The deadly terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 are as fresh in the minds and memories of those alive at the time as though they happened yesterday. Simply referred to as “9/11,” the events of that horrific day deeply affected not only our nation but also the entire free world.
The images of smoke billowing in every direction across the skies of New York City, Washington, DC/Arlington, VA and Shanksville, PA re-painted a beautiful September morning in dark colors never seen or experienced in the U.S. before. Tumbling landmark towers, people jumping to their deaths out of windows, iconic buildings burning, remnants of planes and luggage scattered on the ground, these scenes of devastation are etched in our national memory forever.
And the senseless loss of life --- victims and first-responders --- made 9/11 a heavy weight on the hearts of so many --- a pain that still hurts 22 years later. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 9/11 dropped America to its knees, searching for some rational explanation and understanding of the insanity of it all, praying to God for the souls of those who had perished, seeking God’s comfort and embrace for those who were left behind, begging God to protect those brave women and men who made it their entire and only aim that day to rescue or recover their fellow human beings in the fire and the smoke and the ash.
Time passes for sure, but the mere passage of time does not always heal all wounds. People are still dying from the effects of that day. Each year, we drop to our knees once again. Remembering, praying, seeking healing and hoping that there will never be another 9/11, not here … not anywhere … not ever again.
Together, on this 9/11, let us ask our loving and merciful God to hear those prayers as we pause, close our eyes for a moment, and never forget.