I vividly remember Sept. 11, 2001.

We were living in Waveland, Miss., at the time and was in my first year of study at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Kimberly taught first grade at Charles B. Murphy Elementary in Pearlington. Our son, Jonathan, was just 10 months old.

At first it was a normal Tuesday. Kimberly had already left for work and I was getting Jonathan and myself ready to make the commute to New Orleans. He would be in day care on the seminary campus during my classes.

When we were both dressed I plopped into a chair to watch “Good Morning America” and drink a cup of coffee. My happy baby boy was in my lap, just enjoying life. I could tell immediately that something was wrong when I switched on the TV. The GMA hosts were talking about an airplane accident at the World Trade Center. The live feed showed smoke billowing out of one tower. Then it happened … the second plane slammed into the second tower. Seeing the impact took my breath away … I was completely stunned. Anger and grief would come later. This was no accident. It was pure evil – heinous cowards killing innocent people.

I clutched Jonathan close to me and prayed. My tiny boy, so innocent and sweet, was still as happy as ever. But I knew that our world had just changed. It wondered what the future would hold for us, for our country.

That was 17 years ago. Despite growing up in a world where heinous things happen and facing the challenge of Hurricane Katrina, Jonathan has grown into a fine young man.

In 2017 we visited the 9-11 Memorial in New York City. It was heartwrenching, powerful experience, but one that I recommend. As I look at my well-adjusted, 6-foot-tall senior in high school, It makes me sad to think of the kids who lost parents on that day.

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