Where were you when the world stopped turning…

September 11 is my mother’s birthday and I still remember that that night in 2001, when my mother was still active and able to walk, we went out for dinner to celebrate the special occasion. When we got home, I turned on the TV to watch the news on CNN…and initially, I was amused by what I saw. There was an aeroplane stuck to one of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. Thinking that it had something to do with the Y2K thingy over the turn of the millennium, I quickly called out to my missus and daughter and asked them to come and see. Then we saw the second aeroplane crash into the second tower right before our very eyes and our blood run cold…and I said, “It doesn’t look like it’s the Y2K. Perhaps we should pray…!”

Things happen all the time – in other countries and even in our own…and like most Americans at that point in time, all of us are innocent ordinary people, living our lives the best we can…while all around us, political, religious and racial conflicts rage on and on like they are never going to end.

Here, I would like to share with everybody this song by Alan Jackson that puts it all so nicely:

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbour
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 with 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 and 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 to 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

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

Yes indeed, faith, hope and love are some good things God gave us and the greatest is love…and until we learn to love one another as brothers and sisters, breaking down all barriers of colour or creed, things will remain the same.

Sadly, it certainly looks like nothing is ever going to change…, not when people do not love their neighbours nor respect their fellowmen’s religious values and beliefs, when conflicts arise even over a song or a dance…or a name!

But bleak as things may seem, with all the faith, hope and love that God has blessed us with, let us pray that bad as things may be right here in our midst, nothing as horrendous as this and other similar atrocities that have occured elsewhere, even in our neighbourhood, will ever happen to us…