Tim and I were in Washington DC September 11, 2001.
Our first visit to DC was for Wallbuilder’s Spiritual Heritage Tour of the US Capital for pastors and wives. Joined by Terry and Susan Moore (our pastors) – we were celebrating a decade of service to the church and launching Tim into a new career path.
With 10 children home, leaving was hard. Monday, September 10, I awoke in the wee hours – nursed Micah (15 mos) for the last time – tucked him back in bed, grabbed my pre-packed luggage and left for the quiet ride – to the airport – in the dark. I was 41 years old and knew this would likely be my last opportunity with one so young.
Hours later, on a hazy, afternoon, we landed at Reagan International – dropped off our bags in Georgetown (near the Pentagon) and headed to The Smithsonian by Taxi. This visit was surreal. We soaked up every moment: the crowded subway, George Washington University (next to our hotel) and the National Mall. The long, grassy mall stretched past the row of infamous museums. We ran through the rain across the soggy mall and slipped into the museum, beneath the ominous Washington Monument. This trip was bigger than life for me.
I love museums!
From Lincoln’s top hat to the Hope Diamond we whizzed past every treasure we could see until they made us leave.
The evening of September 10th – plays like a movie in my mind.
Terry and Susan Moore, were mentors for so long, we hardly remember life before their influence. Our children had grown-up and our family prospered in their humble, loving assembly. Tim had served by Terry’s side for years. To celebrate the past and toast to the future – we made dinner reservations at a fine restaurant. Everyone around us looked important. Was it our imagination or were we among greatness?
After a leisurely dinner topped with coffee and dessert, we strolled the streets of DC together. The moon seemed to pinpoint the city – like a flashlight. Above us – deep, blue sky – dark and clear.
There was a kind of ‘hush’ in the air. I had never felt more at peace – more secure.
Confession: I am a die-hard patriot. I love this ‘sweet land of liberty’ and still choke-up when we sing the National Anthem at ballgames. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and the Pilgrims, my heroes. I told my high school classmates that I would be the first woman president. (Really, I did! ) To walk in the footsteps of those who forged this nation – was truly a dream.
Once back at the hotel – I called the kids. Tim was right – they were fine. Forcing myself to sleep – the anticipation was bigger than life. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.
All was still – all was bright. A silent night – indeed.
To be continued …read the rest of our story at Raising Patriots!