Remembrance. It is an important thing. A thing that puts things in perspective. A thing that allows us to look back on where we have come from. Today we do that in honoring the victims of 9/11 and their families.
If you were alive at the time, you remember where you were and what you were doing when you got the news. I was in Mrs. Kleinpeter’s fourth grade class in Savannah, Ga. Another teacher from a neighboring class came in and shared the news with our teacher, who then shared the news with us.
I didn’t really understand the magnitude of the situation until I got home that afternoon. But what I saw on the tv was devastating. The destruction was immense. The lives lost continued to mount. People were shocked and moved immensely by the tragedy. My ten year old brain had trouble processing what I was seeing. I remember watching the tv long into the night.
9/11 shook us as a country to our very core. It shook us as individuals. We were America. Land of the free and home of the brave. Who would dare enter our turf? But now we were vulnerable and insecure. We needed hope in a time where hopelessness and confusion were ramped. We needed God now more than ever before.
And God was with us. He was binding us back together both as individuals and a nation. He brought back unity. He brought back prayer and a desperate yearning for answers. He brought us heroes to cheer on. He made us strong again.
To the families of the victims: I cannot understand your pain. I did not lose a loved one that day, and I was not directly impacted by the events. So I will not try to empathize with you for protection against trivializing your pain and your grief. One thing I can offer you is hope. Hope that comes through Jesus Christ. He is with you and your family and He understands the pain that you are shouldering. He desires that you come to Him and open your eyes to His love and grace. Only then will you find peace amidst the difficulties of this day and of this life.
To the first responders, police, fireman: Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Some of your brothers and sisters lost their lives saving others, and for that we are eternally greatful. Thank you for giving us something to hope in during this difficult time.
To the armed forces: Thank you for protecting our freedom. Thank you for responding to the threats against our country. Thank you for fighting so that we can have freedoms.
9/11 taught us a lot. It will continue to teach us a lot. It changed our way of thinking. It changed our way of living.
May we always remember. May we never forget. The Bravery. The Courage. The Sacrifice. The Compassion. The Lives Lost. The Lessons Learned.
God bless America.