Today is the 14th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks here in America. At around this time, four hijacked airliners became guided missiles as they struck both of the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia; and one intended for the White House but crashed in a Pennsylvania field thanks to the passengers fighting back. That day alone, over 3000 souls perished with many more from the residual effects in the days after.
All day today, we’re going to be called to remember; to “never forget” that fateful day. The slogans, “God Bless America,” and “United We Stand” will be slung about as the names of the fallen are read at memorial services. Many of us will recount what we were doing on that morning. Social media will have its share of related imagery throughout the day.
Yes, we remember that day; however did we learn anything from it? No, we didn’t. We never paused to learn that we-the United States-can’t go bullying about the world and not think there would be repercussions. We never learned to ask what did we do to precipitate the attacks-especially our actions in the Middle East. We never learned to ease off on our patronage of Israel despite its apartheid-like actions towards the indigenous Arabs/Muslims. We never learned about trying to diplomatically mend fences to prevent another attack. There are those who will say we never learned who really launched the attacks that day. We never learned a thing.
No, we remembered with jingoistic rhetoric that propelled us (along with other nations) into a protracted war in Afghanistan that cost thousands of lives on all sides-especially collateral deaths. We allowed ourselves to be lied to into another war with Iraq under false flag, which destroyed a sovereign nation’s infrastructure and way of life; and captured its sovereign leader-Saddam Hussein-on its own soil. We turned our pre-9/11 surplus into a deficit. We remembered year after year with the same rhetoric which never brought back our 9/11 dead, or restored our nation to its pre-9/11 state. We created two groups that need to be dismantled: the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. We were so busy just “remembering” we allowed our very liberties guaranteed under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to be tossed into the toilet as we traded freedom for “security”.
We’ve become the fools, the simple ones as called out in today’s Scripture text. We need to learn prudence and sense in regards to September 11, 2001.
Please note, I am not diminishing the day and the events thereof. Nor am I diminishing the losses either. One of the victims of that fateful day was in a friend’s wedding party which my wife (then fiancée) and I participated in. Also, I lost the job I had back then due to the attacks. So please, I am not doing this. I want us to not just “remember”; I want us to learn from it so hopefully we as a nation will mature into a better nation and such attacks may be prevented in the future. Then this day will really have meaning for us. Plus, I would less of a follower of Christ if I didn’t say anything.
But for now, after today is over, tomorrow will be September 12, 2015. We’ll go about our business as usual without ever taking time out to learn from that fateful day in 2001. Then we’ll go through the year until September 11, 2016 where we will do the same things all over again…remembering…
…However, will we ever learn from that day? Time will tell.