Remembering 9/11

Posted on September 11, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, I’d like to share an excerpt from Sarah Cunningham’s book, Picking Dandelions, in which she describes her experiences as being a relief worker at Ground Zero. She talks about how the great tragedy of 9/11 changed Americans…changed their hearts, their attitudes, and made them recall what was really important in life. When life gets normal again after something like that, it’s easy to get back into our old habits and attitudes, but today let’s remember how we were changed in the aftermath of that tragedy and other hard times that we’ve experienced in our lives, and let’s let that change be real and lasting as we go about our everyday lives.

I don’t know who among us had faith before we arrived, but it seemed as if nearly everyone found it or recovered it somewhere in the crevices of Ground Zero.

The relief workers on site were stretched to exhaustion as we forced our eyes awake at night—days after the last survivor had been found, but still days before all the searching would end. Regardless of your prior beliefs, when you find the end of your own energy supply, it is at least tempting to look for some source of renewal outside yourself.

This is why I often found myself praying furiously—as I had in childhood—for things like the safety of the firefighters who refused to stop searching for fallen comrades even as rain poured down on the wreckage….Even my prayers were sometimes interrupted by the unidyllic blasts of a bullhorn warning that parts of the tower might crumble further, in which case we were told simply to run in the opposite direction.

While the tower lay in pieces, shreds of people’s lives lay exposed in Union Square as stunned family members frantically searched for news of their loved ones. …Talk about God was as common as talk about the weather. Questions like, “Why did this happen?” and “How will we go on?” became the standard replacement for the usual “How are you?” and “Nice day we’re having” greetings.

…I’m convinced God was there somewhere too, browsing about the tents and the conversations, reuniting with people he had not talked to in ages and lapping up quality time with others before the moment passed and our to-do lists invited us back into oblivion, to routine tasks like picking up dry cleaning or washing our cars.” ~Excerpt from Part IV of Picking Dandelions: A Search for Eden Among Life’s Weeds


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3 Responses to “Remembering 9/11”

RSS Feed for Trina's Thoughts–From God's Heart to Mine Comments RSS Feed


You are very insightful. You seemed to have gotten a lot from this book. I can’t wait to read it to have a deeper conversaton with you about it.


Thanks, Terri! I would love to talk about it with you! 🙂

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