Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

There are certain dates on the calendar that will be forever marred by the debris of destruction. December 7, 1941 is one of those dates. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed Congress to ask for a declaration of war. The opening lines of his now-famous speech are among the most memorable: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” The worst that the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor unleashed on America unwittingly revealed the best about America and produced what journalist Tom Brokaw called “the greatest generation.”

September 11 is another of those dates that will live in infamy. Like most Americans, I will never forget where I was on the morning of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 innocent civilians and civil servants. And I will never forget what I witnessed just weeks later when I traveled to Bangladesh — propaganda by Al Queda boasting about the attacks and the loss of life in America. I was stunned by the cavalier attitude of those celebrating the loss of life and destruction of property, an attitude foreign to my worldview as a Christ-follower. Jesus never took a life but instead gave His life. Nor did He ever command His followers to harm or to use violence against those who reject Him or His claims. When one of His disciples drew a sword and injured one of Jesus’ own enemies, Jesus rebuked him and healed the injured man (Luke 22:50-51; John 8:10-11). Jesus was compassionate to the end. When any of His followers use the sword to persuade or to punish another, they do so in violation of His example and teachings.

Remembering 9/11 is the best antidote to the kind of complacency that can diminish our vigilance and weaken our resolve to protect our homeland. Having visited more than thirty countries, I have no desire to live in any place but the United States of America. We are not perfect. No nation is. But we are privileged to enjoy the kind of freedom that others only dream about and long for. And on this tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Americans are once again demonstrating what makes our country great. The 9/11 Tribute Movement is one example. Organizers of this movement have worked to mobilize volunteers to participate in the single largest day of charitable service in United States history. May the memory of 9/11 always spur us to show the world what distinguishes America from those who attacked us and to demonstrate that we can indeed overcome evil with good.


Responses

  1. Thank you for the post, Omar. I appreciate it. And….. Swofford never forgets.

    Tammy

    • Thanks, Tammy. And thanks also for fighting the good fight on the worldview front lines.


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