Reflections on Nine/Eleven

Photo credit: Sister72 (via 11, 2001, is a date etched forever into the history of this continent, and particularly into the memories of the people of the United States of America.

Kathleen and I were returning from a speaking engagement in Wisconsin. We had stopped overnight at a motel in Michigan along Interstate 94 and now we were on the last leg of our journey home to Brampton, near Toronto. After clearing customs and immigration at Detroit/Windsor and driving 35 miles or so along highway 401 toward the east, I turned on the car radio. I scanned for some program to occupy my mind and came upon a BBC broadcast which surprised me.

What I heard was about some weird attack being perpetrated on tall buildings in Manhattan. At first I listened to it as a drama. It seemed surreal. But gradually as the fog in my mind cleared we began to realize that this was some special newscast and New York City was under attack from commercial airplanes.

From then on the two of us listened in stunned silence as the story unfolded. When we finished the 220 mile lap from the border to Brampton we went in hurriedly and flipped on our television. The story in all its demonic fury was there before us in vivid color – buildings being incinerated, throngs running along streets trying to outrun a huge dark grey cloud of smoke and concrete dust, firemen entering the inferno of two towering buildings, not even knowing what was there or what they were going to be called upon to do.

Today, eight years have elapsed but the nation-changing event has not lost any of its horror in our memories. And we are aware that although we remember the day as a colossal unleashing of evil that changed the face of a nation and the world, to thousands it is a day compounded by personal loss of loved ones – a husband or granddaughter or a bride. Terrorism had come to these shores.

May God be merciful to our neighbors to the south, and to us all, for this will be a day of pained memories for thousands. And may it be a day when the sufferings of Christ at the hands of vicious haters of another time awaken us afresh to the love of God for all mankind, and draw us to faith in him.

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