Remembering September 11, 2001


Seventeen years ago, nineteen Islamic extremists—funded by the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda—carried out a plot to attack various sites in America using four fully-fueled commercial planes. I still remember turning on the news and watching in horror as smoke billowed from one of towers in New York’s skyline.

But the carnage had not ended. While we listened to the dumbfounded reporter, a second plane flew directly into the second tower.

It was like something from a nightmare.

I don’t remember sitting down. I just watched the scene unfolding as I stood dumbstruck in my parents’ living room. I bodies falling from the towers as people chose to death by impact over burning alive.

More unspeakable horror.

A person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center as another clings to the outside, left center, while smoke and fire billow from the building, Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001. Terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

I remember wondering aloud, “Which country is attacking us?!” as another plane collided with the Pentagon.

As I drove home from a morning appointment, reports came in of another plane crashed at a remote site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Once all planes in the United States were finally grounded, an eerie silence pervaded those usually noisy California skies.

To this day, it is incomprehensible to me why anyone would willingly sacrifice their life in order to commit mass murder. Why would you kill yourself out of hate toward people you don’t even know? It didn’t make sense then and it still doesn’t make sense now!

By contrast, Jesus allowed himself to be crucified because He loved us so abundantly. I often have trouble comprehending that too, but I know that sacrifice motivated by love is far more powerful than sacrifices motivated by hate.

As humans, we are rather forgetful. Our greater purposes are often eclipsed by the urgent, momentary demands of life. As a country it is vital to remember days like today—days that changed the face of our country—so we can honor the sacrifice of those who responded to an act of hate by showing self-sacrificing love for the men and women beside them.

Today, remember 9/11/01—a day that contrasted hatred and love. Talk to your children or your friends about what you remember. Put out your flag. Do something kind for a fellow American.

As Christians, we too must never forget the act of love that changed the face of our hearts, the course of our lives, and the fate of our souls. Because of Jesus’ great act of love, we have confident expectation of an eternal life, where we will no longer be subjected to the cruelty of evil people.

16 thoughts on “Remembering September 11, 2001

  1. Amen. The way I explain it to my 9 year old is, that before 9/11 we never thought about church shootings, or something happening at school or at work. We had a sense that the fighting doesn’t happen here. But, that day everything changed.
    We are made whole in Christ and find our security in Him, but the terrorist did take something from us that day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh yes, I remember that day. My youngest was barely a toddler and hubby and I were glued to the TV, trying to wrap our brains around what had just happened. Everything changed that day, our world as we knew it suddenly shifted. In the US we are somewhat safe and comfortable, this kind of stuff happens in other parts of the world or in movies that aren’t real.

    I also remember the way we came together as a country, the comfort we extended to one another, the unity we suddenly had. It’s sad that it so often takes a tragedy to bring that out in us, to make us come together with some compassion and to set aside our politics and other divisions.

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  3. I recall it with complete clarity. I was actually working for the Veteran’s Administration managing a retail store in the VA Hospital in our area. We had a wall of TVs on display, like most retail stores, so I, staff, and patients all stood there watching on multiple TVs as it unfolded. It was quite unsettling to many of the veterans, especially in light of the fact that this particular facility was where veterans with any sort of mental issues went for treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine! Being a veteran can leave so many invisible, lingering scars. Many veterans get disheartened when they see the country they love being attacked, and that is only topped by the stupidity of certain citizens/companies (like the company that rhymes with Mikey…)

      I can only guess at the emotions felt as you all continued watching it unfold.

      I only caught snippets throughout the day between various appointments and work, but I couldn’t get over the silence in the sky. In San Diego there is constant air traffic, but it was so eerily quiet that day.

      Liked by 1 person

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