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Perspectives

A 9/11 Connection

By Aimee Herd
Breaking Christian News

CBN.comThe day the listeners on the “other side of the mic” became real.

I had been in radio broadcasting for about 21 years on the fateful morning of September 11th, 2001.  I’d always felt I had a fairly good connection and “feel” for those who listened to the various stations in which I’d worked—especially at this latest one; KHPE, a Christian FM station serving Western Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

However, on that morning that began like any other, but quickly turned into no other, I realized just how important that relationship with our listeners was.

My day had started typically, and I was outside on a morning walk with my Australian Cattle Dog “Tal.”  When I went back in the house, the TV was showing one of the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, near where I had grown up.  My husband, David, was glued to the picture as there appeared to be smoke rising from the building where it looked like a plane had crashed into it.

News anchors and aviation experts were speculating on what could have happened, when suddenly another plane entered the live scene and unbelievably cruised right into the other tower and exploded in a huge ball of flame and black smoke.  David and I were stunned for a moment, as were the commentators, then—as if awakening to a nightmare—they sprang to life in excited voices barely masking fear, saying it didn’t seem to be an accident now, “this appears to be an attack!”

After waking my two children (ages 12 and 17) and explaining the situation, we decided to keep them home from school.  I wasn’t due to be at work for a little while yet, but I immediately got ready and went in.

My mother and I have an interesting personality trait in emergencies—we become calm, especially if those around us are not.  On the morning of 9/11, I’m not sure you’d call what I felt “calm,” however; it was definitely the opposite of panic.

In the 20 or so years they had been available to the public, we had come to rely on personal computers and the Internet for gathering information—especially at the radio station.  But on that horrific morning, the internet was mostly unusable.  There were no “smart phones” yet in existence, and no Twitter or Facebook to consult.

Feeling very blind with the lack of ability to quickly find out what was happening, we tuned in to network news, and occasionally passed the information on to our listeners.

This was where I felt—as a Christian station—we had a great advantage over other stations, as we could freely offer our audience what they, and we, most needed at that time… reassurance.

…Reassurance that God was still God.  And, we could pray for them and for the country in between news updates from the network.

Each time I opened the mic that morning, I could almost physically feel God’s hand and the leading of the Holy Spirit in what to say, what to pray, and what songs to play as we waited for more information.

And, each time I spoke, I felt a connection, like never before, with those who would hear my voice.  I know that connection was God.  I could almost hear the Lord say, “My people are afraid, terrified; remind them that I am with them, even in this.”  It felt like I was just a conduit as He poured His “peace that passes understanding” out on His children—our listeners. 

In the process, the Lord ministered to me as well.  And, by the time I left for home on that tragic day—although my heart was heavy for the immense loss and the terrible reality of knowing our country had been attacked—I also felt that strong assurance that, no matter what, God was with us.

In the book of Hebrews 6:19 it talks about how we have a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,” and Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

On the morning of 9/11, I found both of those verses to be tangibly true—and I hope our listeners did too.
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