Friday, September 11, 2020

Remembering that morning 19 years ago . . .


This morning, after watching the coverage of the anniversary of a day that forever changed our country, I received an email from a friend.  A friend I love, with whom I share many values – faith, family, community.

And with whom I am on the opposite side of the aisle, whose truth differs drastically from what I believe.  A friend who loves me although there are truths upon which we will never agree.

The email read:

God bless America & United We Stand as we remember the heroes of 9/11 and the cowardly unprovoked attack from Radical Islamic Terrorists.

It is true that our country was attacked.

It is true that Americans came together in many ways that day & the months after.  It is also true that some Americans began to draw lines – to shun & blame all Muslims as complicit in a horror planned & played out by a small, radical segment of Islam.

But on this day as we remember those first responders who gave & risked their lives, as we remember those we lost & their families, should our focus be on the idea that “Radical Islamic Terrorists” attacked our country?

We have been attacked in the years since that day – but not just by those radicalized by a fringe group claiming to follow the tenets of Islam.

Today we are attacked from within. 

Not by radicalized followers of Islam, but by groups that claim white supremacy as a God given right, by groups who cannot & refuse to accept difference without feeling threatened.  By groups who seek to destroy our institutions & bring about a racially charged civil war.

By individuals radicalized by home grown radical philosophy – individuals who attack synagogues, mosques, churches, shopping malls – all in the quest to restore a non-existent world without color or difference.

What is it we should take away from the roll call of names at Ground Zero?

Today was not about those who attacked us or their motives.

Today’s anniversary of September 11th, 2001, was about remembering those names & all the names of the first responders & ordinary citizens who lost their lives saving people they didn’t know.  People of all shades.

This anniversary was about remembering what we lost & how coming together gave us the strength to survive that loss.  It was about moments of silence & prayer.

So I prayed the same prayer today that I sent the Lord last night during the moment of silence prior to the Texans vs. Chiefs football game.

That in this moment, when the threat to our democracy & our survival is as great as it was 19 years ago, the Lord will move His people to come together & choose to follow Christ & vote for hope rather than division & fear.

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