On this day in 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes with the intent to use them as weapons. Three reached their targets. A fourth was forced down when the passengers tried to retake the plane. Here, we shall look at that terrible day, and how, like the American Civil War, it is a defining moment in our history.
I believe that everybody in America will remember where they were on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, when they heard the news that terrorists had hijacked planes, and were crashing them into buildings along the east coast. None of us alive at the time will forget the terrible images shown on the television screens, nor the shock of knowing that we were once again faced with a war against an enemy determined to destroy us and our way of life. But out of all the chaos, death and destruction, from that horrible day came something that the terrorists failed to expect: the united will of the American people. In the days and weeks to come, Americans banded together to rescue those trapped under the rubble, and help those families who had lost loved ones that day. We would also learn of the heroism and courage shown by the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, who fought courageously to take their plane back from the terrorists, and prevent further people from being murdered.
September 11th is a defining moment in our history, in many ways as defining a moment as the American Civil War was for those men and women a hundred and fifty years ago. From the ashes of that four-year conflict came two major changes to America’s identity, and helped to define that generation. First, the Civil War decided the fate of the Union. After a bloody conflict that cost 620,000 lives, the United States came back together, with a stronger Federal Government, and hope that a united country could face the future better than two divided countries. Second, the war brought an end to the inhuman practice of slavery, helping bring the nation more to what Thomas Jefferson envisioned, where “all men are created equal.” Although the road to equality would be long and hard, that vision has become a reality, though racism still exists in some parts of the country and the world.
For our generation, the attacks on September 11th defined America in many ways. It showed the world what can happen when Americans come together to face a common threat, or achieve a common good. Although some have questioned the military actions taken in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wars fought in those countries overseas have so far prevented further attacks on American soil by taking the war to them. It also showed that, in the face of adversity, men and women can come together, regardless of race or creed, to help out those in need. We saw that spirit of unity many times in the weeks and months following the attacks, as people came together to help those in need. That is a testament to the will of the American people. We cannot be bullied, or beaten into submission. When the people of the United States come together, great things can be accomplished.
So today, I ask everyone who reads this blog to either pray, or recognize a moment of silence for the 3000 Americans who lost their lives on that terrible day, and to remember the unity that came before, so we may all be reminded that the will of the American people is strong. It may be bent, damaged and frayed, but it can never be destroyed. May God bless you all, and may God continue to shine His Blessing down on the United States America!