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Sep8ThuThis Sunday will mark a decade since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York City and Washington, D.C. Here are some reflections that have stirred in my mind and heart as we approach this sad anniversary. September 8, 2011 by Captain Mark Braye
Where were you on Tuesday, September 11, 2001? I was in high school. During my law class in the morning, a student who had left the room came back and told us what was happening. Like the rest of the world, we were shocked and terrified.
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- Opinion & Critical Thought
I've been to New York City twice in my life; pre-9/11 and post 9/11. Both visits were very different in experience and feeling.
My first visit was filled with wonder and amusement. This was the city I had seen brought to life on TV and in movies hundreds of times. New York is home to several sports teams, Broadway, Wall Street, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, and the United Nations. New York City is legendary.
The second visit was in the spring of 2002. As I drove around the city, there was an eerie vibe and smell around the city in general and ground zero especially.
This Sunday will mark a decade since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York City and Washington, D.C. The events of the now infamous day have been explored and pondered over the past 10 years on TV and movies and through literature.
Here are some reflections that have stirred in my mind and heart as we approach this sad anniversary.
First, al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11, does not represent the whole of Islam and Muslims. The rise of Islamaphobia over the past 10 years is shameless, even if it is somewhat understandable. The fear that was struck into the heart of the world and the United States on that Tuesday will last for generations. However, as Christians we know that perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Maybe we simply need better love?
Second, regardless of religious and theological differences with members of other faiths, we should never destroy sacred texts and we should never purposely mock or insult other faith traditions. Many lives have been taken and much blood has been shed in response to the childish actions of a few bigoted individuals.
Third, Osama bin Laden was finally found and killed this past May. I have to be honest and confess; part of me was celebrating with the people on the streets of New York that night. Another part of me, however, was disgusted with myself and what I saw on TV. What is the difference between people celebrating September 11, 2001 in the Middle East and people celebrating May 1, 2011 in North America?
I'm sure many people could share their thoughts and opinions as well. However we feel, we need to respond in a biblically sound manner. We need to respond with the love, grace and true justice of God.
I did not lose a loved one on September 11, 2001. If I did, perhaps I would feel very differently today. I'm sure this post could garner quite the negative feedback. I mean no ill-will or to open any healing wounds. To anyone reading this who was directly affected by the events of 9/11, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Captain Mark Braye and his wife, Nancy, are the officers/pastors of The Salvation Army Tri-Town Community Church in Temiskaming Shores, Ont. They have two children, Hannah and Micah. The four of them love to play and watch Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and The Wiggles.