and Justin who are in Singapore or Bali. I'm sure they are two, scared spitless kids in a world apart from their families.
Our prayers surround the thousands of families devastated by this act of terrorism. So senseless, so despicable.
Since my first writing, three more buildings (out of the five outer buildings) in the complex have collapsed due to instability, plus a hotel nearby is threatened.
President George W. Bush has spoken to the people and assured us that this will not be forgotten.
I was just eleven when the Japanese pulled their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time their dignitaries were in Washington negotiating with President Roosevelt.
It is totally impossible for me to comprehend the degree of hatred involved when people do these dastardly deeds on innocent people. Words like cowardly, evil, even dastardly just don't cover it.
Our country is devastated, but pulling together as we haven't seen since World War II years. Sometimes it takes bad times for the people to un-selfishly hold together and show the rest of the world what true freedom of a nation is all about. We may have been lulled by prosperity and good times that we as a country have worked so hard to achieve, but I believe we reached a turning point yesterday. We, as a Nation will never be the same.
It's not a coincidence that the date was 9 11 ... our national emergency call for help.
Our President called this an act of war. When one NATO country is attacked it is considered an attack on all of NATO. We shall see what this heinous, cowardly act of terrorism brings together as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
Our church, as did many churches across the nation, called for a prayer vigil tonight. The Congress of the United States is having a bi-partisan prayer vigil tomorrow in the Capitol.
Nita, the neighborhood's eldest, may have wakened us from a sound sleep this morning. However, we are wide awake now. This morning seems like a lifetime ago. We are now awakened to the tragedy, and awakened to what lies beyond.
Awakened to the admonition in God's Word, the Holy Bible:
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will heal their land."