We are remembering today the attacks that took the lives of 2,977 people. 19 years have passed but I still clearly remember where I was when I watched the two towers come down.
I was having breakfast when my wife called to me to come upstairs and see something she was watching on a TV morning show. She said:
“Come here, you have to see this!”
I remember thinking that it was a really horrible accident until I saw a second plane hit the other tower and then I knew we were watching a world changing event. But I was not prepared for the horror of the two towers actually coming down one after another killing thousands.
19 years have come and gone and there was a time when I thought that we would eventually be safe from terrorism in this country. But now it seems to be rising up in our own midst with home grown protesters and Islamists with no end in sight.
Now Islamic terrorist events are happening almost every week somewhere in the world and it is no longer a big surprise but has unfortunately become part of our modern way of life. Meanwhile, traveling by Air will never be the same and it is really hard to remember how ignorant about Islam we all were before 9/11/01.
On the positive side- the 9/11 museum is now open in New York City and the Freedom Tower has replaced the two towers that fell that day. May God continue to bless America and may Americans remember ‘when’ but also remember to thank God for all of the blessing we do have and continue to experience.
Our family visited the 9/11 Memorial in NY City 10 days ago and found it to be an experience that is nearly impossible to put into words.The site is huge and nearly everywhere you look there is new construction going on. We quietly filed into the memorial grounds with thousands of others but it was the sounds of construction and not of people that were plainly heard the day we were there. Today it is a place of quite reflection.
While that day we remembered what happened on 9/11/01 our greatest thoughts were on the future as we viewed the new Freedom Tower rising up to dominant a new NY City skyline along with two other World Trade towers rising also from the ashes of the past.
Personally, the greatest experience for me was visiting St. Paul’s Chapel (Built in 1766- picture above) which was right across the street from the memorial and had been a staging and resting area for the rescue people following 9/11/01.
The history of the chapel is incredible. It was the church that George Washington worshipped in and following his 1st inauguration at Federal Hall in NYC 1789, Washington and the entire new government of the United States including the new Congressmen and Senators walked to St. Paul’s Chapel and prayed together for the future of the new constitutional republic of America that began that day. At that time, all of the lands on which the World Trade Center was later built upon were part of the church property.
Coming out of the experience of actually being there and reading about the history of the site I am now convinced that the attack was not just one of terror and politics but was also a spiritual attack on the religious foundations of our nation. The rebuilding at the site shows our resolve but the real future of America will be defined by our spiritual responses and condition.
We have a past where the entire American government prayed for our future on that very site. “May a new spiritual awakening start in this very place and bring a new revival all across America while there is yet day”: that was one of the prayers I prayed 10 days ago in Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero. Let us remember the past and look to the future, pray for revival, and pray that God will bless America once more.