9/11/2009

TERRORIST ATTACKSEight years ago today, I was on my way to the dentist’s office  (not my favorite place to be) when I heard on the radio that a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center towers.  At that point no one really knew what was going on and the crash was being viewed as a horrific accident.

As I sat in the waiting room watching the coverage on television the second plane hit the second tower and it became clear exactly what was going on.  This was no accident.  As the story developed we learned that there were at least two more planes under the control of terrorists.  Would there be more?  We didn’t know.

As it turned out there were only four.  Only four?!  How could this happen?  Where was airport security?  Was this the beginning of the end?

In the days that followed, the citizens of the United States became united in a combination of emotions, mostly fear and anger.  Republicans and Democrats joined together to search for survivors.  There was no partisanship, only patriotism.    It seemed that the terrorists had underestimated us.  Instead of bringing the USA to its knees,  it appeared that we would emerge from this crises stronger and more united than ever before.

That was eight years ago.  Today, as we remember that day and mourn the thousands of people who died in the attacks, we’ve regressed.  In fact, we’ve fallen further into disunity than we were prior to September, 2001.  Politicians and their cronies on both sides of the aisle have used the War on Terror to further their own political agendas.  Frankly, things are a mess.

As we pause and remember the victims of that terrible day, including the brave men and women who rushed into the fray endangering their own lives in the effort to save others, as we pray for them, I’d like to suggest that we also pray for our country.  Readers in other countries, I’d like to ask for your prayers, too.  Pray that we might once again experience the unity that followed the terrorist attacks and that it doesn’t take another tragedy to bring us all together.

I generally try to separate my online secular writing from my religious writing.  However, in this case, I’ll make an exception.  I delivered a homily on this topic this morning.  If you’re interested, you can read it here.

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