On September 12, 2001, America was different, but unlike what we may see in our current society, life was beautiful the day after 9/11. We were united. We didn’t care if someone was a Democrat, or Republican, or super liberal, or super conservative. We didn’t care about anyone’s economic status or ethnicity. On September 12, 2001, we were all just Americans. It took a tragedy to unite us. The tragedy of 9/11 is not that people have forgotten about it. Remembering the tragedy for the tragedy is tragic if we do not remember the difference that the tragedy created in our lives.
Unity. On September 12, 2001, we were united. We wept with those who were weeping. We did not stop and ask if the loved one they lost was a Democrat or Republican or if they had the same religious beliefs or value systems as we did. We just grieved with so many who lost a loved one. We cared that every individual was a human being, and we needed to start seeing every individual as a human being that God created.
We were united because we all felt the pain. We were united because we all felt the pride of the first responders and the other unsung heroes who risked their lives to save the lives of other people, many of them strangers. Our unity on that day and the days that followed, was one reason we recovered. We knew this country was not perfect, but we also knew that our unity could give us strength to become better humans and work together for a better society.
Unity will reveal the strength or weakness of a group of people. There is power in unity. Division reveals our weaknesses. Division rears its ugly head when we demand that everyone behaves and aligns with all our ideas. Division arises when we choose to mock, belittle, and degrade people because they have a different point of view than us because they have had different life experiences than us. It reveals that neither side is right or righteous, no matter which side claims to be Christian. It also states that neither side is for humanity but for their own cause. For those of us who are Christians, we must remember that Jesus was always for humanity and his selfless act of his sacrifice was for everyone. On 9/12/01, we realized the importance of selflessness.
Selflessness. On September 12, 2001, we were a little more selfless and a little less selfish. The realization that so many first responders risked their own lives for complete strangers made us realize that they didn’t just do their rescuing because of their job, but because they were selfless and cared about humanity. We wondered if each of us were willing to sacrifice our own lives for a stranger. Before we could answer that, we had to realize that the stranger might believe and vote differently than us, and on 9/12/2001, we realized that the sacrifice was greater than the other person’s beliefs.
As Christians, we must remember that Jesus died for all, even for those who did not believe in him and who were against him. Jesus sacrificed his life for all. Maybe we can remember to sacrifice for strangers. Maybe we can sacrifice our rightness and our political agenda for the love others.
Love. On 9/12/2001, we realized we needed to love more. We must show love to other people over all other attributes. Love does not envy. It does not boast. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love is kind. There are three great attributes, faith, love, and hope, but the greatest of these is love. The commandments are summed up to love God and love your neighbors as we love ourselves. Love is what causes us to sacrifice. Love is not just reserved for those for whom it is easy to love, but for those with whom we struggle. If we want our country to be great, we all must do our part. We all must love other people. If we begin with loving others, people will see the change in our attitudes and actions. Our social media posts will be ones that project love for humanity and not malice toward anyone. It will take work. It will take time because love takes work and time, and as it grows, we see the people we love grow and change with strength and love and sacrifice for others. The love that we show and the sacrifices that we make will all bring unity to humanity once again