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Forum Home > General Discussion > Remembering September 11th, 2001

Stan Willis
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Posted by Stan Willis on September 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM



With the tenth Anniversary of 9-11 just two days away, actually about 48 hours from the time I am starting this, I have stopped to reflect on that day. It has been said that there are only a few times in our lives, when we always remember exactly where we were, and what we were doing, when something significant happened.

September 11th, 2001 was one of those times for most, if not all of us. I am reminded of the song written after September 11th by country singer Alan Jackson, "Where were you when the world stopped turning".

No, the world really did not stop turning, but I just set back and thought about that line, and I remember that everything around me DID seem to stop.

At the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center, Tower Number 1, I was at work as most people were. At the time, I was the Sergeant of the Warrants Office, of the Judicial Services Bureau of the Leon County Sheriff's Office. I was in the office and my Captain had a television in his office, which he used during important news times or major trials in the courthouse.

When he heard of the first plane strike, he was out of his office. He returned and called me into his office as he turned on the television. We were both standing there watching in pure amazement, as we saw the second plane strike Tower 2, in REAL TIME.

At that moment, that was when it seemed "the world stopped turning" . For a few moments, we both stood there silent, stunned, and shocked. We both said something I am sure I should not repeat here, as we asked each other how this could happen.

Both being certain this was NO ACCIDENT, and realizing something unusual was taking place, the Captain began to tell me to get in touch with all our Warrant's Deputies by phone in his office and to stay in his office until I heard from him. He immediately left, going into the Sheriff's Office to discuss the incident with him and other Command Staff Personnel.

At that point, obviously, OUR world went back to "turning" and turning a lot faster than it had seemed to be earlier. As the day went on, things calmed for us. We spent many hours thinking of possible "targets" in Leon County, checking them and making plans to protect the county in the hours and days to come.

As it turned out, WE were not the area in the "enemies" sights, that time. Since that day, I have been more open about my patriotism. I display it more than I ever have and I preach it to my children. I have put up a flag pole in my front yard, having Jessica, my daughter (the last one at home), help me. We fly our flag every day and change it when it becomes worn. My daughter, Jessica, has joined the Marine Corp JROTC at school, and she see's to it that the flag is properly displayed.

We have many reminders of September 11th around our house. Posters, pins, shirts, books and even Alan Jackson's CD with the song, "Where were you when the world stop turning" , that I am sure we will play several times this Sunday or over this weekend.

I felt the need to say something publicly about this day and decided to write this. Our country is in an awkward state. It is times like these that try a man's soul. That attack, was NOT against our government. It was NOT aimed at the City of New York, NOT at the people in the World Trade Center or businesses housed there. IT WAS aimed at each and every AMERICAN, past, present and future! It was aimed at ALL OF US. It was aimed at our COUNTRY, our FREEDOMS and LIBERTIES and our WAY OF LIFE.

The following quote's, I hope will express my feelings for my country. I hope they will illustrate the point intended here, concerning the IMPORTANCE of what really happened on September 11th, 2001.


We all remember the compassion shown on September 11th, 2001. The news footage was filled with images and stories of total strangers aiding, consoling and SAVING people they did not know. They owed those they helped NOTHING! But, do we still see that sort of thing on a daily basis? Are we FORGETTING what we felt like on that day?

"Love your neighbor as yourself and your country more than yourself".

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825



There were over three thousand AMERICAN'S that lost their lives that day. NOT on foreign soil in a military action. BUT, right here on American soil, minding their own business, enjoying their life and Liberties. Many more people, as a result of the events of 9-11, are no longer able to enjoy their life as before. Yet our government, and many Americans, are willing to give up some of our LIBERTIES and simple FREEDOMS in LIFE, in an attempt to GET ALONG in the world or be POLITICALLY CORRECT! WE suffered for no reason, WHY should WE need to change?

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them".

Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America, August 1774


Many of us, as I stated above I have done, show more PATRIOTISM than we did before 9-11. Maybe not as much as we did in the days just after, but more just the same. We talk about getting along, living in harmony, doing our part as Americans. We use the phrase, "United We Stand, One Nation Under God...". BUT, do we live that way daily?

"To restore... harmony,... to render us again one people acting as one nation should be the object of every man really a patriot".

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas McKean, 1801


I spoke earlier about the heroics shown by ordinary Americans on 9-11. Ordinary people, taking unordinary actions. I remember thinking that it was something extraordinary to see so many people taking such extraordinary actions. Actions for strangers, putting themselves in danger in many cases. I remember stories about people who died, trying to save others. People showing EXCELLENCE from their heart without thought for their own safety. It made me APPRECIATE being an AMERICAN even more. It made me feel PROUD! It made me feel better about myself, for a while. It made me feel EXCELLENT, for a while. Do we really APPRECIATE those Hero's of 9-11? Do we really APPRECIATE what happened that day? Do we really REMEMBER 9-11, EVERYDAY?

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well".



As we remember SEPTEMBER 11th, let us also remember why it happened. Let us remember where we were, what we were doing, who we were with, what we thought and how we felt. Remember what you did, who you helped, who you spoke to, who you hugged and who you worried about. Did you pray? REMEMBER to pray on Sunday, for ALL those who died, ALL those who lost loved ones to an ENEMY. Pray for ALL those who worked so tirelessly for days after, for those who volunteered, those who traveled many miles at their own expense to help, and those who took time away from their families and jobs to help other Americans they did not even know.

Pray for our country and for our people, that WE WILL NEVER FORGET! REMEMBER! Remember, that despite what our President says, this is NOT a day of national service, BUT a day of remembrance.

As I finish this, I listen to the radio replaying sound bites of that day. The host of the show gets emotional and cries. I realize that I too, have a lump in my throat and a tear running down my cheek. I remember, that every time I listen to Alan Jackson's Song, "Where Were You When The World Stop Turning", I cry. Every time I hear that song, I get the feeling that the hair on the back of my neck stands up. I get a weird, chilling feeling all over. PLEASE, find that song this weekend, listen to it, think about the words and see how it makes you feel. Better yet, watch the video of the first time Alan Jackson performed it and see how it affected him to perform it. BUT, no matter how you do it, listen to it and CRY WITH ME.





Link to "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning"

"We The People"

Stan Willis



    "We The People"

          Stan Willis


October 11, 2011 at 1:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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