Where Were You When...
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
On this date, how can I write about anything else, but what happened that morning eighteen years ago? I was riding my bicycle and was planning on going to the office an hour late. It was one of those perfect mornings, warm, but with that fall feeling that comes when humidity isn’t in the air. I actually stopped my bike, which I never do, and just looked up at the sky and said to myself, “Could life get any better?” Then I finished my ride, turned on the television to ESPN, and the guy says, “While I am supposed to talk sports, you should turn to a news channel.” I thought, “What the heck?” As the channel flipped, the first tower was on fire. Just seconds later, the plane hit the second tower.
Eighteen years later we are still at war. We got rid of Saddam Hussain, only then realizing he had no weapons of mass destruction. Further, Saddam’s leadership vacuum empowered the real terrorists, and many others as well. As late as last Thursday, yet another American soldier died in this incoherent war. While New York has been rebuilt and is running on all cylinders, the first responders, this year, had to beg for the medical funds to care for the many who died responding to the destruction around them on that fateful day.
There have been many other tragedies since, but there have been many transformative moments – many we’ve probably never even heard. There have been very few Islamic Terrorists, like Osama ben Laden’s henchmen, who have been successful since. Sadly, terrorism today has often been replaced by White National Extremists who have done acts of terrorism in this country and in other countries around the world. Hate continues to have a foothold.
Today, prayerfully ask God to bless and bring healing to the first responders and their families. They are heroes and should never be forgotten or mistreated. Then, continue to pray for peace in our world. This peace needs to overcome racism. Muslim people still feel vulnerable and hated in many parts of the world, even though White Extremists have killed more Americans than Islamic terrorists in the last eighteen years. Finally, help us face our own anger and shame, so we can be part of the solution, rather than just another angry person, looking to place blame.