Evans High School. 3rd Period. Mrs. Chomskis’ Class. A girl named Erin ran in to tell the news.
“Turn the tv on! A plane just hit one of the Twin Towers.”
Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001 when they heard the news.
Well, not everyone anymore.
Today marks the 12 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Which means anyone under the age of 15 or so couldn’t possibly remember the chaos of that day.
A “60 Minutes” story last year on the new September 11th Memorial noted the majority of visitors were students under 15 who had no first person recollection of the attacks.
Can you believe we’re at this point already, an entire generation removed from 9/11?
On the 12th anniversary of September 11th the world still has more questions than answers. How did we fail to protect our country that day? Were we really justified to head into Afghanistan and Iraq all those years ago? In the wake of those wars ending what should we do now as we face down new enemies in Syria?
There are no easy answers with terrorism. Our response as believers is not to claim we know all the answers. Our response is not to pick sides in the politics of this world. Our response must be to keep telling the story.
One day a hundred years from now September 11th will be just a story in a history book. Every story fades with time if we are not careful.
Some remain relevant and others pass by. But we must never forget. We must keep telling the story. We must tell the story of our faith through every situation. Through every joy and every pain. Through every elation and every devastation.
The story of September 11th demands telling. The generations need 9/11 memorials and reminders of the evil and the fear of that day. They also need us to remind them of the community and the charity and the heroes and the love of that day as well.
The motto of our nation in the weeks and months after September 11th was “Never Forget”. Our hyperactive culture even then recognized that soon enough 9/11 would no longer be news. Soon the haunting events of that day would become no longer personal memories but pages in history books.
Why was the call to “never forget” so vital? Because our children need to know the depths of what evil is capable of. Because our children need to know the selfless and sacrificial love of those who did not stand idly by. Because the pain of those days points us to the one who rescues.
Just as we retell stories of the Holocaust, just as we retell the story of Adam and Eve, we must always remind ourselves of the world outside our bubble, outside our Facebook News Feed and Twitter Timeline. We must keep telling the story to ourselves and to the world.
It’s a reminder of what happened. It’s a reminder of the potential of our people. It’s a reminder that whatever pain shall come, this too shall pass.
With our hands we are called to serve and to pray. To tell a new story of love and redemption. To point to a better story.
With these hands we’ll pass our stories down. And with these hands we’ll pray for healing and new life.
Never forget September 11. Never forget where you were when it all went down. Never forget who you became in those moments. Never forget what our country became in those moments.
Never forget your faith. Never forget the story.
“With these hands, with these hands, I pray Lord. I pray for the strength, Lord. I pray for the faith, Lord. We pray for your love, Lord. We pray for the loss, Lord. We pray for this world, Lord. We pray for the strength, Lord. With these hands, with these hands.” – Bruce Springsteen, “My City Of Ruins”
What do you remember about September 11, 2001?