Today is a beautiful day here in Toronto. The skies are blue. The temps are very warm. And people got up today to meet their daily commitments. Just like any other day. But today is not like any other day. Today is a special day - a day where as we move within the moments of our lives, there is a part of our mind that is drawn back in time. A part of our heart that hurts as we remember where we were on this day twelve years ago, the moment we heard the news .. the moment we saw those images that have been burned into our mind's eye. Burned into our souls.
Today is September 11. The twelfth anniversary of a tremendous loss, which took place on the homeland of the United States. But I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that it was a loss that rippled around the world. Indeed the entire world was American on that fateful day - and the days that followed.
We were glued to our TV's. We cried as we watched the horror taking place in Manhattan, and at the Pentagon, and in an unassuming field in Shanksville.
Our hearts broke as we watched the mighty towers fall. Attempting to wrap our collective minds around the immense loss of life. As we watched the hero's of that day rushing into the belly of the beast as everyone else were running for their lives.
As we watched the bucket brigade on the following days. As we heard the silence among the smoldering rubble when a life was recovered.
How mothers and fathers around the world hugged their loved ones a little tighter that day.
We do not understand God's plans. And in times of extreme tragedy many of us will question that plan. Indeed many will question the existence of God. How could he let this happen?? Surely the Almighty could have stopped evil from wreaking havoc that day.
But God never promised that there would not be pain. That there would never be heartbreak. Loss. Suffering. That we would never stare into the face of evil. Indeed it is how we meet those moments that determines our own fate. It is in those moments when we reach to God. When we cling to his mercy. That we pray for his love and strength to meet the heartache and to survive the pain of grave loss. It is in those moments when our own character is defined. How we come to the aide of each other. How we ban together, support one another, lift one another up in his name. How we heal together and become stronger. Stronger in our faith. Stronger in our belief. Stronger as a humanity.
Surely it is in his light that those who watched the suffering of the lives directly impacted, immediately called upon his name - in your name, and carried you in our hearts every moment of every day since.
Three years ago I wrote a poem marking the ninth anniversary of this day. And would like to share it here again, for those who may have not yet read it.
May God bless and keep all who were impacted by the events of that day.