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Honoring September 11th

This Sunday we will honor and remember those who tragically died 10 years ago, September 11th. As I was reflecting on this day, the lyrics to a song by Alan Jackson came to my mind:

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

(Alan Jackson, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”)

Where were you on 9/11? I bet most of us can remember not only where we were but what we were doing at the exact moment tragedy struck.

I happened to be in my church, attending a mom’s group…it seemed so fitting. We prayed together and dismissed early. At the time I was homeschooling my oldest son (he was in 2nd grade), my daughter (kindergarten) and my youngest was just a year old.

Let’s just say we didn’t “do school” that day, well not in the academic sense. The television was on all day long and to this day my now 17-year-old son can still remember what he saw. He remembers me crying as well.

September 11th brings a mix of emotions. If you personally knew someone who lost their life, it probably brings a wealth of grief. But even if you didn’t know a single person who died that day, you still feel a sense of grief. You feel for the senseless loss of life, the families and friends who were left with empty holes in their hearts.

Of course we somehow can’t seem to set aside this day to honor it without raising some strife. One of the things I am hearing about is the NFL’s decision to play on Sunday, the 10 year anniversary. Some think it’s wrong, inappropriate, a bad decision.

Personally, I believe that part of honoring September 11th is doing and living what Americans enjoy…and football is part of that. Trying to decide what “fits” truly honoring September 11th and what doesn’t can become very tricky. What is honoring to one person is not to another.

Instead of arguing about silly things like this, I think we should go back to that sense of unity and pride in this country that we had on that day and the many days that followed. Our country was brought together in a way it never had experienced before. It didn’t matter what religion or race you were, we were all united.

I say let’s put aside petty arguments and while we are at it, let’s put aside politics and spend this week reflecting on what this country is really about…appreciate your freedoms, pray for the direction of our country and do something kind for your fellow man.

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