This month we will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11 on the second Sunday of the month.  How can we commemorate this memorial in a manner that reflects our faith as well as our national identity?

Rather than recalling the hate that caused these people to turn commercial airliners into weapons, we need to memorialize the innocent victims of the attack.  These men, women and children were from all races, economic levels, social status, and religions.  They were the targets merely because they were in the place chosen as sites because the planners decided that these places would devastate our national psyche.

We need to make a determined effort to remember the men and women who gave their lives in the effort to prevent further violence by overpowering the hijackers and preventing their flight from becoming another weapon.  We read that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.  The people of the flight that went down in PA gave their lives for people they may never have met, let alone ever be able to call friends.  Their love encouraged them to make the ultimate sacrifice of love.

Another group that gave their lives in an effort to save others were the police, fire and rescue crews, and EMTs.  They set aside the natural tendency to preserve their lives and entered into the burning towers.  They were following their training to bring aid and assistance to all those who were injured and attempting to escape the towers.  They were not the targets; they were heroes responding to brothers and sisters in need.

The final group that we should honor and remember are the crews that went into the destruction to seek the dream of survivors and recover bodies so that families could grieve.  They did not know that entering the area for extended periods would harm their health.  The dust and particles were inhaled and may have caused serious health issues for those who worked to clear and recover.  They now are beginning to pay for their sacrifice.

The Hebrew Prayer book offers these words so that we can keep the events of 9/11 in proper perspective.  “When God created us, He made us in His own image, in the likeness of the divine.  Both male and female He created; He blessed them, and at the same time of their creation He called them Human.  Therefore was a single human created to teach you that to destroy a single human soul is the equivalent to destroying an entire world; and to sustain a single human soul is equivalent to sustaining an entire world.”

The hatred that led these men to hijack planes and turn them into weapons did not destroy our world.  The sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives in efforts to save others preserved our world.  We claim a faith based upon a single individual sacrificing His life to the power of hatred so that the world of God’s love could survive and grow.

Pray for those whose hatred continue to lead them to destruction.  Pray for those who still struggle with the losses of that day.  Pray for the workers who are suffering from health problems that may relate to the dust and debris of that day.  Then go out and work to save the life of one person and save an entire world.

Shalom, Darrell