Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11

Today is the 9 year anniversary of the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001. I still remember exactly where I was sitting and what I was doing in my small classroom in northern Maine- hundreds of miles away from the World Trade Centers and Pentagon. The nation was quiet as everyone watched the first tower burning. We thought, "What a horrible accident" then all went still as the second tower was hit. Fear filled our veins -- it tore at our hearts. Even though I was only 11 years old, I remember feeling afraid. I asked myself, "How could people do something this horrible to other people?"

As I grew older and began to understand politics, motives, and world religion. I felt grieved as I realized the terrorists committed this act out of religious devotion. Questions such as, "Why would someone follow a religion which promotes and encourages shedding innocent blood?" then arose.

In my sophomore year of high school, I was required in my Honors English II class to read a biography. In the library I looked through all the usual choices - actors, musicians, presidents - then I saw a modest sized book tucked in among the others. "Let's Roll -- a biography of Todd Beamer." I'd never heard this name before, but was intrigued by the cover and blurb on the back.


After approving Todd Beamer's biography with my teacher, I dove into the text. It was so moving. Todd was a very active member in his church and was involved in the youth ministry. He had a family -- a wife, two boys, and a little girl who was born after the tragedy. On the morning of September 11, 2001 he boarded US Flight 93 oblivious (as all were) to the peril ahead. Todd and other passengers worked together to overcome the terrorists who commandeered their plane. Before the crash, Todd is recorded speaking with a 911 representative. He is said to have recited Psalm 23 with her and then said, "Let's Roll" before the passengers began their heroic actions to act against the terrorists. T
heir actions potentially saved hundreds and possibly thousands of lives!

On this anniversary, I ask myself a new question, "Are we to bring ourselves as Americans down a level and physically lash out against those who caused us so much hurt and anger"? In my humble opinion, the answer is absolutely not. We are not showing a good example by burning the Koran or discriminating against middle-eastern people. It is not our "mission" to hurt these people because they hurt us. We call ourselves "Christians," but are we truly living up to that name - or - are we justifying our "religious" choices with the Christian name?

After the attacks people across the United States came together to pray and grieve. Even though the person standing next to you was a stranger or a different race, there was a feeling of
connection - a desire to help pick someone up out of the dust and lend a helping hand.
Memorials sprung up across the nation, songs were sung, prayers were prayed, and tears were shed. Lets come back to this mindset of togetherness. We should use the foundation our country was built upon to show the world that we are proud to be Americans and we care about each other; regardless of our difference in race or values.

I say "Let's Roll". Let's come together as a nation; not to lower ourselves to a state of violence and anger, but to discover a Christ likeness and rekindle bonds between different peoples, values, and countries.

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