This day dawned like any other for us. I was up by 8:30, made coffee, and sat down at my computer. The phone rang about the same time that my husband got up. It was my youngest daughter, Denise, on the other end of the line. Her words would change my world forever. "WE ARE GOING TO WAR" she said. My response was "WHY?". Then she told me to turn on my TV as she told me what had happened.

As I watched the Twin Towers crumple the tears came, the horror struck home. It was a sight that I couldn't possibly believe I was seeing. It was a Movie - A Television show - it had to be anything except what was really happening! You think about all the horror that could happen in an instant and it doesn't compare to the reality. My thoughts were with the people who would died in the rubble, imagining the absolute horror that had to be their last few minutes on earth.

But then as I continue to watch, the horror stretches on, as the Pentagon was the next to be hit! By this time the tears have turned to shock and I ask myself, and my husband "WHAT IS GOING ON?" I began to think about finding the rest of the family, to assure myself that they are okay. All this time I'm asking myself, "How could this happen here?". It still had not dawned on me to ask "Who could be doing this"?. That question came later when the 4th Airplane plunges into the ground in Pennsylvania.

By this time the reality has set in, by the time the Plane crashes in Pennsylvania, I know that the world has gone crazy. I finally realize that America is being attacked. I thought of Pearl Harbor and I say out loud "this is the way those people must have felt".

But here I am sitting safely in my Midwestern Illinois home and I know that I can't begin to know the real horror, the real terror, and the real misery of those people in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. I can only pray for them, keep them in my thoughts, and vow never to forget what has happened on this day.

My oldest daughter Tami is celebrating her 19th Wedding Anniversary on this date. When I finally get a chance to talk to her she's as confused and shaken as the rest of us. Today is suppose to be a happy day for her but she can't celebrate, not now, not while the rest of the world is already starting to mourn its loved ones. Not while the rest of the world is crying, and already learning how to live without their loved ones. She goes home to her family and says a silent prayer of thanks.

My only son Rick, is at work. He's trying to cope with what has happened as the distruction continues. Rick has his own Trucking Company and he has a delivery to make in Iowa on this night. He makes the trip himself instead of handing it to one of his employees. He comes to our house at 1 AM in the Morning and he spends the rest of the night with us. What a comfort to have him here with me, to reach out and touch a loved one and wonder what is in store for us.

The First thought some people have had is "How could God let this happen to us?". My answer to that is simple. GOD did not let this happen. Satan did this act, pure and simple! The men in the planes who killed themselves, and thousands of others, are the ones suffering now. They will continue to suffer in the Hell that they are surely living in forever.

YES - God was there on that day - he was everywhere! He had a very busy day in store for himself. He was on the scene immediately, with the Firefighters, Police, EMT's and all those that entered the building to help. He was there helping them to do their jobs and for those who died on this day, he personally carried them to heaven. God was there, he was a passenger on each of the Airplanes - giving strength and courage to all that were on board. God was very much present on the Plane in Pennsylvania, when he gave those people the courage to attack their attackers. For the passengers and crew on that flight, he once again, personally carried them all to heaven. Yes I saw God at work everywhere on September 11, 2001. When we later found out that many people did not go to work that day!! Thousands were detained for one reason or another and I believe God caused those obstacles. God was there as he protected the thousands of school children in the surrounding area - none were hurt and not a one died. God was strong enough to hold up two building, giving thousands the opportunity to get out and reach safety. God stayed on in that dismal wreckage of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. He worked long into the night giving assurance and comfort to those who did not die immediately. Yes, our God was there all right and I will never doubt his power again. God took some wonderful people home that day, and for all of those left behind, you have to know that he has a greater plan!

Yet there is one place where God was absent on that day. He was not in the hearts of the terrorists. From this day forward, for all their tomorrows, you can be sure, that GOD has turned his face from all like them!

America is hurt, crying, and wounded right now, but she is still the greatest Country on earth and we will get through this. We will all have changed and we will all be searching for a way to help. We will pray for understanding and guidance . We will also know that nothing will ever undermine the strength and courage of a United America.

Written by Katharine Lee Bates 1893

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
Wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!