For Just Today
Someday soon and I really wish it were today, we all, and by “all” I mean Americans in general and those living in the New York York metro area in particular, need a day. Let’s call it a day of silence. A moment will not do.
Today is a day of solemn remembrance. For today or one day soon can we put aside the politics? Can we just for 24 hours not blame Bush or Obama or both? Could we for a few hours stop hating on Cheney or Biden. Can the commentators get the day off with pay if they will be silent? Today or one day soon can we cease talking from sun up to sunset about what an athlete did in an elevator to a woman who later chose to marry him? Can we just shut up about when the NFL got a video tape for one day? Can we stop for one day our griping and harping and our criticizing for everything from Foreign Policy to who is going to play third base next year for the Yankees. For one day can we stop the second guessing and spin? Oh I wish it was for today.
Thirteen years ago we suffered a national tragedy. We were attacked and we were wounded. That wound runs deep and the scab has been opened many times over the years. Between Washington, New York and Shanksville PA., over three thousand souls lost their lives that day. Obviously not everyone lost someone but we all lost something that day. We lost our innocence, we lost our sense of security, and we lost our peace of mind. We all lost something that day. Since then in Afghanistan and Iraq among other places we’ve lost many other American heroes. For today, maybe just for today, can we really remember them? Can we honor their memory with a day of quiet reflection not just a few brief seconds of silence?
For today, just for today, I ask us all to layside most everything else and grieve with those who still grieve. I am tired of trying to multi-task concern and grief. It doesn’t really work. We need to forget ourselves and our agendas and cry with the young lady who was 5 years old when September 11th first got famous and who entered college this fall driven by her grandparents because her mom died that day. We need to be silent and remember that young man who can’t watch Derek Jeter’s last game with his dad because his pop didn’t make it out of Tower One. We need to remember the 70 year old retired firefighter who has a lung disease because he wouldn’t leave “the pile” because he was looking for his boy. We need a day.
We need to pray for those who are still scarred with the memory of cries from co-workers or massive oppressive smoke or jumpers or messages left on answering machines from loved ones. We need to remember the FDNY which lost 343 men in the space of a couple of hours. This holds true for the NYPD (they lost 23 officers) and Port Authority Police (they lost 37 officers) as well. We need to remember the soldiers who lost their lives as well as those whose limps and lives was shattered by an improvised explosive device in a war fought to make sure 9-11 never happens again.
We need a day of silence for a moment won’t due. I wish it were today. We need to attend or watch a 9-11 memorial event on TV or the internet. We need to call a friend who had a 9-11 related loss (20 percent of American know someone who died or was hurt in 9-11) and remind them we are there for them and mean it. We need to bring dinner to a firehouse or cookies to the precinct and the only words out of our mouths should be “thank you”. We need to salute a veteran or buy lunch for an enlisted man or woman. We need a day.
We need a day. We need to get before our God and give thanks for those in charge with protecting us every day and we need to pray for them. We need to ask that same God what would He have us to do since we survived on 9-11. We need to have dinner with our family and maybe invite some friends over. We need to say where we were and how we felt on that day. Then we need to hug each other. We need to gather around our dinner tables, hold hands and say grace, thanking our Lord above that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave and praying that it will ever be so. We need a day.
Tomorrow we can bicker and blame and fill the room with our flawed and biased opinions. On the 12th we can act like it is business as usual and go on our merry way. We need a day and I really wish it were today.
Pastor Dave Watson