Remembering 9-11 ~ Where were you?

My daughter’s 6th grade Social Studies class was assigned a 9-11 family project to complete this week. We were to make a scrapbook about what happened on September 11, 2001. I thought this was a great idea, and we started looking around for news magazines that would carry stories and pictures of what happened eight years ago.

But the more we looked around, the more saddened I became. Not one single news magazine (that we could find in the many stores we scoured) had anything on its cover about that horrific event that changed our nation. Not one. Instead, something about Michael Jackson was consistently the featured story.

The sadder I got, the madder I became. As a nation, we have given media outlets the impression that we would rather read about Michael Jackson than to remember the loved ones lost and the heroes who arose on and after September 11th. They assume that all of us want dirty details on “celebrities” over inspiring reminders of united patriotism. And maybe, as a nation, we do… which saddens me further.

But as we searched high and low to find information about September 11, 2001, I grew more and more thankful for this dear teacher who made the 9-11 project a requirement of her students. Through the work on this project, I remembered ~ and Abigail learned ~ the sorrow our nation experienced, as well as the surge of unity in the days that followed.

As part of the project, Abigail interviewed some family members about where they were on 9-11, how they found out, how they felt it changed our nation, and what they remembered most. Every person spoke of the turn of our nation, as a whole, back to God. Flags were flown. Churches were filled. Bibles were read. Prayer was public. And many became Christians by putting their faith in Jesus Christ. We were one nation, united, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all. We promised to “Never Forget”.

But we did. Within eight years. How quickly we forget.

The project was turned in today, and we will remember tomorrow. And we will pray for our nation, our leaders, our churches, and our children. We will not forget.

So I ask you: What do you remember about September 11, 2001? Did God do something good in and around your life in the midst of that tragedy? If so, PLEASE share with us. We want to give glory to God for all He has done. (Something good happened in our family out of this – my husband’s father and step-mother started going to church, became Christians, and are now in Heaven instead of in hell – all as a result of 9-11. Praise God!)

Lets make this a day of remembering… not just the tragedy of 9-11, but of our God and of how NOTHING is too big or too terrible for Him to use… if we will continue to remember…and not forget.

Alan Jackson wrote a beautiful song expressing how many of us thought and felt on that day. It’s called, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” A video with live footage and lyrics are below.

Remembering with you…Jennifer

“Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
Alan Jackson

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA

Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don’t know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you’re a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that Bible at home

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street

Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watching
And turn on “I Love Lucy” reruns

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

One other moving video I found to the song “I believe”:

Bessings to each of you on this September day…

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. Thank you for posting such a moving post. I remember being at work and hearing it on the radio. At first, my mind couldn't comprehend the enornmity of it, then as the hours went on and more reports came in, our office was very quiet and solemn…and in utter disbelief. I just wanted to get home to my family and hug them. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us of the day all our lives changed forever. God bless,
    BB from Ga.

  2. ♥luvin♥this♥life♥ says:

    Bobbie Jo linked your blog and here I am stopping by and crying again. Second time this morning… I did not lose a loved one, a friend, or a coworker to 9/11, not even indirectly as we wage war on terrorism… Yet, my heart breaks over and over. I too noticed that nothing has been broadcast (until this morning, on FoxNews anyway) or printed about this terrible anniversary. It is a sad state of affairs when we lose our patriotism in favor of celebrity gossip… Thank you for sharing the song, the videos, and your heart-felt thoughts! I am glad I came by! God bless!

  3. Just me~Bobbie Jo says:

    I know exactly where I was. My husband who is in the Navy & our family had just moved to Italy after living in DC. My neighbor and I had just gotten home from walking to pick up kids from school-we shared the same floor of our housing and left our doors open and she came in and siad did you see what just happened onthe today show-we got to see it in the afternoon while it was still morning in the US? I was like no hleping with homework and they showed the 2nd plane crashing at first we thought it had to be a movie stunt but then all heck broke loose. They shut the base down-total lock-down. No one could get on or off. There was talk of us being lifted off the base and being sent somewhere else. It was scary being overseas when all of this went on. We were "safe" but so wanted to be back in the USA. I had friends in the Pentagon-we had just left the area. It was a stressful time for us as it was for everyone but being so far away just makes it a little on the crazy side.
    As for people forgetting I am going to be honest I knew it would happen so I am not surprised. However, what kind of gets to me is how much the whole country was behind the military right after it happened but before & well now after-not so much! The military has always been doing what it is suppose to be doing. I am not looking for a thanks or anything I am super proud of my husband and everyone else in the military and don't really need anyone to tell me those things but I just hope that those who do appreciate the military does so every day and not just when something goes bad. We as a whole are just like regular folk who get up and go to work but the job really is 24 hours a day-every day. Sorry just my two cents. 🙂

    Anywho, Jennifer as always a great post and I have something for you on my blog. 🙂

  4. I have to agree with you – I believe we have forgotten…and how very sad – for each of us and for our nation. (I would have to say I'm one of the guilty ones.) Thank you for this poignant reminder.

  5. I have a small painted star that someone had made with the words "We Will Never Forget" and the date on it, in my mainfloor bathroom. I also have taped the MSNBC showing of the TODAY show on 9/11. I watch this every year, and explain to my kids what went on.

    I was working fulltime when this happened, and my oldest was 10 months old. I quit my job a month later, best decision I have ever made:)


  6. You are so right about how quickly we forget as a nation!!! Our church was one of those that was packed…it lasted for a few weeks?? 🙁

  7. Thanks for that wonderful tribute to that horrible day. I remember being at work and hearing report after report of buildings being hit. I just wanted to gather my family together; I was afraid I would never see them again. But I certainly remember the patriotism, unity as a country and the spiritual revival that came afterward. If only we could have held on to that . . . but like you said, good did come out of it. I loved the story about your in-laws!

  8. Wow – Gwen, thank you for sharing that with us – and you are so right about God knowing our tendency to forget.

    Thank you, ladies, for sharing your memories with us.

  9. I have said for a couple of years now that we should occasionally see the rerun of the planes hitting the towers, because we do forget. As painfully devastating as that was for us as individuals and a country, it is unbelievable that we even could forget. I was at home that morning, my husband was at the church where he had been on staff – cleaning out his office after a horrific time of spiritual conflict — he was leaving his job there. In addition, my Dad had been killed in a car accident just one week earlier. So, for us — on that morning of 9-11 we were already in mourning and still in shock on many levels, when the planes hit the towers. I'm truly at a loss for words at the emotions I felt that day — hopelessness, sadness, despair. BUT — that was definitely a turning point in our lives. As the shock started to wear off in the weeks that followed, we dug down deeper with the LORD and He brought us out of our own rubble and set us on higher ground. We learned things through these experiences that we would not have learned any other way.

    You know, all through the Old Testament, God tells the children of Israel to "remember". He just says it over and over — tell this to your children, remember this, set up an altar so that you will always remember. I think that because He knows what a forgetful bunch of folks they and we are. We have to determine that we WILL remember something or it will slip from our memory, become fuzzy and then like it never even happened. 9-11 is something we should remind ourselves and our children/grandchildren about. We must never forget ! Thanks for the opportunity to "talk" about this 🙂

    Gwyn Rosser
    @ The Pink Tractor

  10. Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman says:

    Oh what a great tribute. I love that your daughter's teacher made this a project. It is unbelievable that people forget this day.

    Thanks again for this beautiful post.

  11. What a great tribute & post. I'm really bothered by the fact that our country as a whole has forgotten what we went through that day. Such short memories some have.

    As for us, we remember. I was at home with my youngest who wasn't even 1 yet while my husband was taking our oldest to preschool. He came in after the first plane had hit & we watched the rest unfold together in our home wondering what in the world was going on & praying for those in harms way.
    I remember how eerie it was not hearing any planes flying in the skies for days.
    Thanks for the chance to remember.