xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml'> The Pastor's Perspective: Remembering 9-11

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9-11



Twin Towers In New York City





Today marks the 10 yr Anniversary of the most horrific attack on this country since Pearl Harbor known simply as 9-11.  This was the day where our entire country was brought to its proverbial knees as we watched in shock as 4 United Airline planes were hi-jacked and 2 were flown into the Trade Center Towers in New York City, 1 crashed into the Pentagon and 1 seemingly in route to the White House went down in a field in Pennsylvania. The Twin Towers as pictured above which was once a symbol of power and strength were toppled in this national disaster that took place in the heart of New York City.

I personally remember this day as extremely surreal, as it was only a few months after I had started working a new job as an Analyst for the State of Michigan. Working on the corner of WoodWard and the Boulevard in what was known as "The Labor" building. I remember listening to sports radio 1130AM "The Fan" while at my desk and as the show was wrapping up one of the host mentioned seeing a huge gaping whole in one on the Twin Towers on television.

And as I was listening I thought he was joking as I was use to hearing this particular radio show periodically practical joke their listeners. And, I thought this was just another one of their routines. But, then I heard him say he was serious and my curiosity got the best of me and I turned the radio to News Radio 950 AM only to  hear a barrage of voices and interruptions from their CBS News affiliate breaking into their local news  station to broadcast what had just happened in New York City. At the time it was believed to have been an accident or an isolated event that had taken place, where one plane had flew its way into one of the Trade Center Towers. But, what we later discovered that this was all apart of the plan from this mysterious group only known as Al Quaeda. The plan was for one plane to hit Trade Center Tower to capture the attention of the national and international media across the globe and then 15 mins later to capture the 2nd plan as it flew into the 2nd Tower.

I remember the feeling of tremendous fear that I felt after that 2nd plane flew into that 2nd Tower, and wondering to myself what was happening. Were we experiencing the beginning of the end? There was a tremendous amount of confusion not just around the country in the world, but right in our tiny little office where my co-workers were huddled around their radios trying to take in the gravity of what was happening in our country. Once it became clear that this was a terrorist attack on our country, I remember wondering how many cities were targeted for the attack and was Detroit one of the cities targeted. This was a legitimate question to ask especially given that Detroit is a border city with a bridge and tunnel to Canada; our neighbor, thus making us a target as well. The city was put on watch, our building along with other city, state and federal building were locked down due to security concerns. And, then after the 2nd plane flew into the Trade Center Tower, we continue hearing about planes flying into the Pentagon and then one going down in Pennsylvania. I remember just wondering when was this going to end and who was behind all of this? There was a great sense of uneasiness and worry that overcame everyone that watching these events unfold whether it was on television, radio or even first hand.

The events of this disastrous day that took place 10yrs ago have been en-grained in the minds of every American. The families of those whose lives were lost due to this enormous tragedy will never forget this day. Their lives have been forever changed by this. But, what did come of this was a resiliency and courage that has helped this nation pick up this pieces from this attack and helped us to regain our national natcomposure. The unity and solidarity that the people of this nation showed during this critical time demonstrated our national resolve. I've gained a greater respect for all areas of law enforcement, firefighters and the like who shouldered the burden of search and rescue and then recovery of the thousands of victims whose lives were lose due to this tragedy.

This picture above really illustrates the unity, strength and courage that was shown by those rescue workers, firefighters and other law enforcement personnel that contributed to the massive recover effort in what is now referred to as "Ground Zero." The unity that was shown here is an outward expression of the poetic words of John Donne; the poet, "No man is an island entire of himself. Every man is apart of the man. If a man dies it diminishes me for I am involved with mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." This disastrous event revealed a cosmic interdependence of the human spirit that says what happens to one happens to us all, what effects one effects us all. That this terrorist attack planned for New York & Washington, D.C. respectively effects everyone in this country and the  rest of the world. And, the response to this disasterous event will be a collective not just from New Yorkers but from citizens from the entire world. A quote that I believe summed it up best came from President George W. Bush. During an impromptu speech at Ground Zero he said to a city and a nation of mourners, "I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all us soon." This spirit of unity and strength should be the prevailing themes that move our nation forward. What is unfortunate is that amidst the healing process that our nation has undergone and trying to build the bridge to emotional and spiritual recovery, we hear of more terrorist attacks and other acts of violence. We also hear expressions of hatred and intolerance towards the Islamic faith by other so-called Christians. Pastor Terry Jones, who pastors a small church in Florida planned to burn Qurans on this day in response to a plan to build a Islamic Mosque on the "Ground Zero"site in New York City.  While the U.S. Constitution protects this act of "Free Speech" it paints a very bad picture of the Christian Faith, which is a faith deeply rooted in love and tolerance. I'm glad that this event was canceled. And, hopefully we as a nation can move on from this and continue in the healing process.
Pastor Terry Jones
My question to you is where were you on this dreadful day in our nation's history? I would like to hear your stories that stem from what happened on September 11, 2001.What lessons have you learned during all of this? Please feel free to share you stories of truimph as well as tragedy in this forum with us. As we are all in this together, and who knows how your story may  help someone else get through a time of tragedy themselves. Let us never forget; let us never forget!

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