The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv Ukraine held a moment of silence outside the main Embassy building today to remember those who lost their lives eight years ago on September 11, 2001 in the attacks that killed 2,752 people.
The embassy posted pictures here.
I have not been in America on this date since 2000. We moved here in July 2001. With the 7-hour time difference, we didn’t hear about the attack until late afternoon. We turned the television on to BBC and watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the tower. In all honesty, it didn’t seem real. It couldn’t possibly have happened in America. And I really began to think it was a really bad “B” movie.
That evening a group of us went to the football stadium here for our first venture into the European sports life. Youth from our local church gathered before we all went to the game, and they prayed for America. Their concern was sincere. I still personally couldn’t quite believe the news. (This was before skype, so we had not been in touch directly with friends or family.)
As we took our seats in this stadium I looked all around me. The flags flying around the stadium were all at half-mast. And then the announcer asked for a moment of silence.
It slowly began to sink in. There really was an attack on America. And it was being felt around the world.
Within the week, Jim and I made our way to the embassy here to be sure that we were registered. I can’t adequately express the emotion I felt at entering the embassy and seeing our flag proudly standing in the corner. Officially I was on American soil. And I was relieved. And proud. And angry at what had taken place. But also quite certain that America would remain strong and stand tall. And that we would not shrug off such an attack. I couldn’t read enough about the heroes in NY and DC and PA.
Eight years later I can still recall that evening.
And I remain proud of my country. And the people who together make it great.