21 years . . . it’s almost impossible to wrap my mind around the fact that 21 years have passed since that morning that permanently altered the course of, not only, American and world history on a very large scale but also, of our individual lives down to the most minute and mundane details . . . our perceptions and perspectives forever changed . . . so much of our world and so many of our choices forever colored by the events of that horrible day.
Yet, 21 years brings with it a perspective and an appreciation that I didn’t have then. No longer a terrified 20 year old, college student, but now a 41 year old parent, wife, and full-fledged adult. My appreciation for what was sacrificed on that day has only deepened. Appreciation for those who went to work thinking it was “business as usual” only to lose their lives at the hands of absolute evil. Appreciation for our first responders, the bravest of the brave, for men and women who ran, without second thought into what was, without a doubt, the most dangerous and life-threatening situation they would ever face. Appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice given that day by thousands, and for the untouchable and immovable spirit of the American people in the days that followed.
Like so many, I can tell you exactly where I was the moment I heard. I can vividly remember that morning as if it happened only moments ago. I still feel the cool air of that beautiful fall morning . . . the day clear and bright and full of promise of a new season in direct contradiction to what we were watching unfold in front of our eyes . . . those feelings of deep grief, shock, and horror. But also, 21 years later, the intense, and yes, justified anger has mellowed replaced by a longing felt deeply . . . a longing for peace in our world . . . a longing for peace in our hearts, and I know more than ever that we need Jesus . . . in our world . . . in our nation . . . in our lives.
Today, we take the time to remember and honor those lives that were lost on September 11, 2001. May we always remember . . .