We all remember where we were when we first heard the news. I was at work, checking a news site before I began my day. For the rest of the day, I didn’t turn away from the site as reports kept coming in. What we were hearing and seeing was unimaginable.
We didn’t know how to respond, so we stood in line to give blood that utimately wasn’t needed. We cheered our President as he spoke through the bull horn at ground zero. We were one country.
We turned to God. We turned to prayer. Churches were full as we sought answers. As we sought peace.
For days, we’ve been remembering, and I share some of those memories here. When the 10th anniversary of the first attack occurs, I will be in church, where I am every Sunday.
But, I will remember.
The following are but a few of the remembrances of that horrible day.
If you only read one commentary, read this one:
We’ll Never Get Over It, Nor Should We
Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal.
They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can’t bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: “America You Are Not Alone.” To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire.
The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to arrive at the scene of the WTC attacks>
Russell D. Moore, Christianity Today
Without the blood, the bones, and the explosions, September 11 becomes an abstraction, a symbolic backdrop to debates about “troop presence” in Afghanistan, “diplomatic initiatives” with Pakistan, and the limits of “airport security.” When advanced technology makes warfare seem as bloodless as a video game, images of carnage can remind us of what’s really at stake. In the right balance, a full-frontal engagement with evil can remind us of its realness, as well as the limits of its reach.
Governor McDonnell Proclaims September 11th Day of Remembrance, Patriotism and Prayer in Virginia
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell has issued a proclamation marking September 11th a “Day of Remembrance, Patriotism and Prayer” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Governor’s proclamation is below and can be found at this
DAY OF REMEMBRANCE,
PATRIOTISM AND PRAYER
WHEREAS, the events of September 11, 2001 have profoundly affected–and continue to affect–all aspects of our society, and the lives of Virginians, Americans and people across the world were changed forever following the destruction of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, the attack against the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the crash of Flight 93 in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, ten years later the citizens of our Commonwealth and these United States continue to mourn for the more than three thousand innocent voices that were tragically silenced–including 184 in Virginia at the Pentagon–by terrorists on that infamous day of death and destruction; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that we never forget our shock and revulsion at the needless destruction, the bravery of our first responders who risked all for their neighbors, our anguish from the sudden loss of so many precious lives, or how we as a people did not succumb to a state of fear as the terrorists intended, but instead set aside our differences and united as patriots in our country’s hour of need; and
WHEREAS, while we reflect upon the memory of the departed, it is important that we also pause to remember and honor the sacrifices of all those members of our armed forces who have given their lives in heroic service to our country and all members of our military who have volunteered to bring those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and their supporters to justice during the Global War on Terror; and
WHEREAS, prayer has long served as a measure of our nation’s strong heritage of faith and has been an indispensable source of moral and spiritual guidance for citizens throughout our Commonwealth’s history, and it is fitting that our Commonwealth reserve a day in which our citizens may reflect and mourn–consistent with their own faith traditions–with those who have suffered as a result of terrorism, to humbly ask God for the strength and fortitude necessary to protect our lives, liberty and property from future transgressions, and to give thanks for the freedoms with which we as a people are fortunate enough to be blessed;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize September 11, 2011 as a DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, PATRIOTISM AND PRAYER in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens; and
FURTHERMORE, I urge all citizens of our Commonwealth to display the flag of the United States of America wherever possible, and I invite all to witness a one-minute, statewide Moment of Silence starting at 9:39 AM–when American Airlines Flight 77 impacted with the Pentagon in our County of Arlington–and I encourage Virginians to reflect upon the lives lost and heroic sacrifices made on that fateful eleventh day of September.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library has assembled a collection of videos from that day and the days following. Follow this link
There are many more tributes to read and to watch, and to make us weep.
The U.S. flag flies proudly from my front porch today. I am proud to be an American.
And I will never forget the attacks of that day, the innocent, unsuspecting victims, and the hundreds of brave first responders who rushed to their deaths in an effort to save others.
God bless them.
And God bless America.