Never Forget

by - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seventeen years ago today marks what has been called "the defining event of our time." September 11, 2001 was a day that will forever be in the hearts of Americans. The United States faced an attack on a scale never seen before -- thousands of people lost their lives and countless heroes laid theirs down. 

Nearly everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. I was only one year old at the time, and my mom tells me that she got a call from my dad who had already left for work. He told her that our nation was under attack and that she needed to turn on the news. 

Others can recount how they almost were at the World Trade Center that day, and the reasons why they didn't make it there are the ones that saved their lives. 

I think of all the lives lost that day. Those who died on immediate impact in the Twin Towers, whether they were in the plane or the buildings. Those who couldn't bear to die trapped and burning and chose to jump.

I think of the courageous firefighters who risked their all to bring people out of the buildings, running up flights of stairs, with the full knowledge that their life could be cut off in an instant. I think of all the ordinary, average individuals who performed extraordinary acts of selflessness and bravery, helping others escape. 

I think of Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, and all of the others on Flight 93 who courageously went straight towards peril when they decided to do what they could to stop the hijackers from hitting yet another American landmark. They saved so many more lives, and laid down their own in a field in Pennsylvania. I think of his wife, Lisa Beamer, and her two sons and daughter. They are without a husband and father to this day. Yet they live with his valiant memory; a man who loved and served his God first, and family and country second. 

Every year at this time, I read Lisa Beamer's book Let's Roll, rightly named for the phrase her husband uttered right before he and fellow passengers launched their unflinching attack on their captors. And every year, I am brought to tears when I read about Todd Beamer's remarkable life and legacy -- full of Christ, love, family, and bravery.

Through it all, I am reminded of God's great grace and mercy. He held America in His hands. And He still does. 

Evil men with an evil creed sought to destroy life and liberty that day. But as President George W. Bush rightfully stated, "This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world." 

America did do this. We came together as a nation, and we have stood for justice, peace, and liberty. 

May we always be the beacon of light and freedom to the rest of the world. No matter what evil comes against us, may we Never Forget, and may God bless America.

*photos from Unsplash

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