Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in December 1941…of course, almost every day in Hawaii is a beautiful day. The skies were blue, the breeze was gentle, and it was the one day when at least some of the sailors and soldiers could sleep in. Then, at 7:55 am Hawaii time, a swarm of Japanese aircraft attacked without warning killing 2,403 military and civilians. In a brief moment in time the United States was at war with Japan and was thrown into World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt famously called December 7th, “a day that will live in infamy.” The battle cry throughout the Pacific War was “Remember Pearl Harbor.”
Fast forward with me sixty years. It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in September 2001. The sky was a deep blue without a cloud in the sky and then it happened. Without warning, at 8:06 am EDT, a hijacked airliner crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. A short time later, at 9:03 am EDT, the South Tower was also struck. Unbelievably, a third airliner crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 am EDT, with a final airliner, most likely destined for Washington D.C., crashed into a Pennsylvania field at 10:03 am. In all, these attacks killed 2,977 innocent people…more than the attack on Pearl Harbor. The cry after September 11th or 9/11, was, “We will never forget.”
Though it is hard to believe, 20 years have come and gone since that horrific morning in September. Most can remember exactly what they were doing that day as the events unfolded on national television. In a brief moment in time, our world was changed forever. As we observe what is now called, Patriot Day, we must renew our vow to never forget those tragic minutes and the days, weeks, months and years that followed.
I well remember how for a brief moment in time our country stood united. While it didn’t last long, only a couple of days, it showed us, it taught us, the power and beauty of unity. But then, as always, finger pointing and blame throwing, ruled the day and unity slipped through our fingers like loosely held sand. And if we are not careful, time will further rob us of the reverence owed to so many and the honor for those who gave their lives trying to save others. And that too would be a tragedy.
On this twentieth observance of 9/11, I hope you will join millions of others and make sure we never forget. Take time to pause and reflect and remember. I know these are difficult days and in so many ways we are frustrated and filled with doubt and fear. But remember two things. First and foremost, the God who created all of this is greater than any circumstance that we may face. He knows our past and is willing to forgive. And, He knows the future and is willing to walk with us. Don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith. He is able and willing.
Let me also encourage you not to lose hope in America. With all her warts and flaws she is still the best country in the world. Having visited a couple of dozen countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, I can tell you there is no place like America. Rare is the country where a people are free to worship and live like we do. In the New Testament book called the Gospel of John, many people decided to no longer follow Jesus. He looked at His followers and said, “Will you leave me too?” One of them spoke up and said, “Where would we go? You alone have the words of life.” That is so true and before we throw America under the bus, be sure you know the answer to the question, “Where would you go.” There is no place like home and no place like America.
So let’s not forget. Let’s show the world we are a people that remember so we can honor. Let’s show the world that while we are not perfect, we do believe in our God and our country. God made a promise to His people and it is one that we can claim for ourselves. He said, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and heal their land.” It was true for them and it is true for any people willing to put God first. To sum it all up, it simply means…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne