Remembering the Lessons of 9/11

September 11, 2020

Every year on September 11, we are reminded of the immense tragedy that occurred in 2001, when nearly 3,000 people from 93 different nations lost their lives due to terrorist attacks on American soil.

Despite the social and economic circumstances we face today, remembering 9/11 is important. Although this year’s observations may look different due to social distancing,1 the themes we can reflect on are the same.

Keep Hope Alive
In the New Testament, Romans 8 offers encouragement for Christians facing earthly difficulties. The Apostle Paul reminds us that our current sufferings do not compare with the glory that God will reveal to us (8:18) and that if God is for us then who can be against us (8:31). Paul says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:38-39).

Celebrate and Honor Our Heroes
When our nation faces adversity, we can take comfort and inspiration from the heroic acts of others. Officials at the 9/11 Memorial have paralleled the public’s response to the COVID-19 crisis to what happened after 9/11, when in the days following the attack, people cheered first responders just as frontline workers have become the heroes of 2020.

In April, Alice Greenwald, President & CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum said, “The connection with 9/11 is what we call 9/12, which is the way this city and the nation responded after 9/11. We’re seeing 9/12 all over again. Every night in New York City, the fire trucks, the first responders from 9/11 are out there in front of the hospital doors cheering on the medical workers.”2

Despite the losses of September 11, 2001, we can take some comfort in knowing that in the worst of times, the best of humanity is visible. For example, we know that more than 2,000 New York and Port Authority police officers were involved in search and rescue efforts on 9/11 and more than 400 perished. Nevertheless, the spirit of “9/12” moved many more to rush toward the crisis, not run away from it.

Come Together in Solidarity
As Americans, we should seek opportunities to come together for the common good. Investing in a worthy cause — fighting hunger, honoring our veterans and service members, or volunteering around your community — is one way to honor 9/11 in a positive way.

Organizers of the annual 9/11 Day of Service are adapting to the pandemic with resilience and determination. While their original plans included packing more than four million meals for hungry Americans, they are instead using their resources to help with food needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.3 Visit the 9/11 Day website for ideas of ways you and your family can support your fellow Americans while observing this solemn day of remembrance. You may also choose to observe a moment of silence on September 11; the first moment of silence is usually observed at 8:46 a.m. EST, which is the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Despite the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in this year, 9/11 is a good reminder of hard times we have overcome together and the values that help us transcend difficult situations: faith in God, courage, resilience, and the power of unity.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by THE LOCKMAN FOUNDATION.


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