9/11 - Why We Should Remember
No doubt you’ve heard what today is – the twelfth observance of 9/11. People have remembered it in very different ways. The first being the very common reaction of recognizing and dwelling upon the people who lost their lives on that day either as a victim or as a hero and the subsequent servicemen who gave up their lives in the war against Al Qaeda in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts. Some will resent the war that followed 9/11 and rail against the perceived unjustness of that war. Quite a lot of people will go on with this day, 9/11/2013, as if it were any other day.
This last reaction is usually the one that is encouraged and extolled over the years. “Don’t be afraid.” “Continue living your life or else the terrorists win.” “Show them that we will not be frightened out of our way life.” In some ways, I do agree with that mentality because yes, going on with your life is the biggest raspberry you can give to those who would wish harm upon our country. However, too often I see that this way of thinking leads to a numbness of the heart.
I don’t know about you, but on that day in 2011, I felt a lot of emotions seeing the terrible images of what happened on that day and witnessing the bravery of those who counted the lives of others more important than their own. It evoked both tears and admiration from me. It is said about Americans that we hate each other until we have a common enemy or purpose to unite against, and it was on full display on that day.
I cannot think of a day that we were as supportive and caring towards each other than on that Tuesday or in the days following it. Perhaps it was because we were personally affected by the tragedy because we knew people who died in the attacks or knew of people who knew people. Perhaps it was because we were faced with mortality in a way we never expected – a terrorist attack on our home soil. Any which way, we felt things that we have not felt in a long time and sought for answers to questions we placed on the backburner. Much like New Year’s Eve but on a grander scale, I do believe many of us made resolutions that day to change our lives.
Love our families more.
Seek out God.
Be kinder to strangers.
Help your neighbor out more.
Call our moms more often.
Turn around our lives that have been stuck in a rut.
These are all good things to resolve, but much like every January 2nd or perhaps February 1st, we promptly give up on our resolutions because we forget about the conviction upon what we vowed those things. I believe this manifested itself even twelve years later when we think about all the things we felt on that day. Perhaps we are embarrassed about how vulnerable we felt or just felt like it was time to move on with our lives. I disagree. 9/11 was a wakeup call to us to seek answers to the questions that haunt us at night and to become the person we know we ought to be.
My encouragement to you is to not forget 9/11. Not in a bitter or cynical way, but in a hopeful way. In the responses we had twelve years ago, God was trying to tell us to open our eyes, and it would be a shame if we shut them again because we have forgotten about what that day evoked just to get on with our lives. Remember.