Today, at about 11:00 a good friend called and I answered the phone fully expecting to catch up on our day to day happenings. The first words out of her mouth were "Are you watching the news? A plane flew into a building."
My heart stopped for a split second and I was transported back to that terrible day so many years ago. I certainly don't think about 9/11 very often, but this morning it came rushing back so vividly and I was scared. Scars run deep I guess. I needed information fast. I asked questions and she told me what she knew.
When I learned that it was a small plane that flew into a local building in Austin I was hoping that it was just a terrible accident and that the pilot had perhaps lost control of the plane or had passed out, had engine trouble...anything but an intentional act to hurt innocent people.
Sadly, as the reports continue to come out on the news it looks like this fellow had a grudge or on-going dispute with the IRS and this was his solution. Fly his small plane right into the building. Where is the logic? How could this make sense to him? No other solution came to him, but to get in a plane and fly it into an IRS office building. I just have no words for how sick it makes me feel.
I don't know yet if they know if there were any fatalities. Surely the pilot perished. Can't imagine you can survive that kind of impact if he was in the pilot's seat. People were hurt and people were terrified for sure.
I think my perspective is so different now that I am a mom. What if your son was employed by the IRS. His goes to college and earns a degree in Accounting and is lucky enough to get a job with the IRS. On the daily it is his job to review company records. He finds errors, he reports them, there are investigations, people react, lives changes. It is a job and it may have cost him a life.
And being a mother I can't help but feel for the mother of the guy flying the plane. How that must cut you to the core to know your own son intentionally hurt others. Not in self defense, not to save someone he loved. It was about money. Some injustice he felt. What kind of person puts so little value on human life, even his own.
There have been so many senseless acts of violence recently in my little corner of the world. The first was just 13 days or so ago, when a 14 year old shot and killed another 14 year old at a middle school in my hometown in Alabama. This followed exactly one week later by a professor in that same hometown shooting and killing three other professors she worked with. Now this. It is too much.
There is real tragedy in the world with natural disasters in places like Haiti, people in hospitals fighting diseases they are powerless to prevent, children that are hungry, people really suffering and hurting. These senseless acts of violence are just infuriating because they are 100% preventable. One persons decisions change the lives of so many that didn't get a choice.
Let's all make a vow today to do no harm. Be kind to one another. Lift each other up. Stand up for each other. Encourage each other. Think before you act. If all else fails, go to bed - tomorrow will be a better day.