By Elizabeth Prata
It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 20 years since that day. Two decades. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was editor of a local newspaper then. I was working in my newspaper office on the morning of September 11. Tuesday is a big paper day, we go to print Wednesday morning. I rented the office from my friend who lived a big farmhouse, and she called me from her living room. I thought it was unusual that she phoned, being just a few feet away from me in the same building. But her voice evaporated all other thoughts. She said said fiercely, “COME HERE NOW”.
The first plane had just hit the twin tower in NY. We watched her television with eyes open, breathing shallowly, standing with arms numbly at our sides…until the second plane hit at 9:03. Our eyes locked together, and we knew without saying a word that this was an attack. We also knew that nothing would ever be the same. We watched until another plane hit the Pentagon 34 minutes later. It felt like the world was coming to an end. It really did. We thought the world was ending. A knot formed in my stomach and coherent thoughts refused to gather in my head.
We got our purses and the first thing we did was walk across the street to the hardware store where we bought the biggest flag they had. We walked back to the office and put it up. Then we went to the bank to get money. Cash was going to be important if the electricity went out or we were ordered to evacuate. We didn’t know what was coming next and we wanted to be prepared. It could have been a nuke coming next, for all we knew. At the bank, they had the TV on in the break room with the door open and the volume up so customers could hear what was going on. A fourth plane had just gone down in PA. We saw the smoking crater. We knew that plane was part of whatever was happening. The day got even more surreal.
The worst part was on NBC News when news host Katie Couric reported hospitals at the ready, the gurneys lined up outside at the emergency entrance waiting for victims…but we soon realized there would be no victims, only either survivors or the dead. We knew that rescuing the people above the strikes would be impossible. Our grief deepened.
We decided that with America under attack our freedom was also under attack. Running a newspaper which reported the news and offered a platform for the people to freely speak their thoughts on any political or civic matter, we resolved that our most patriotic thing we could do to support the Constitution that day was to get the paper out. The terrorists were not going to stop the presses. They were not going to stop freedom from ringing. And that is what we did.
Churches were full that Sunday, though a bit less full the following Sunday. By about four slim weeks, churches were back to their spotty attendance. Why is this? Why do people fly planes into buildings and kill others? Why is there murder? Why is there war? Why are there conflicts at every level? Because man is inherently wicked. Our hearts are evil above all things, who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). Because man is basically evil. If we didn’t have laws and limits we would be killing each other at every moment.
Jesus is the hope we have to become good. Not on our own merits. We do not become good through our own efforts. No, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” It is not a popular thing to say, that we are not good, but we are not. [Click on the link for John MacArthur’s sermon the Sunday after 9/11/01 as he takes us through a biblical understanding of death, terrorism, and the Middle East]
I thank Jesus that He poured out His life so that we may live…and become righteous. “It is because of him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Even at that, our fleshly lives on earth are a struggle, a struggle against sin and growth in righteousness. I long for the day when flesh shall be glorified and sin shall be banished.
So people are evil, and we struggle against our nature. We want what we want and we sometimes terrorize or go to war to get it. Such will be the way, until the end. The end that comes before the beginning!
In the meantime, as we watch the death throes of this old world (which means the birth of the Glorious World!)…we mourn because also we love our nation America. Christians know, though,t hat our future is not America, but New Jerusalem.
The song you are about to listen to is from a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!
Here in America, In God We STILL Trust:
On the day of 9/11 there were people trapped above the strike zones who thought it would be preferable to hurl themselves out the shattered windows of the twin towers rather than burn to death. One photo in particular caught the world’s attention. It is called “Falling Man” and it seems that his graceful swan dive plummet was poignant in the extreme. Here is the back-story of that photo.
Five months after 9/11 the Superbowl came along, just as it always does. The Superbowl is noted for artful, funny, or avante garde commercial debuts, due to the high viewership of the game. Budweiser showed a commercial called “Respect” and showed it only once, then until now. Thanks to Youtube, the ad has resurfaced. It is sure to bring a tear to your eye. We remember American greatness, American products, American ways.
Jesus will return in glory with His glorified saints. He will institute new nations and new cities populated by sinless resurrected chosen ones. There will be no more war because our hearts will be made right with Him. There will be no more terror because we will want nothing, having been given it all by our Savior. If you bow low to the Savior, He will lift you up high. Please do it soon.