Of course, no one doubts that 9/11 was a defining point in our history. All remember where they were on that fateful day.
However, we would venture to say that 9/11 was more than just a shocking physical attack on our homeland. It was a symbolic attack on our way of life. It was also a rude awakening that served to shake us from an optimistic hedonistic vision of life that is the product of our Hollywood-driven culture.
In this sense, there were many lessons that we learned from the attacks. We were forced to confront reality head on and question this false vision of life. Contrary to the sentimental notion that all men are basically good, we found ourselves facing evil, irrational men capable of cold-blooded murder on a grand scale. Contrary to our relying on technology to solve all our problems, we found our technological advantage could not deliver us from this evil. In fact, our technology not only failed but they used it against us by slamming our own jets into the World Trade Center using low-tech $5 box cutters as weapons.
We were forced to endure enormous suffering in a culture that does everything to deny suffering and tries to make everything end “happily ever after.” Finally and most importantly, we were invited to turn to God for solace and strength in our suffering.
We learned all these lessons from the attacks and we do not hesitate to say that we took them to heart. America did not become discouraged but rose to the occasion in a show of strength and unity that disconcerted the enemy. Today, the al-Qaida network that engineered the attacks lies in ruins. Atop the fallen towers, a new tower arises. Another attack has not taken place.
In an impressive display of patriotism, American youth enlisted in the armed services often sacrificing promising careers to fight for our country. Contrary to our hedonistic culture, these valiant soldiers fought with great sacrifice, endured great hardship and inspired admiration and respect. Our armed forces deserve the gratitude of our nation.
In fact, all Americans participated in this same generosity and idealism by their support of these efforts. We believe Providence cannot but look with favor on this spirit of generosity, idealism and self-sacrifice. Indeed, when men put grand causes before their own self-interest, it opens the way for God’s grace to work.
On this tenth anniversary, we remember all these things. However, we must also realize that the fight is not over. The Islamist threat is still there as can be seen by the increasing persecution of Christians worldwide. Perhaps more disconcerting are those who would minimize the notion of this threat in the name of political correctness.
We are further reminded of the continuing cultural fight when we see that the God to whom we turned in our sorrow in 2001, has been disinvited to the ceremonies this September 11. We see that chaplains and religious leaders are not invited for New York City’s tenth anniversary commemoration “service.”
Thus, on this September 11, all Americans are invited to remember those who tragically died and take to heart the lessons we have learned over these ten long years. However, we are also invited to embrace the cross and press the attack.