I didn’t want to do this. I don’t like the whole reflect on tragedy thing. I clearly didn’t like it seven years ago either (I think I’ve mellowed a bit since then, thankfully). Even eight years ago I was understandably uneasy. (I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but I haven’t blogged on this day since 2001.)
But as the tweets kept coming up today and I started clicking on links and reading stories, first this one about a 9/11 curriculum and students who don’t remember 9/11 and then this collection of Pulitzer prize-winning 9/11 photos. The first article was hard enough to get through (it doesn’t help that parenthood has set in since 9/11, which has made me more emotional)—it’s weird to realize my kids won’t relate to 9/11 like I will. But then I started to remember.
I was at my desk in the Internet department at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, getting started on work as other coworkers came in telling stories about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. At first it sounded like a small prop plane, but as we tried to get online and find out more it became clear that it was much worse. Much of the morning was spent trying various web sites, trying to find one that wasn’t crashing, trying to get some sort of update.
Continue reading 9/11 Confession
Words fail me. What are you supposed to say after something like today? I’m finding some comfort in the those who have had an appropriate reaction to this tragedy:
“In times like this we realize how weak and inadequate we are, and our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was a time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation, it is now, that this evil will spread no further.” – Billy Graham
You’ve all seen the video and heard the reports, so there’s not a lot I can say. I will comment on two things, though:
I’m scared. Not scared of the actual attacks or afraid of my safety. I’m scared of the possible retaliation. A lot of people are very angry right now and completely unfounded accusations are being made. This country already has problems with racism, and I hate to see what happens after something like this. I’ve heard enough early reaction from people condemning other groups and calling for us to nuke certain nations. I’m just afraid of visions of violence in our own country, Americans striking out against Americans simply because of the color of their skin, their religious belief, or whatever other feature may match that of potential suspects.
I’m also scared not only of personal retaliation, but of the retaliation this country as a whole will make. It’s almost without a doubt that there will be a military response. President George W. Bush seems to have no qualms with using military force against terrorists, and “those who harbor terrorists.” Those are the words that start wars. I certainly understand that action is needed, that America must defend herself. But in our bloodthirst, we cannot sacrifice innocent lives in pursuit of justice. Any justice that claims innocent civilians is no justice at all. I pray that this country will move forward with wisdom like we’ve never had before.
The other thing I’m finding curious right now is the line of cars outside my window. They’re all lining up to fill up on gas. Apparently there’s a scare that gas prices will spike, that the supply will dwindle, who knows. They’re all rumors, and the prices haven’t gone up at all. Watching the panic take place around me brings it one step closer to home. While watching the news you see one image of Americans rushing to help one another. Outside my window I see another image as brakes squeal and two cars nearly slam into one another. The drivers begin swearing at each other, all in an attempt to top off their gas tanks. Perhaps not all of us feel that American resolve we speak so highly of.