I probably couldn't have been more geographically distant from New York, the Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania six years ago today. I was on my way to work in Orange County, California, having just finished teaching an early-morning seminary class to a group of high school-aged youth at my church. As was my custom, I listened to KFI640 on the way to work. I heard about the first plane on the radio news as I entered Carbon Canyon. As the news came in, I couldn't really believe what I was hearing. Were we under attack from an army? Who was doing this? Was it an accident? Multiple accidents? An aircraft controllers glitch? I remember actually turning the radio to 97.1 FM KLSX, because I knew they ran the Howard Stern show in the morning--and I knew he broadcast out of New York--that he was there.
I remember later that week, still not fully understanding who or what did this--as I drove up the hill towards the freeway with my wife and daughter in the car--telling my wife as tears welled up in my eyes, "if they need me, I'll go and fight. I'm ready to go." In retrospect I knew that the spirit was more than willing--but the flesh was old, out of shape and ill-prepared. In this war my physical abilities have not been called upon, but in the years since September 11, 2001, my confidence in this country and in its leadership has not waned. It is not the popular road, but I believe it to be the right one.
Now I have three kids, and we don't miss an opportunity to thank the men and women in uniform: armed forces, police, firefighters, for the service the render on our behalf. Last year we brought homemade cookies to the local police and firefighters with the kids; earlier this year, our daughter collected Girl Scout cookies and delivered them to the local National Guard troops--the day before they deployed to Iraq.
However you remember today, remember that real human beings lost their lives on 9/11--not reds or blues, conservatives or liberals, real human beings--our brothers and sisters. It was fratricide on that day. With that in mind, I wholly support the efforts of freedom-loving people everywhere who, when faced with the choice of us/freedom vs. them/radical enslavement, choose us.
God bless the memory of those who have died fighting in this war against evil. May God grant His grace to accompany those who died innocently six years ago this day--and those who had just enough information to die as heroes--thereby showing all of us that greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.