Today, many of us are taking time to remember the tragedy that took place 9/11/01.
I don’t know about you, but I remember what I was doing. I was at home (homeschooled kid) doing dishes. I was at the sink (washing them by hand, yuck!) and my older sister Greta was sitting at the kitchen table.
My dad called down the steps to us to come up quickly, and when we got there we saw the TV was tuned to the devastation that was happening in New York.
The same day a man from our church, one of my favorite Sunday school teachers of all time, was there with his crew installing central air in our home. So, we all sat together in the living room, my sisters, my dad, my Sunday school teacher, and the HVAC team.
We just watched it happen.
To complicate matters, my mom had a job in a skyscraper in a nearby city. Waiting to hear that she was safe, to hear that nobody flew a plane into her building, was awful. My relief at hearing that she was fine was immediately followed by guilt, because I knew that plenty of kids were going to be finding out that their parents weren’t ever coming home again.
As Americans, we’re not comfortable thinking that we’re not safe. That’s part of why 9-11 was so devastating for us. No matter what happens it’s happening somewhere else, somewhere far away, someplace we’ve never seen and we’re not planning to visit.
We have crime, certainly. I’m not saying that we live in some utopia where nobody has to worry about danger or violence. However, we’re not used to living in a war zone. We don't live with bombs dropping or troops marching through our streets.
Even if we have friends or family that go overseas to serve in our military, as missionaries, or in some other capacity, we have hope that they will return. We worry about them, certainly, but once they’re done and come home they’re safe once again.
Mixed into the many adult casualties there were also children. Teens, small children, and even unborn babies.
I don’t want to minimize the tragedy of the loss of older children and adults. Not at all. Every person that was lost in those attacks was made in God’s image. They were each precious individuals and they didn’t deserve to have their lives ended that day. But, to me, there is something especially poignant about the loss of these unborn children.
Each of these babies may or may not have been planned, I have no idea. I’m not going to try to dig into their mothers' history and speculate on whether or not they initially wanted to become pregnant. They don’t deserve that kind of treatment.
We don’t know how their families felt when their moms first announced their pregnancies. We don’t know how each mother felt that morning when she woke up. Were they nauseated? Tired? Overwhelmed? Or, were they in the happy and glow-y stage of pregnancy?
Their mothers' desires regarding their pregnancies don’t really matter. Whether or not their families were excited to welcome them into the outside world doesn’t really matter.
Because they are human.
Just like every other life lost that day, they matter. They were created in God’s image. And, most importantly, they didn’t deserve to die that day.
So today, I am remembering their lives. They were short, but they were important. Had they been born at the intended time they would each be contemplating their 17th birthday. Maybe they would be learning to drive, looking forward to their senior year, or even getting ready to apply for college.
I am sure their families miss them deeply. I am sure they wonder what their lives would have been like if they and their mothers had survived that day.
Nothing can erase that grief but, through God’s grace, we can heal. My prayer today is that God would comfort families that are grieving today, that He would assure them that each of these precious unborn children is safe, truly safe, in His care.
Patricia Ann Cimaroli Massari and her unborn child
Deanna Lynn Galante and her unborn child
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas and her unborn child
Jennifer L. Howley and her unborn child
Helen Crossin Kittle and her unborn child
Vanessa Lang Langer and her unborn child
Renee A. May and her unborn child
Sylvia San Pio Resta and her unborn child
Rahma Salie and her unborn child
Dianne T. Signer and her unborn child
Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child
These, and many other names, can be found at the 9-11 Memorial and Museum's website.
While we remember these precious children who were lost too soon, let us also pray for the children that are currently in danger in their mothers' wombs. While we may have the illusion of safety in American a significant portion of our population, the unborn, are under continuous attack. Their attacker is very different than a terrorist with a plane, but they are no less human and their loss is no less tragic.
Let's remember all the children and together decide that we will make a difference.
Changing Lives Together,
Sarah M. Bowen