Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thinking, Praying and Remembering 9-11

This month marked the tenth anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

This is not news to anyone in this country with access to a radio, TV, or social media. You cannot avoid it. I know because I've tried.

(Credit: Free images from

Every generation seems to have at least one defining event. Some happening that alters the thinking of an entire nation. For my parents, it was Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. For me, it was the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy along with Martin Luther King, Jr. For my children, it was planes flying into the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

In each of these events, gallant men and women have risked their lives to help those in harm's way. Many gave their lives to save the lives of others. These heroes deserve our gratitude and admiration. They were God's hands of love in dangerous times. And so are the men and women who follow in their footsteps today.

But we must be honest about our responses to these history shaping events. We have also acted out of fear and hatred. Internment camps for Japanese American citizens. Dropping atomic bombs. Riots and looting. Burning crosses. Church bombings. Wars.

What can we do as we reflect on 9-11 ten years later?

  • We can pray for those who still have an empty chair at the dinner table because a loved one died in the attacks.

  • We can pray for our leaders who must make morally difficult and perplexing decisions every day.

  • We can pray for God's love to flow through us to those in need.

  • We can pray for those who plot to kill us and to destroy our nation.

  • We can pray that God will drive fear and hatred from our hearts.

The best thing we can do as we reflect on 9-11 this year is to pray.

That's what I've been doing. What about you doing as you remember that historic day? Let me know in the comments below.

If this post has been helpful to you, you may also enjoy Remembering 9/11: What Pastors Should and Shouldn't Do and this painting by my friend Seal Seal.

1 comment:

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