9_11On the morning or September 11, 2001, I was on the bike trail along the Santa Ana River, finishing up a 20 mile bike ride.  The cell phone in my pocket rang, so I pulled to the side of the trail.  The caller ID said it was my business partner, Paul.   Do you know what’s going on in New York City? he said.   Of course, I didn’t.   He told me that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and that it appeared it was a deliberate act.   He described the collapse of one of the Towers.  My mind didn’t quite grasp that phrase … collapse of one of the Towers … until I saw it on the news later in the morning.   As we finished talking, I looked down at the odometer on my bike.  It read 666.   If you are of certain religious persuasions, you believe that is the devil’s number.  I’m not so persuaded but it was still chilling.  At home later, I watched in horror as the sight of the planes crashing into the buildings was repeated over and over … and witnessed the impossible sight of two of the world’s tallest buildings collapsing like card-houses.   I saw tragedy and heroism in the streets of New York … and I saw Palestinians celebrating in the streets of the Middle East.  I watched an unreasoned fear sweep though our citizenry and within weeks would feel some of that fear as I flew to and from Washington D.C. on business.  My view of the world was changed in those days and not necessarily for the better.

But for a short while, I saw hope for our increasingly divided country.   People cried together and prayed together and chanted USA, USA together.  Singing God Bless America became an act of patriotism again, a prayer almost.  Politicians stopped shouting at each other across the political aisles and snide media types stopped berating our leaders.   I hoped that as a nation and as a people, we’d learn to agree to disagree but treat each other with respect.  It didn’t happen.  Several wars later and on the possible verge of another, we are worse than ever.  A while back, I wrote a post about how every personal crisis can be a Turning Point, an opportunity to become better.  Perhaps the saddest aspect of 9-11 is that we made it into a bump on the road to a more polarized nation instead of a Turning Point.  I’m sure there are are many 9-11 prayers on the internet today.  This would be mine.

3dflags-usa1-3Dear God, on this anniversary of the attacks on September 11, please help us look back with our eyes wide open, not just reliving the horror and the pain, but the heroism, patriotism and spirit of cooperation we experienced in its aftermath.  Please help us to recall the respect with which we treated each other as we mourned together and the way in which our leaders stopped treating each other as enemies.   Help us as a nation to honor those who died on 9-11 by recovering that spirit and becoming better as a nation.  Amen.

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One Comment on “Remembrance”

  1. Muri Says:

    And Amen!

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