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Friday, September 12, 2008

Phil on September 11th: "I went back to The Bible"

Note: I wrote this post yesterday, but there must have been some kind of Blogger issue because it didn’t get posted. Here it is a day late…

Today is the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And since Phil Stacey joined the Navy after the attacks, when I talked to him this morning I felt compelled to ask him his feelings about that day…

“I was feeling furious and I went back to The Bible,” Phil said. The passages he was drawn to were the ones where King David prays against his enemies. “I wrote down every verse. I was praying the worst on these people who had done this.”

Phil graduated college that same year and shortly after graduation, he and his wife, Kendra were driving down the road when Garth Brooks’ “The Change” came on the radio. Phil really thought about the song’s lyrics that day. “It says, ‘The world’s not going to change me.’” Phil said he decided, “I will be a force for good.”

Interestingly, Phil was also deeply affected by the tragedy that inspired Garth Brooks to write “The Change”—the Oklahoma City bombings—since he was living in Kansas at the time. Phil promised himself then that he was “never going to sit back and do nothing.”

Since he had just graduated college and had no job lined up, Phil decided he could be a force for good in the military and Kendra agreed.

Fortunately for Phil, the job the Navy picked for him was as a singer in a rock band. But Phil has “so much respect” for the men and women on the front lines.

And though Phil decided after that fateful day in the car that he wouldn’t let the world change him, September 11th did change the way he views his country.

“My brain has never clicked back. I was a patriot before, but [after 9/11] I just fell in love with what our country stands for.”

I’ll have more from Phil tomorrow night…