And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord— that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
Job 28:28 (NIV)
September 11, 2001 became my generation’s Pearl Harbor. On that day, in the split second when the first plane smashed into the North Tower, America transformed from a safe and secure homeland into a den of anxiety and fear.
What should we remember most on this tenth anniversary of 9-11?
1. We need to remember not only those who lost their lives, but also those most affected by the tragedy: the families and friends of the dead, the rescue and recovery personnel who witnessed unspeakable horrors, the citizens who escaped from the towers and the Pentagon and still wonder why. Ten years later, these individuals relive, with searing clarity, the events of that day, and they need our prayers.
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
2. We need to remember the extraordinary acts of heroism, not only those publicized, but also those that went unseen. We don’t know most of what happened inside the towers and the Pentagon or inside the doomed planes, but we do know that God places His people, His angels, exactly where they need to be at His appointed time. As nearly 3,000 people perished, we can know that compassionate heroes helped in their transition from the horrors of Earth to the wonders of God’s perfect heaven. In these acts, we find hope.
For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
3. We need to remember where to look for our strength. As believers we know that our feelings of safety and security go beyond the measures of our home here on Earth. When fear overwhelms us, our strength comes from God. Todd Beamer, a Christian on Flight 93, knew this when he faced his death on 9-11. In a phone call he made from the plane, Todd asked a GTE switchboard operator to pray with him.
“Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed by they Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses.
As we forgive them that trespass against us . . .”
Ten years ago on September 11, 2001 evil struck. When it did, the gates of Heaven swung wide open, and a throng of Christians entered all at once. This week, we remember the events that brought them there and also the loving God who watched over us then and watches us still.
Matthew 28:20: Behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
To those we lost that day:
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
From the Memorial Service held at the National Cathedral on 9-11-01: