But in the sadness there was beauty
A country bound as one in unity
That day back then our toughest test
But that was America at its best
(“20 Years” by Gretchen Keskeys)
When America is at its best, we stand united. When we stop looking out for ourselves and look out for each other. When we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on others. America is at its best when we open our eyes and see beyond ourselves.
On September 11, 2001, our eyes were opened. It no longer was about ourselves, but about our country. Life changed forever that day. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost that day, and thousands more over the last 20 years, as a result of what happened on that day. Our eyes were opened and filled with fire, tempered with tears. We looked not to ourselves but to each other. What could I do to help them?
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13, NIV)
Firefighters, police officers, and emergency personnel flocked to the burning buildings, stunned by what they were seeing, and what they had already seen. And then, as one, they entered those buildings, very aware it was likely to be the last thing they ever did. They were trained. They were prepared. They were ready.
The heroic actions of the trained first responders is never to be diminished. There was also another group of people who deserved to be remembered that day. They were not trained. They were not prepared. They were not ready. They are the people already inside the building. They are the people who stood up and took the initiative to begin evacuations. They are the people who stayed behind. They are the people who showed up and said, “Put me to work. What can I do?” They are the ones who stood in line for hours to donate blood. They are the ones who fed the tireless workers. They are the ones who handed out water. They are the people on Flight 93, “Let’s Roll!”
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good….Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:9,15 NIV)
Both the trained and the untrained, the prepared and the unprepared, the ready and the not ready, showed their love that day. Through their actions and their sacrifices. They saw evil and were determined to do good, to overcome the evil with love. On this day, 20 years ago, America stood united. Rejoicing together at the small miracles to appear, and weeping together at the devastation consuming the nation. But we stood together!
On this day, 20 years later, let us once again be America united. Let us rejoice together in our Lord and let us weep together for those we have lost. Let us remember all those whose lives were lost. Let us remember those who stood united and took the steps that cost them their lives, in order to save others. Pray! Pray for all who are suffering and mourning this day. Pray for America!
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