Fallen But Not Forgotten

This, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, should be, will be, filled with remembrances of the day. Images of that morning terrorist attack on America, people relating where they were when they first heard of the attack. There is a risk of being overwhelmed by the evil of that day.

Of course, we should not ever engage in any kind of trying to soften what happened. Either “woke-washing” or just perfunctory acknowledgement before moving on. The fallen of the day – at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania – need to be alive in our memories. This year, families will be allowed to return to the 9/11 Memorial where the twin towers stood and read the names of all the people who perished that day. Watch live coverage here.

It is a solemn day in remembrance of horrific tragedy. But it is also a day of hope and faith that those who died are only gone from our presence. That evil struck, but the fallen ultimately triumphed. The legacies left. Stories of small gestures of compassion to the calm evidenced by so many who called and left messages of love and comfort to those they were leaving behind.

They are raised. In our memories and in the stories we pass down.

We remember, God of history and remembrance, we remember. We remember when the towers fell and the lives were lost; we remember the dust and the smoke, the despair, and the grief. We remember that sense of vulnerability and shock. We remember the numbness that overwhelmed us as we watched our screens for hours and hours, waiting for an explanation and understanding that never came. We remember.

We remember, God of hope and presence, we remember. We remember the heroes, those who rushed to help, who guided the wounded down innumerable flights of stairs, who rose to overwhelm those who held death in their hands. We remember the hours and the days of binding wounds and healing hurts, giving comfort, drying tears. We remember words of support and compassion from nations far and wide. We remember.

We remember in part because we see the ripples of that tragic day continue to impact our world twenty years later. We grieve with allies today as our allies grieved with us twenty years ago. And together we wonder if there will ever be an end . . . to violence, to war, to hatred, to death. We remember and we grieve our world’s inability to learn the things that lead to peace.

We call to you now in our remembrance, God of justice and of peace. Give us a will to truly pray that your kin-dom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen and Amen.

On this day of solemn remembrance:
May we honor the lives that were lost in this tragic act.
May we give thanks for those who served and saved, rendered aid and assistance.
May we give comfort to those who live with loss.
May we seek justice and peace where it is within our ability,
and rely on you when the ability escapes us.

On this day of solemn remembrance:
May we build what has been torn down.
May we mend what has been broken.
May live your love when hate seems to reign.
May we bear witness to the cause of peace.

Amen.

by Derek Weber

featured image original artwork for Victory Girls by Darleen Click

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