As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, I hope that as a nation of resilient people, we are stronger, wiser and more unified than we have been. Monumental disasters always test the human spirit and although we don’t forget, we move forward with courage, important lessons that we learned and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
In light of the extremist ramblings from a few citizens in this country, as well as around the world, we must remember that the events that took place on 9/11 didn’t kill us, but made us stronger. We must be mindful not to clump everyone from a particular race, religion, creed, culture or socioeconomic status in one category, due to these particular extremists, because that will continue to be the kindling that reignites the inferno. Other horrific terroristic attacks that took place on our soil, by our own citizens, brought us together to the table of peace as we transcended the brutality. The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings, the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre, the countless nationwide school and college shootings, or the daily criminal elements preying on the innocent, are just a few.
“The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” Genesis 4:10-11 (New International Version)
We will always find that diabolical element in all sectors of our local, national and global communities, but that doesn’t mean that the people of those communities embrace the extremists among their own. We must understand that many of these masterminds of evil may not be caught, yet their deeds will catch up with them. We must also realize that if we were to assassinate the leaders of radicalism, there are still the “seeds” they planted, continuing to germinate and spread like a weed that we have to contend with. But let us not walk around in fear or as prisoners of our emotions. Neither let us get trigger-happy, nor crucify the innocent as a form of retaliation, because it will only make matters worse. In order to be healed, we must understand with our hearts.
So on this day, we won’t cast aside the importance or side-effects of our memories. But, let us not get trapped in the abyss of hatred, bitterness and depression in spite of our hurt and woundedness. We won’t forget those lives that were lost, or the people never found, because just like the twin towers, they will always be landmarks in our hearts. Although we wish we could, we can’t go back and rewrite the past, but we will celebrate our gift of life, freedom, equality and hopefully wisdom! We strive for world peace, but we must first start with charity in our own homes, communities, municipalities, schools, businesses and worship institutions, before it can resonate internationally.
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” -Colossians 3:13-15 (King James Version)