It was 8 years ago today that terrorists changed the face of America forever. It was about this time of day when the two planes crashed into the world trade center, one hit the Pentagon, and one was forced down onto a Pennsylvania field. Over three thousand lives were lost, and Americans were left feeling vulnerable and afraid. Most of us will never forget the horrific images of burning/collapsing buildings and people jumping from the top floors of the Trade Center to their death. A few weeks later, America went to war in Afghanistan, a home bred terrorist started sending Anthrax through the mail, and many of us feared that life as we knew it was over.
Today, we remember. But do we really? I'd like to think that I take the time every day to remember the lives that were lost, but as Americans we all seem to have an innate ability to move beyond a crisis and settle back into the status quo. I remember so well the graphic images of the death and destruction, yet if I'm honest, I only ponder the events of Sept. 11, 2001, each year on the anniversary of the attacks. I feel as if that's the case for many of us.
I also wonder about the thousands of people who converted to Christianity that day as they faced their own mortality. Do they still believe? Do they live a life of service as requested by God? Or, have they too, forgotten the horrors and returned to the life they knew before? If the television news is any indicator my guess is the latter.
I remember where I was that day, headed from Cincinnati to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with no airplanes in the sky and no other cars on the road. At each stop I remember telling anyone who would listen that God was still in control, but do I witness with such passion today? Like everyone else I am guilty of forgetting, and like everyone else I need to take pause and remember that God is still in control.
So if you're taking a moment today to remember the lives that were lost, I hope that you'll remember more than just the tragedy of Sept. 11. I hope that you'll remember that while lives were lost that day souls were saved, and that is one part of this anniversary that will always offer hope.