Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On This Day 11 Years Ago

To my son Tommy,

Today is this anniversary of the events of 11 September 2001 most commonly referred to as 9/11.  On that date, four planes were hijacked and used as weapons of terror.  Two of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City.  One of the planes crashed into the Pentagon into Washington DC.  The final plane was taken down by a passenger coup against the hijackers in a field in Pennsylvania.  It's final destination or target can only be guessed at now.

This was a tragedy that rocked our nation if not our world.  They say nearly three thousand people died in these events, but I believe that just includes those that died from the direct results and not those that died because of the ripple effect such as health issues with the rescue workers and depression and broken hearts for those who never came to terms with what happened.

Many years from now when you are taught about this in school, or in some history book, they will do their best to explain the what and the why and the how.  They will throw in factors of politics and terrorism and symbolism and some people might even throw out some conspiracy theories and such.  I don't have any of those answers and see the explanations as hollow.  There are some questions we all have that just never will be answered in a satisfactory way.  The teacher will assign you to go home and find out where your parents were when they found out and how they felt and what did they do.  Did I cry?  Did I pray?  Did I sit there in awe?  How did I feel?  and once again we will have to have a long talk about death and life.

Last night, I began attending a church event/course that explored among other things the meaning of life.  It is another one of those tough questions that we may never fully understand in our humanity.  It doesn't stop people from searching or guessing or assuming or putting forth their best answers that they have found comfort in.  In this way it is very similar to the why's of 9/11.  I wonder if the hijackers had taken the time to ponder the meaning of life and the gift of life, perhaps they would have found more respect for life in and of itself and decided not to throw away the gift of their life and the gift of the thousands of other lives they snatched from the world.

As we somberly remember the events of that day, and we continue pondering the meaning of our life and the life of those lost, we will hear countless tales of heroism and sacrifice.  In one of those stories you may just find the meaning of life.  You may find a love and sacrifice that is so great that it can only be explained through God presence.  A person who stopped to help another at great personal peril, a person who stayed and held the hand of yet another as they faced certain death, a firefighter who ran in and saved 10 more people before losing his own life.  You can find that moment where the meaning of life is crystal clear.  I am not sure it will ever be able to be vocalized or explained in words but for a brief moment you can see it and feel the meaning of life deep in your soul.  God rest all the souls lost on or due to 9/11.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

No comments:

Post a Comment