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Pastor Recounts Day at Flight 93 Crash Site

“We all talked about who could have done it,” he said. “We talked about the other places that got hit. We heard about the passengers on 93 revolting and the guy (Todd Beamer) saying ‘Let’s roll.’”

He also remembers the full churches in the weeks afterward. All of it – the shock of the moment and temporary seeking of God’s face – reminded him of something else. It was when, as a high school senior, he was going to lunch and heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

“We reassured people that God was still on the throne,” he said on the days after 9/11. “There was a time for grieving and shock. We had been attacked on our own soil.”

He also remembers how rumors flew of other attacks. On the way to Somerset, he and Jeanne had been directed around Johnstown, Pa., because of rumors that attackers were to hit it next.

Pilot has visited the Flight 93 Memorial, dedicated one day before the 10th anniversary on Sept. 10, 2011, several times.

RELATED: The State of the Church: 10 Years After 9-11

He encourages others to stop by it for fear that lessons learned in the aftermath of 9/11 have been forgotten.

You have to work to remember, sometimes. His personal connection notwithstanding, the upcoming anniversary had slipped up on Pilot. Life commands your attention and in his case, it was caring for Jeanne after she recently had a cyst removed from her back.

“I’ll bring it up now,” he said. “This thing is kind of reliving itself for me.”

This article originally appeared at Baptist Press.