Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

Remembrance is a good thing.

on September 11, 2012

On my way to the church this morning, I was listening to a radio broadcast, as I typically do. The announcers were talking about how it’s so much easier to forget about what happened on this day, more than a decade ago. They were talking about how we “just need to move on.” At first I agreed with them, but then I thought, “Why shouldn’t we remember such an important day in our country’s history?”

I remember September 11th, 2001. I was in 7th grade. I remember being in class when there was an announcement that all classes need to report immediately to the auditorium. Once we arrived, our principal told us that our country had been attacked, and that our parents had been notified that we were all going to be bussed to our homes immediately. That bus ride was probably the quietest bus ride that I can remember from my school career. I doubt that the other kids were quiet, but I know that I couldn’t hear anything aside from the frantic thoughts running through my mind. You see, my parents work for the Internal Revenue Service, a governmental department that people tend to dislike. And there were bomb threats at my parents’ offices all the time. Had it been their buildings that were destroyed?

As I walked in the door, both of my parents were sitting on the couch. They were watching a broadcast of the twin towers being destroyed. My parents explained that this had been a terrorist attack and that they had been sent home from work, picking up my baby brother from my grandma’s house on the way. There had been threats at my parents’ offices, and at Niagara Falls, the near-by natural wonder and power supply for a large amount of the United States.

As time unfolded, we heard about the Pentagon attack and the plane that grounded when people on board stood up for our country. I remember when anthrax was being distributed and how the “war on terror” started. That seems so long ago. I had to learn about the heartbreak of a country at such a young age. My brother doesn’t remember what this country was like before 9/11/01. He was too young. He doesn’t know what it was like to have your family waiting for you at the gate after a flight. Or how quick it used to be to go through security. Or what it was like to know no families where their kids were off to war.

Our country stood strong after the September 11th attacks. American flags were sold out of stores. You’d be hard pressed to find a house that didn’t have their flag soaring high. So many people lost loved ones. My parents lost some dear friends in the twin towers. We all lost our sense of safety and superiority.

But what have we lost since then? Has our attempt to forget the pain of the past caused us to lose our sense of country? Our sense of togetherness? Have we gone back to our superiority ideals and our obsession with our differences?

I think we all need to remember. Lamentations 3:20-23; “I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

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