I can remember the crisp fall air while walking into school that morning. I remember the blue collared shirt I had decided to wear. I can still remember the boy who was sitting next to me. I remember sitting in the computer lab with my World History class at Watauga High School, when the hallways started to buzz with noise. After hearing the news, my teacher quickly turned on the television, and there we sat, watching the horrifying footage. I’m sure you can also recall the exact moment and place you were when you heard the shocking news ten years ago.
All over America, September 11, 2001 began just like any other day. But when the sun had set, it had become a day that would be remembered around the world and a day that Americans will never forget.
For most of us, that day stood still. The weeks that followed moved in slow motion.
It felt like life might never go back to “normal”… or maybe “normal” as we knew it had been forever altered.
Up to that point in my life, I had never seen our nation come together and stand united. But then, I watched Democrats and Republicans join their voices on the stairs of the Capitol as they sang God Bless America. American flags flew from every porch. Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American played on every radio station for months. Magnetic flags appeared on the back of cars. We, as a nation, stood proud and united. But even as we stood strong in moments of weakness, we were still a grieving nation.
Later that week, President Bush asked my grandfather to address the nation on a special day of prayer at the National Cathedral.
Yes, there is hope. There is hope for the present because I believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in our nation. One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And God has told us in His Word, time after time, that we are to repent of our sins and we’re to turn to Him and He will bless us in a new way.
(To listen to his entire address, click here.)
That day I watched my grandfather comfort our nation and boldly proclaim the Gospel to a seeking people. He spoke of hope – a hope that can only be found in Christ when we repent of our sinful ways and turn to Him.
Since 9/11, my dad has taken a bold and public stand against the spiritual war on evil. He never waivers from the truth, and in that example, he has taught me to stand strong on the power of Jesus Christ. I am sure there have been many difficult situations for my dad over the past ten years, but to him, nothing is more important than sharing the hope of Jesus Christ, and nothing will stop him from doing that.
On the day of the attack, my friends and family were safe, and even though I didn’t lose anyone that day, I knew my family’s life would be altered in some way. My family, like many families around the country, has most deeply felt the effects of 9/11 by having a family member in the United States Military. In September 2001, my brother Edward was in his third year at West Point. Edward’s choice to be in the military showed us that he was following his call to a life a service. But after 9/11, the word “service” took on new meaning to him and his classmates. Today, in September 2011, Edward has just returned home from his fifth deployment overseas. After ten years of combat, I see the stress and weariness the deployment lifestyle puts on military families. But through it all, watching my brother and his wife cling to the hope that they have in Jesus Christ has encouraged me.
So, on this tenth anniversary, I ask you to pray.
1. Pray for the people who lost loved ones on that day, that they may feel the loving arms of God around them.
2. Pray for the people who have lost loved ones since that day, who sacrificed their lives to fight terrorism.
3. Pray for our active military – and their families – who are currently serving this nation.
4. Pray for our President and our country’s leaders. Pray that godly men and women will be elected into office.
5. Pray for the heart of this nation. Pray that we will once again have repentant hearts and that HOPE will be restored.
God Bless America and the men and women who serve this nation.
Where were you on 9/11?