Tuesday, September 11, 2001. New York City. It was business as usual as millions of Americans thought nothing of carrying out their normal morning routine. A single mother drops off her kids at day care and rushes to get to work on time. A husband kisses his wife goodbye and hops in a cab, headed towards the airport. A recent college grad is stuck in traffic, likely to miss her 9am interview across town at a prestigious firm at the World Trade Center. It’s not quite 8am and the city that never sleeps is hustling and bustling as usual. And then, less than an hour later, everyone’s life would change.
8:46 am- a plane has been hi-jacked and hits one of the Twin Towers. An outbreak of frenzy spreads like wildfire across the city. 9:02 am- a second plane hits the second tower. Both buildings are now in flames. Tower 1 burned approximately 56 minutes and Tower 2 burned for roughly 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. In the blink of an eye, the future of the United States was changed forever.
Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-six people died as a result of 9/11. The single mom, the husband, and the college grad were among the millions of New Yorkers who had a different fate on September 11th, 2001. And they lived to tell about it. They, along with their fellow American citizens, rallied together to stand as one United Nation against terrorism. They held candle-light vigils in memory of 9/11 victims. They held their loved ones closer that night. The following Sunday, Churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples across the country overflowed with tears of grief and gratitude. America had been attacked and the attack seemed to bring us all closer together.
Here were are now, on the eve of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Seems we’re back to business as usual once again. Have we forgotten about the care and concern we showed for one another just 10 years earlier? Have we forgotten what it means to work together and not take each passing day for granted? Sure, there are lots of News Specials commemorating the 10th Anniversary, but what happens when September 12th rolls around? Will we once again resort to our prideful prejudices towards those who are lighter, darker, fatter, thinner, richer, or poorer than us? Will we fill the Church this Sunday morning, and neglect the Lord the remainder of the week? Will politicians continue to blame the President for everything that’s wrong in the world, instead of working with him to make things right in our country? Will we remain content at operating in a consistent level of complacency while the world around us rotates on an axis of terror?
Ladies and gentlemen, we have an emergency. Not just because there is a “credible” terror threat for 9/11/11 (and there is one, by the way) but because our very existence is threatened by our own greedy, intolerant, and self-destructive behaviors. We’re outraged by the terroristic threats of foreigners but don’t do anything to fight against the terror of racism, classism, sexism, violence, and injustice that occurs in our own back yards. That’s backwards. Hatred is growing and love is dying. Too many people are living beneath their God-given potential, working against their neighbor, and operating as though nothing is wrong. Gandhi once said,
“you must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
People, it’s time to change. Stop blaming others for the chaos you allow in your life. Stop waiting for someone else to fix the system- do something to fix yourself, your family, and your community. Stop pretending your dysfunction doesn’t exist. Stop behaving as though you are better than those of a different race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, social class, religion, or any other dividing demographic. The fact that you need to put others down in order to elevate yourself is a tell-tale sign of your own inferiority complex. What will you do to change? How will you contribute to the success of our country, instead of contributing to its demise? Wake up, America! Your future is at stake. Time to call the paramedics… the Chief Surgeon is waiting… your heart is in need of a transplant.