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September 11

I'm currently in a car headed to Dallas. We had to evacuate because of Ike.

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You know, I was only in fourth grade on September 11, 2001, and yet I remember everything so clearly. I was sitting in class, waiting for my teacher to come in when an annoucement came on telling us to go to chapel. My teacher came back in--she'd been crying, and led us in. And even though we were all nine or ten years old, we didn't say a word. We knew that something terrible had happened. That was the first time we'd ever been quiet in chapel.

Our teacher told us to pray, and so I did--even though I didn't know exactly what was going on. I prayed for all the people I knew...every prayer I knew...and then I started praying for people I didn't know...for dogs and cats...and everyone. Chloe was sitting next to me at the time, and she didn't have a religion, but she told me after that I looked like I was in such deep concentration that she wished she knew how to pray. That was the day we became friends.

I didn't find out about what had happened until I got home. They wouldn't tell us at school because they didn't want to cause panic (a little dumb...seeing as all of us were terrified), but I came home and saw the planes...it was just unbelievable. I had to wrap my mind around it.

But I saw extraordinary things. We had to go grocery shopping that day, and everyone in the store was silent. Someone--I don't know who--started singing "America the Beautiful", and all of us in the store joined in. The healing power of music has always amazed me, but never more than it did that day. I always find that, in the face of terrible tragedy, there's also overwhelming hope.

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