What America needed then and now: A reflection on September 11, 2001
As I sat in my office on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a story of a plane hitting a building in New York appeared on my computer screen, but the internet connection failed quickly thereafter as it became overloaded with frantic searches about the events that were rapidly unfolding: another plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center, another plane hit the Pentagon and another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. It was a day of great panic, despair, and uncertainty.
This year not only marks 20 years since the horrific terrorist attacks that took the lives of 2,977 Americans, but as we see the images of terror in Afghanistan, it also reminds us that the same evil that invaded the United States in 2001 still exists today.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen images of people clinging to the wing of a U.S. military aircraft leaving Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, grasping for their chance to escape from the Taliban as the aircraft lifted off the ground. We’ve seen mothers passing their babies over barbed wire fences into the hands of American military personnel, hoping for nothing more than the safety of their children.
Tens of thousands of our Afghan allies, and even American citizens, have been left behind enemy lines, marked for their deaths by the Taliban because of a grossly mishandled withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
These heartbreaking scenes make the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 even more painful. Today, it is vital that we reflect on and learn from the events that followed the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
I hope we will not forget these two truths:
America needs God.
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, we mourned with those who lost loved ones, reached out to our neighbors, extended grace and kindness towards others, we called evil what it is and we renewed our resolve to protect freedom.
But most of all, we turned our gaze upwards to Almighty God. Church attendance across the nation soared as we acknowledged our need for the Lord and fell to our knees in prayer.
Two days after the attacks, President George W. Bush called for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance to be observed on Sept. 14. He said in part:
“Scripture says: ‘Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’ I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance … We will persevere through this national tragedy and personal loss. In time, we will find healing and recovery; and, in the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, ‘one Nation under God.’”
Now, it is far less common to see government officials encouraging us to seek the Lord. We live in a culture that is rapidly moving away from God, and Americans have taken the idea of “separation of church and state” much too far.
This is why My Faith Votes exists. Christians in America must commit to praying for our nation and its leaders, thinking about the issues biblically, and then acting by bringing their faith to the public square and to the voting booth.
Freedom needs protection.
Our servicemen and women bravely answered the call to defend our freedom when our nation needed them in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Thousands made the ultimate sacrifice as they gave their lives fighting against evil on behalf of the United States over the course of 20 years. We remember the families of military and first responders who lost loved ones and we are profoundly grateful for their sacrifices.
Recent events in Afghanistan remind us that America’s enemies are alive and well. And they are as eager as ever to see freedom fall and the great American experiment come to an end. We remember the 13 brave military members who gave their lives just a few weeks ago in an effort to rescue others in Kabul Afghanistan.
Ronald Reagan was right that freedom must be protected by each generation, which is one reason we at My Faith Votes believe voting is so important. Our votes are the best defense against terrorism and tyranny. We have the tremendous opportunity to elect strong leaders who seek God’s wisdom and honor biblical values. And the leaders we elect are not only tasked with preserving freedom at home, but their influence also impacts the freedoms of people around the globe.
I hope we never become complacent, apathetic, or entitled to the freedoms we enjoy. Instead, I hope we cherish them and remain keenly aware of what they cost and our responsibility to preserve them for the next generation.
In the battle to defend freedom, there often comes the temptation to lose hope. This is when we must remember the truths found in Scripture. As believers, we have a special responsibility to pray intensely and unceasingly for all the vulnerable in Afghanistan whose fate now rests again in the hands of their oppressors. We pray people would call upon the name of the Lord and believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.
May we never forget the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. We pray these families will feel honored by our nation today. We hold to God’s promise in Psalm 34:18 that “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.
2 points - Before God Bless America, Before America starts attending church, etc. America needs to REPENT. I have never heard II Chronicles 7:14 so misquoted in all my life as I have over the past several years. "Christian" pastors, politicians, etc. stood on national television to misquote this passage as they always left out the "turn from our wicked ways" and immediately jumped to "I will heal the land"..."God bless America." From the local level to the state, national and even international level repentance is ignored.
2nd Point - After what I feel was a compromised election (and my beliefe does not identify my party affiliation), I have come to the conclusion that we have no two party system but two wings of the same bird. For the most part our political leaders are corrupt to the core, have no desire to change anything for the good, are drunk on power and control and have no will to put in place term limits. I know based on letters I have received from my own congressional leaders. I have lost all confidence in our leaders and where once I was extremely politically active, voted issues and not party lines, I am now as Gerald Celente would say, "a political atheist."
We are in a mess as a nation and an entire world, currently embarked on a lighting speed self destruct course. Either Christ is soon to come or He is going to straighten this mess out if we are to continue to survive as a planet. I am not saying we sit and do nothing, but He has to give us the strategy since the ones we have in our arsenal no longer work. As for prayer, when we come together corporately it would be a good idea if we just kneeled, sat, or stood quietly before Him to find out His plan as opposed to bringing Him our laundy list and end up keep getting our results as opposed to His.