Celebrating the Anniversary of a More Horrific Event
The President of the United States, in measured tones, reminded us that it has been six months since the attack, our successes in the war on terror, and that the war is far from over. He assured us that those who died in the twin towers, and those who died on the battlefield, will not have died in vain.
by Ben Kinchlow
The ex-Mayor of New York spoke movingly with his usual New York City brand of eloquence, extolling the bravery and the sacrifice of those who had given their lives in the service of their fellowman. He reminded us of those innocents who had perished. His words encouraged us, moved us, and called us to remember not the evil of the deed, but the lives lost.
There were numerous dignitaries, pundits, experts, and commentators weighing in on the tragedy of September 11th. There were family victims, survivors, firemen, policemen, and emergency rescue teams, all sharing personal experiences. There were videos of the planes crashing into the buildings, and the awful slow-motion replays of the World Trade Center buildings collapsing upon themselves in smoke and flames. We heard the unforgettable sounds of bodies crashing into the roof of the lobby occupied by helpless rescue workers, their faces showing the strain. The special program concluded with the haunting rendition of "Danny Boy", sung by an Irish tenor. As a memorial, two massive columns of blue light were projected into the air where the WTC Towers had stood. It was, all in all, a moving experience. One felt anger, grief, helplessness, and, strangely enough, pride in the resilience of the American people.
It's hard to believe it's the six-month anniversary of the terrorists' attacks. We have fought, and are fighting, a continuing war. Flags are still flying in places never seen before, stickers adorn car windows and storefronts, and there are a multitude of "God Bless America" prayers emblazoned across the Stars and Stripes of Old Glory. Americans remember, though maybe not quite with the same degree of anguish... but we remember. Our resolve appears strong, despite the deaths of young troops in far away places.
Another anniversary has transpired. The anniversary of an event even more horrific than September 11th, December 7th, or the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. It is the anniversary of an event of such magnitude that "?there was darkness over all the earth from the sixth hour until the ninth hour). The sun was darkened and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened?."(Matt. 27:45-46a, 51b-52b).
This anniversary commemorates not a terrorist attack, but an act of terror by individuals who were, in some cases, misguided, and in other cases, evil in their intent. Once again, an innocent was the victim? save this time he was a willing and deliberate victim. "I lay down my life for the sheep? no-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself." (John 10:15b & 18a)
The commemoration of "9-11" was filled with solemn symbolism, and the battle against terror will continue. Unfortunately, the commemoration of the second, more important event, is often filled with symbolism of insignificance. Colored eggs, Easter bonnets, marshmallow chickens, and chocolate bunnies.
And while the memorial lights for the WTC Tower will go off, the light that shone from a darkened tomb will never go out, and the battle against evil is not continuing, but is a battle that has been won, forever.
We bow our heads in sorrow at one anniversary, but lift our heads in joyous triumph at the other.