11 September 2011

I Remember

Yesterday as I was reading different thoughts & posts online, I ran across the following comment:

Not into the whole "remembrance" thing this weekend, because I love looking forward instead, but this beautiful creature is too awesome not to share with everyone! You rock, Guinness!
Guinness served at ground zero after the 9-11 attacks. This brave boy is now a 14 year old retiree. Dog Bless You, Guinness. Tune in to Dog Bless You tomorrow for the premiere of our 9-11 tribute on the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.
It made me so sad, not because this person was highlighting a profile in a dog's courage (a beautiful tribute), but because there was an underlying snarkiness to the remark, a tinge of negative judgment toward all of us who have remembered with heavy hearts each year, and whose hearts are particularly full on this 10th anniversary of the worst attack on U.S. soil.  Our country was targeted, savagely & brutally attacked ten years ago today, and left stunned & reeling in the wake of it.

I will never forget it.  I can't.  Every time I am reminded of that sad day in our nation's history, I am transported back to that morning at 8:47am as I am driving to work, listening to the morning music program, and I get a call from my brother, who says "Where are you?  A plane just hit the World Trade Center.  Turn on the radio!"  For the rest of that day, and days after, I was rooted to the news...on the radio, on TV, on the internet, in the newspaper.  I had to watch...I had to listen...I had to sear it into my memory and make it a part of me.

Our country was rightly...and righteously...outraged.  How could someone hate us so much, just for our way of life?  We were (momentarily) cohesive in our grief, our anger, our indignation, our resolve.  For a few brief moments we were a nation undivided, mourning the loss of so many innocent lives, proudly hailing the heroic actions of so many individuals on that sad day, understanding that their decisions were instrumental in saving lives while they were losing their own.  For the briefest second we all...every one...supported our President as he spoke out loud what was in all of our hearts & minds.

How can something that united us so completely when it happened divide us so intensely a decade later?  How does a President who was in office barely eight months get the blame...virtually in its entirety...for this act of terrorism?  How is it that ten years later...ten years in which we have not been attacked once within our borders...we are less safe according to some than we were when it happened?  How is it that the act of remembering, of honoring, of memorializing those whom we lost has become so controversial?  How is it that it has become more appropriate to look forward, to leave the whole incident in our past, than to stop on its anniversary and mark the moment, if only to reconfirm to ourselves that this moment in history should never be repeated?

I remember.

I am comforted that, providentially, this tenth anniversary falls on my day of worship...that I will mark it not only by remembering, but also by knowing that God in his sovereignty has used this most devastating of events to turn hearts to Him, that he has shown his immense mercy and grace through the myriad acts of selflessness, kindness, and fortitude by all who responded, who cared for the hurt & broken, and who demonstrated the overwhelming compassion and love our fellow Americans have for each other.

I remember.

I will always remember, and on this day & every day, may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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