I get really uneasy this time of year. People start changing their profile pictures and update their cover photos to the smoking World Trade Center towers or the flag-draped Pentagon. Sometimes those pictures have “Never Forget 9/11” written across them. I don’t get uneasy because I’m afraid of anniversary attacks. I’m afraid of the motive of the people posting this motto.
Before I get into it, all of you doing this…What about the other 11 1/2 months a year? Are we only supposed to “Never Forget 9/11” from 9/1 to 9/12? I sure don’t see anyone reminding me of 9/11 in December.
But, anyway, I digress before I even really start.
What exactly is your motivation for posting this motto? Based on the comments on these pictures, it seems like the only thing you actually want me to remember is to hate Muslims. I have to admit, in the immediate aftermath of of the attacks I was filled with rage and anger. I printed off the the political cartoon of the eagle sharpening his talons and slipped it into the clear sleeve of my binder cover. The cares of the world were certainly choking the word in the months following that horrific day. And when Tom Petty sang his in-your-face version of “Won’t Back Down,” I was pumped.
But now. Why should we remember? Well, it isn’t for the hate and the anger. It isn’t to relive the anguish of watching people make the awful decision to jump from 100 stories rather than face the inferno behind them. Don’t worry. I won’t forget. I can’t forget. The images from that day are seared into my mind’s eye.
No, we need to remember so that we stay vigilant. The enemy is not vanquished. The enemy still plots pain for us. Given lax defenses, they will do it again. Don’t live in fear, but live with your eyes open and your head out of the sand. All the time, not just the first two weeks of September. Hold your elected officials accountable when they make decisions that weaken our position. Make your voice heard. That doesn’t mean you have to hate anyone or any group of people. But, we need to stay vigilant.
If you want to “Never Forget 9/11”, start with never forgetting the sacrifices that were made that day by the men and women going the other way on the steps. Remember, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” How about for complete strangers?
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
What’s choking the word for you today?