Why Remembering 9/11 Is Important

I was at work when terrorists dealt a huge blow to thousands and thousands of Americans, both directly and indirectly.

These few individuals were filled with such deep hatred that they targeted others who were doing exactly what I was doing: working.

They made every effort to destroy American life and create fear throughout the country.

I’m not smart or well-versed enough to write about some of these larger issues, although 9/11 reminds us that we have enemies and our freedoms are absolutely precious and must be defended.

But what hits me each year is the enormous number of lives that were snuffed out that day.

Unexpected. Untimely.

Families were changed forever.

While I believe in the sovereignty of God, I don’t claim to understand how that works. I can only see these events through my timebound perspective.

Therefore, when I think about that day, I see random loss. Sacrifice of lives that didn’t sign up for it. The main locus of the event wasn’t a military installation.

It was individuals exercising their freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in the best ways they knew how.

They were people just like you and me. None of them were perfect, but all with ridiculous amounts of potential and a network of family and friends that were forever affected by what happened that day.

It is so sad to think about, and that’s exactly why we should remember it.

In an instant, any one of us could perish from any number of accidental causes.

Why do we piss so much of our lives away when this is the case and when we see it happen to others around us all the time?

Why do we waste moments?

Why do we treat relationships cavalierly?

Why do we spend all our money on things that collect dust?

Why do we eat and drink and smoke ourselves into oblivion?

When we still have breath while others have no more, why do we treat that breath as anything less than precious?

I realize that part of our freedom is that we get to enjoy ourselves and celebrate and take things lightly. Heck… I even advocate for chilling the heck out.

But in general, I struggle – and many of us struggle – with the idea that we are building a legacy, one way or another, tiny or large.

Our lives have ripple effects, and we cannot wait until we’re any certain age before we begin intentionally living out our dreams, leaning into growing at every opportunity, and exercising positive influence on those we love and those we come into contact with.

While it’s so important to remember the lives that were lost and the families affected by the events on 9/11/2001, I think it’s nearly as important that we respond to that event by leaning into the freedom we have to build and create and pour out our lives for those around us.

May we never forget. May we never stop seeing the beautiful stories that have risen out of the ashes of that day. May we always steward our freedoms in a way that honors those who have gone before us

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