I’ve shared my memories of 9/11 a few times before. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but the further we get from 9/11/01, the less I know how I am supposed to feel. Of course, there is no one right way to feel. But as I was thinking of enjoyable plans for later in the day, I almost felt a little guilty when I remembered what day this was.
No one can say for sure, but I don’t think the people who died that day would resent people enjoying themselves on future anniversaries of that date. At least, if it were me, I don’t think I would…as long as people don’t completely forget.
I watched some of the coverage this morning. Those clips from that day reminded me how stunned I was. The first plane crashing was bad enough. But then it seemed we were hit by wave after wave: a second plane flying into the other tower, the horror of people jumping out of the windows, of the towers collapsing, a third plane crashing into the Pentagon, a fourth in PA. Then the next several days as more details and stories came to light, there was horror and sorrow but also inspiration. I don’t ever want to forget that. As I watched part of the ceremony this morning in which the names were read of the people who had died that day, each section was finished with a family member saying a few words to or about their own loved one who had died. It brought back again that these were real people with real families left behind with real gaping holes in their lives and hearts.
But as long as we don’t forget those people who died and their loved ones left here, I think perhaps they would be glad that people can enjoy themselves here and now, that 9/11 did not usher in an era of terrorism on our soil like many feared it would.
Then again, this morning I was reading of Christians meeting underground and suffering persecution in a country where the gospel cannot be shared freely without severe consequences. The writer shared Hebrews 13:3: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” There are so many places where terrorism and a lack of freedom is the norm. We must remember them.
Last year a student from my alma mater made this film about his father, who was originally slated to pilot the first flight.
One of the things that stood out to me was his wife saying, “You don’t know what is going to happen Sept. 11 when you’re living Sept. 10.” We truly never know what a day will bring forth, and we need to be ready to meet our Maker at any time.
Another thing was this man’s renewed sense of urgency to make his life count for Christ, to remember he was living “on borrowed time.”
And finally, as he said, though someone died in his place on 9/11, Someone else died in his place on the cross.