I remember it clear as day. I was on the playground at school when I had heard the news. Of course coming from a fellow third grader, it came out something like this, “there’s a helicopter that is going to crash into our school!” This caused the entire class to burst out into complete disarray. Our teachers tried to calmly explain what was happening and turned the news on for us to see. I remember feeling like my heart was physically breaking. I didn’t understand why someone would do such a terrible thing on purpose.
Each year following, I would see documentaries based off of the events of September 11th. Throughout my middle school career, my history teacher played videos for us the week of the 9/11 anniversary. I couldn’t bare sitting in that seat watching the television. Tears would flow down my face and my heart would ache. I felt completely hopeless watching these giant towers burning and collapsing, people jumping from hundreds of feet in the air as their blazing bodies fell to the ground, and passerby running for their lives and screaming in terror and confusion. Although it hurt so greatly to re-live these moments, my history teacher felt that it was important to show us these videos to help us remember the day that changed the course of America forever. And I’m so thankful she did.
I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 memorial earlier this year. The streets surrounding where the twin towers once stood tall and proud felt so empty. Although I had never visited New York City until now, I could sense such sorrow and brokenness. Hundreds of people filled the streets yet it still felt so lonely and empty, even years after the tragedy had taken place. I will never forget the experience I had and the emotions I felt.
Over the years, we have seen different acts of terrorism take place; some on a larger scale than others. Many of these attacks have come from the same terrorist group that is under the influence of a certain religion. It may shock you to hear that I really have a problem with religion. I could open a whole other theological can of worms, but I am just going to keep it at this: there is a spiritual war that is waging against us. This has been going on since the days of Adam and Eve, but it seems as though recently this spiritual war is becoming more evident in the physical realm.
There is an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. This enemy is the same one who stirs up confusion, hatred, and division among us. If you take a look at everything going on in our great country right now, it is clear that we have become more divided than ever before. There is division and hatred between race, law and civilians, gender, sexual orientation, religions, etc. In fact, there is so much division that even Christians are battling with one another. As Christians, we should be loving yet firm in our beliefs. Jesus came to bring truth and light to the darkness. Light cannot mix with darkness and neither should we. He was honest about what happens when we are living in sin and many people hated him for it, because the truth hurts and we all fall short.
The best way for us to fight this battle is to be on our knees in prayer for our country. United we stand and divided we will fall. Despite my disappointment in our nation’s leadership and decisions, I will always be proud to be an American and will always love my country. Let not the lives who were sacrificed for our freedom be in vain. Never forget what happened on September 11, 2001 and the One who brought us peace in the midst of chaos.
May all 2,997 victims rest in peace. And to those who their lost loved ones, we honor you today.