Thursday, September 11, 2008
9/11 Still United in Memory?
This week, in the small chapel where George Washington attended after his inauguration, which is near Ground Zero and the most extensive September 11th museum in New York City, millions will file through to view photos, videos and remnants from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America and the close to year-long cleanup of that evil deed.
Today, vowing to put aside presidential politics, and rightfully so, senators John McCain and Barack Obama are in New York to attend 9/11 memorial services, and later a forum in public service at Columbia University.
Earlier in the day in Pennsylvania John McCain asked every person "to be as good an American" as the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. And Barack Obama on the campaign trail asked Americans to "renew that spirit of service and that sense of common purpose" that followed the 9/11 attacks.
It is hard to believe that it's been seven years since Islamic terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and into the fields of Pennsylvania. But it is not hard to believe that those attacks have changed America forever.
'Evil" is a word that we have come to understand as a nation as never before.
No one was surprised, nor did we hear the politically correct police complain, when pastor Rick Warren asked both presidential candidates at the Saddleback Civil Forum last month, "Does evil exist? And if it does, do we ignore it? Do we negotiate with it? Do we contain it? Do we defeat it?"
In modernist fashion John McCain answered, "Defeat it," and then cited radical Islamic terrorists. In post-modern fashion Barack Obama said that it exists in many places, such as Darfur and our own neighborhoods, and that it's "God's task" to rid the world of evil.
One thing is for sure, for modernists and post-modernists alike, Americans have all been affected by the events of 9/11. Some are still mourning. And sadly, some have 'forgotten' what was behind what happened.
But, laying that debate aside for now...
Today all Americans should pause and remember not only what happened, but the lives and families that were shattered.
Today all Americans should be grateful for the service, dedication and even lives given, of the first responders to rescue victims from the Twin Towers.
Today all Americans should remember how we united, regardless of political or worldview leanings, as we realized we had a common enemy who not only disagrees with us, but hates us and wants to destroy us.
Today is a day to be United in Memory, vowing to forgive, but not to forget, so that we can see clearly ahead in what has now become a war on terror.
And...Today is a day to stop and pray for the victims of 9/11 and their families, and to express our memories and emotions in constructive ways -- by serving our fellow Americans in ways that make a difference in their lives.
May God continue to Bless America.