9 11 2002




When I was small I couldnít wait for Christmas to come! I couldnít wait for my birthday to come! I couldnít wait to date!  I couldnít wait to grow up, and some may think I never did ... but one thing is unarguable ... time crept by slowly as a child!  Now, as an adult, the velocity of time passing is barely countable before it is gone. This past year sped by true to form.  But what a year ... a year unlike any other in my life.  I measure this past year through the eyes of yesterday, September 11, 2002.

That morning, a year ago, driving to work on I-85N at 8:45 a.m., the terse announcement unemotionally stated, "...a plane has hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was "huh?" Then when the first account described the plane as small, a vision of King Kong on the Empire State Building, batting away at the pesky little plane, flashed into my mind. The enormity of what had just happened never crossed my mind, in fact I also remember thinking ... "well, itís still sort of early ... itís just a small plane that got off course, and hopefully folks are slow getting to work - better now than later when more folks could be involved." TIME, from the minute I walked into my office building safe and secure, crept slowly once again ... this time at a "grave tempo" ... at least for a while.

I saw my country attacked, for the first time, here on our land; I saw Americans dying; I saw others suffering untold pain; but I saw resolve as I had never witnessed ... I saw my country, my people come out of those ashes with a strength ... raw, tough and determined, and I will never forget that. I learned that this country, even with itís human failings, still is ... at the core of it ... GOOD, without question. I was proud of that ... it was TIME we connected in unity as a country.

And I finally understood the "separation of church and state" thing ... oh yes, we remain separate from any controlling religion in our country, as well we should; but we remain a country "under God" ... and faith in God is what the fathers of our country stood on firmly, and further understood it as necessary to give them the fortitude and wisdom in laying the foundation for our country ... thank God they did!!! It was TIME I understood that, and I felt truly grateful for the sacrifices they made for all of us!

It was also TIME that I understood the impact of the last year on my life. I do not recall a year that ever affected my life more than the last. In thinking about it, I thought perhaps the time was right for certain happenings. Looking more closely, I now understand the experience of September 11, 2001 changed me ... in the way I saw things, the way I responded, the way I understood that we only have this moment of time ... weíd better make it count!!! It was TIME I faced that, head on.

As my journey through the year continued, I stumbled upon a wonderful happening that completely changed my life ... who would have ever thought that old Albany High friends and new Albany High friends would stretch my heart in ways not known for a long time. It has been a blessing and a balm ... at just the right TIME!

TIME is precious ... so are friends ... just wanted you to know ...

~ Beverly Smith (Zacharias) Herrington


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