Today is Patriot Day. This day memorializes the September 11, 2001 attacks where 2,977 people were killed due to terrorist activity. I can’t believe that it has been 12 years since this tragedy. It’s amazing how life has continued and “normalized.” I remember sitting in my freshman Political Science class when some of my classmates came in stating that someone flew a plane into one of the Twin Towers. At that time (around 9 am) the clamor was that it was some wayward student pilot in a general aviation vessel, but as soon as class was over (9:50 am), the story was much deeper. Confusion, emotional distress, and for many people who had family in the affected areas there was panic. I remember turning off my TV at 10:30 am and taking a nap because I was completely overwhelmed by the media coverage. How could this happen in our country? Why was it happening?
Twelve years later, we still wonder how this could happen, but it’s not with the same sentiment. It’s like when someone passes away,whether it be a friend or a close relative. The first three weeks following the death there is a flood of condolences, food, flowers, well wishes, and other types of attention. Over time it gets less and less frequent until it stops. People stop calling. The casseroles stop coming. There are no more cards. People move on. We have a national holiday (not federal so schools and banks remain in operation) to remember what happened to our fellow Americans on that day, but do we really take time to grieve for the families that are still dealing with the loss? How are those people coping? What’s going on in their families now? Are they healing or did this make them spiral into a dark depression engrossed with bitterness? Are people still suffering both mentally, emotionally, and physically from the events that took place that day?
Lord – help us to really remember, but not just today. Help us to always keep the families of the victims and our country in prayer. May the fragility of life be a constant reminder of our duty to love one another daily.