- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The acts of terror perpetrated on the United States a decade ago (has it really been 10 years?) were an unconscionable effort by people who hate our way of life to bring America to her knees. But the way America went to her knees was not quite in the manner the merchants of evil had envisioned.
Instead of initiating outright panic, the tragedy turned America’s focus, however briefly, back to God. Through the wonder of television the people of our nation drew strength from the image of the members of Congress holding hands and singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the nation’s Capitol.
On one somber afternoon, collectively, in our living rooms, at our places of work, in shopping centers and other places where the frequencies of radio and television permeated, we gathered at the Washington National Cathedral to worship, to pray, to reflect on our enormous loss, and to hear the timeless message of spiritual resolve proclaimed in the confident, authoritative tones of God’s warrior for our age—Dr. Billy Graham.
A decade ago we paused to mourn our dead and honor our new heroes: Policemen and firefighters, common citizens, dads, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives who bravely and steadfastly answered their call of duty and many paid the ultimate price to liberate victims of the carnage. A decade ago our spirits were made buoyant by the story of the valiant passengers aboard United Flight 93 who, while battling to their deaths, thwarted terrorism’s plans to target yet another landmark in Washington, D.C.
The events of a decade ago forced our hand to take the war on terrorism to the perpetrators on their own turf as well as to strengthen the efforts to protect the security of our homeland. Thousands of our nation’s young men and women have answered the call to go stand in the gap for freedom’s cause. Far too many of these young, talented individuals have paid the ultimate sacrifice, their lives cut short for defending the American Ideal and helping citizens of other countries who have known only war and destruction all their lives to come to experience liberty.
Much progress has been achieved but as the enemy’s hatred and determination against us remain solid, we must remain steadfast in the war against terror.
In the days ahead news organizations will set aside time to remember the horror, the panic, the ghastly images of that day. We should take this time to again celebrate freedom, to pause again in tribute for the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001, to remember those heroes whose lives were given freely for the protection of freedom, to review the spiritual journey of our great country, and to renew a commitment best expressed nearly 150 years ago by our nation’s 16th president in the ageless eloquence of his Gettysburg Address: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
It was another president, Thomas Jefferson, who said: “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty.” On that cornerstone has been erected a mighty republic—one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!
God bless America!