We Will Remember

Ten years ago today I was with my entire family – parents, brothers, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews – at “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

We were on our second day at Magic Kingdom and looking forward to doing all the things we’d missed the day before due to those late afternoon thunderstorms in central Florida.

We arrived at the park when it opened and immediately agreed to meet back around lunch time at the Mickey and Walt statue to see how everyone was doing.

Scott and I headed to Country Bear Jamboree with the girl in her stroller.   We arrived a bit early and were sitting in the theatre waiting for the show to begin when an elderly gentleman took the stage.  Clearly emotional, he said that a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center and asked us all to join him in a moment of silence.

We were in shock but at that point did not realize the magnitude of what was going on.   After the show ended, we headed to the Haunted Mansion – along with a bajillion other people (if you’ve been to Disney you know that number is accurate!).   As we stood in line, there were lots of conversations about what was going on in New York.  By this point, we knew that the two planes had flown into the towers, the towers had collapsed, and that it was a terrorist attack.  I don’t think we knew about the planes at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania yet.

About the time we got into that big room where the Haunted Mansion actually begins, they announced the evacuation.   In shock, we – along with the bajillion others – began moving toward the exits.  It was surreal, honestly.   So calm and very quiet.  All the Disney employees from trash collectors to the management in suits and ties were standing along the walkways urging people toward the gates in that kind Disney way.

We met up with the rest of my family and rode the trolley to our cars.  I don’t remember much conversation … but we drove home to south Georgia (about 3 hours) and finally saw the news with all the video footage that evening.

The irony of being at Disney Word, “the happiest place on earth,” on a day that changed our lives  is never lost on me.

Today we are having a special service at our church honoring the first responders, remembering the victims, and celebrating the heroes, not just of September 11, 2001, but also of the tornadoes that devastated several nearby communities on April 27 of this year as well.

But as we remember the sacrifice and loss connected to both those dates, we’ll also remember the faithfulness of the God who remains in control, whose mercies are fresh every morning, and who collects the tears of the brokenhearted.

Today and every day, We Will Remember.

{image from mousekingdom.com}

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  1. Wow what a testimony. Teri, that is amazing about Disney staff. Glad you could evacuate smoothly. My son is 8 and asked us why the flags were at half mast. We explained it to him again (as we have every year) but he will never see it the same way we do..the rest of us who remember it happening…

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