Today marks the 13th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in American history. Most of us will always remember where we were and how we felt on September 11, 2001.
I was in a pastor’s meeting in Taylor. I remember calling Judy and literally crying, though I knew she was okay. I drove past a silent, unmoving Detroit airport. Everyone I met was solemn. Ben Negron called me and said we need to have a prayer time that evening. We did. And many others did as well. I remember the next day putting out American flags on our driveway. Nearly everyone honked their horns as they passed by in encouragement of our patriotism. Do you remember watching our representatives in Washington gathering together singing God Bless America – Republicans standing with Democrats?
I remember hearing so many people ask for prayer for the families of those who died and for America. I remember a full house on the following Sunday. I remember watching the World Series that year. The New York Yankees were in it and they changed the 7th inning stretch song ‘Take me out the ballgame’ to ‘God Bless America.’ Even America’s pastime recognized our dependence on God.
But now it is 13 years later. Some things haven’t changed.
It seems when I watch the video clips of the airplanes hitting the towers, my emotions go right back to that day. I still hurt.
I’m involved in our local Kiwanis club ‘Flag Project.’ We put up over 600 flags throughout our city. Time doesn’t change my patriotism. I love America and love flying the flag.
I still love my wife and children and call to hear their voices.
We still have enemies. The names have been changed but groups of people want to destroy America. The real fear is that many are now within our borders.
And God is still the same. In tragedy it seems God is behind the scenes. Many ask where God is when a catastrophe strikes. But He is still behind the scenes, moving the scenery to accomplish His will for His glory and our good. His love for us is constant.
It is 13 year later and some things have definitely changed.
Osama Bin Laden is no longer celebrating or hiding. His death emphasized America’s resolve that, despite transition of politics and leaders, we will vindicate the death our citizens.
6,808 men and women who were alive in 2011, have suffered death in Iraq and Afghanistan due to their military involvement in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. We have not had another attack on American soil in 13 years and it is in great appreciation to our military that we continue to live in freedom. But the families who have sacrificed so much are different 13 years later.
Today, our minds are consumed with the economy. 13 years ago our hearts were filled with love for one another and trust in God. May it not take another tragedy to drive us to our knees.
13 years ago my family was 6. Now we have 13. We’ve had 3 weddings and 3 grandchildren. 13 years later I’m called Pappaw. May God continue to bless America so that my grandchildren can grow up in a country that is free. May America be in a position of blessing so that my grandchildren will live with love not hate, peace not war, faith not fear.
God bless America.