17 years ago

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I'm the second person from your left in the black shirt. This
is D.C. in 2001.

I was in D.C., getting ready for internship orientation. I scored a great journalism internship through the Freedom Forum and I needed to print out my assignment for the day.

As I arrived in the lobby, I noticed everyone was glued to the TV. I still printed my assignment but I was curious about the burning building they were showing on TV. A gentleman told me, "you can see it from the window." It was the Pentagon.

Indeed, I could see the smoke coming out of it. It took me a little while but I got in touch with my family in Brasil to assure them I was okay.

On September 11, 2001, my first thoughts went to God. There was no one else that could help America. My second thought was, "there's no Superman to save us." For some reason, I remembered all the Superman movies I watched growing up in Brazil. When something overwhelming happened, Superman always showed up to save humanity. That day I realized that humanity was on its own because Superman was not able to reverse what was done.

I was deep in the news business then and I saw all the changes that we get to "enjoy" today. For example, 17 years ago, because everything was in chaos, news stations started showing multiple headlines on the bottom of the screens. This practice was not really common before September 11.

I can still look at every story I wrote during my internship that year and see how each one has some type of mention of terrorism. Terrorism was and it still is in everyone's mind.

I also noticed that security in American airports really increased. Flying before September 11 was much different than it has been in the past 17 years. All these changes were needed and we understand the reasons why.

One thing that has not changed is God's ability to be our very present help in times of trouble. Until 17 years ago, even while living in a third world country, I had never experienced such a horrific event.

The words of Psalm 46 still ring true in my heart and mind. I've had other  events that really shook the core of who I am. These words of truth are stored in my spirit and today, I still choose to believe them.

God is and He will always be our refuge and strength. Therefore, we will not fear. God shall help America, and that right early. My meditation today is that "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." Selah.