Solemn Sunday

How could it have been 21 years ago…it seems like yesterday. I was getting ready to go to University…when I saw on television that one of the World Trade Center Towers was burning. The announcers on the Today Show speculated that perhaps a small engine plane had run into the burning building by accident. It was not long until it was clear that it was no accident. We were under attack and I feared that the attack would be across our nation. Soon it was with another American Airlines Jet diving into the Pentagon. My office on campus was very near the power plant and I assumed that it might be a target. The continuing videos on TV were more horrible than any apocalypse movie that Hollywood ever produced.

We visited the World Trade Center 15 months before 9/11. I felt uneasy the entire time that we were there on tour. I am sure that some of that feeling was due to the first Basement Bombing that occurred on February 26, 1993. However, there was, at least for me, an uncanny frenetic feeling of dread in the halls of the great structure. We toured WTC II and it included a rooftop tour. I thought as we were on the roof that the terrorists will not stop…they will attack again…

We have never been the same. An irreparable change has taken us. We fear the enemy without our borders…and we have constructed enemies within our borders.

Our thoughts have been with the grieving world as Queen Elizabeth has died. I remember her band playing The Star Spangled Banner outside the gates of Buckingham Palace on the evening of 9-11-2001. It brought tears to my eyes.

War has not been the answer. We fought in Afghanistan for 20 years. We must be Peacemakers for as much as within us. We defended ourselves against our aggressors…and it was right to do so…but it is not the solution to the overriding problem.

Look into the eyes of our precious veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress. Help the veteran and their family and their return to normal life with a job and the proper mental health and medical care…lift up our battered and haunted warriors. When you talk with a veteran who has missing limbs or who is blind…a hat with the American Flag and the words, ‘These Colors Don’t Run,’ is not a satisfactory answer for their lifelong suffering.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill said it is better too, ‘Jaw…Jaw…Jaw…Than To…War…War…War…’

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