Ten years ago today my now dead mother called me and through tears insisted I turn on the TV to see what was happening. She couldn’t explain, it was too much.
I did turn on the TV and understood right away that someone had declared war on us. We had been sucker punched.
I watched as the Pentagon was hit.
I knew people in both the World Trade Center in New York and in the Pentagon.
I was driving to work when the first tower fell. I was at work watching when the second one fell. I left work and went home to be with friends, I was no good to anyone.
Then I learned that another plane had crashed in a field.
Then I learned that my nephew had been born safely, that he was healthy and my sister was well.
That day rolled on for a millennium. As Rudy Gulliani said of the number of dead, it was more than we can bear.
In the ten years since that awful joyful day many things have happened, all of which we have borne. We have opened multiple fronts on a war on Al Qaida and it’s minions and allies. Many people have died. I have many more nieces and nephews. My daughter came of age and is back in my life, now grown and married with children.
September 11th will remain a day to remember an atrocity committed against us. As December 7th has remained a day that will live in infamy, though fewer people remember the day well.
September 11th is also my nephew’s birthday. Now I’ve got a new nephew in law who also shares that day.
I will NEVER forget what happened on September 11th, 2001, we would be beyond stupid to attempt to forget that a bunch of madmen burning up with a mad 9th century dream of world domination have attacked us again and again. We forget to our deadly peril.
However, this is just a day. It is good to remember why we are at war. But it is also good to live, celebrate life, enjoy it, cuddle up and suckle it for all it is worth.
The Sunday that followed that horrific Tuesday in 2001 we sang an old hymn that still comforts me and encourages me. As a Christian, I understand that our foe is not just flesh and blood. We are at war and under attack every day. That war has been raging since before time.
A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe –
His craft and pow’r are great, And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he –
Lord Sabbaoth His name, From age to age the same –
And He must win the battle.
And tho this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.
The prince of darkness grim – We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure –
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs – No thanks to them – abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thru Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever.