Remembering this Day

I might be dating myself, but I was in seventh grade when the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania happened. I remember I was in second period history with Mr. Costanza (maybe that’s how you spell it?)

I remember I was supposed to go to Washington D.C. the next day with my father. He had a conference, I was a nerd, and he was going to unleash little Will on the network of Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall. That didn’t happen.

I remember not hearing about the attack until my best friend told me in the cafeteria. He told me two airplanes hit the World Trade Center, and all I could think of was what was that?

In the years that have followed much violence, death, and hatred has been bred because of that day. Thousands have died, thousands have been tortured, and many more people have lived under the constant fear of death.

Each year we return to this day remembering the lives lost because of men whose hatred ruled their lives. Each year I return to this day thinking that hatred has ruled many of our (Americans) hearts and thus allowed us to perpetrate heinous acts of retaliation.

When I remember this day, I remember pain and loss. But I also remember the immediate outpouring of love for one another immediately after. The firefighters, police officers and everyday people running towards the pain and loss and putting themselves in harms way to help, not to hurt.

Might we remember those men and women, who when faced with tragedy, chose love.

After last night’s announcement of a return to military action in Iraq (did we ever really leave?), I hang my head low in disbelief.

When will love win?

When will the violence stop?

When will we remember we are all human brothers and sisters?

I hope it is soon. I pray it soon.

I hope we can work to make it so, by loving one another.

By listening before speaking. By turning our guns, grenades, and bombs into plowshares.

Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But who can say if we don’t try?

Will you pray with me?

Lord, we remember the old hymn, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.” In these days, help us return not only to our hurt but to Your help, and let us go on to help others because of what we have been through together. O God of resurrection, from the destruction of precious lives and presumed security, bring forth faith, hope, and courage. From safety weapons cannot offer, let us find security in Your arms. And let us follow You all the way Home. – Rev. Joel Hunter


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