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In Theory: Reflections on 9/11

September 09, 2011

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. What are your thoughts on this day?

I am yearning for the goodness of humanity.

I long to stand soft together in silence with people of many nations, our hats in our hands and the same breeze ruffling our bowed heads, not looking alike nor believing alike but the same in our depths, in our love of life and the way our spirits want joy.

I want to sit watch in a starlit field, among the sheeps’ quiet bells, and hear the sky begin to sing of peace on earth and good will among all people, a song of new beginnings; a song not of competing messiahs, but of new human beginnings.


(I would need, in that moment, to have someone show me how properly to kneel and touch my forehead to the ground, humble under that sky’s announcement.)

I am weary of the trumpets of division, the child’s game of who can stand on top of which hill the longest.

I do not want to dwell on the worst we have to offer.

Today I yearn for the holiness of starry skies and all of us bowed down beneath them, washed by their song.

The Rev. Amy Pringle

St. George’s Episcopal Church

La Cañada Flintridge

A few thoughts come to mind on this poignant and emotional day:

Regardless of our current state, we still need God. We did not realize how vulnerable we were as the day dawned on September 11, 2001. Are we really any less vulnerable to tragedy today? When the attacks came, we were shocked and humbled by how susceptible we had been. In Psalm 4:8, David expressed his confidence in God alone: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.” The best of man’s defenses and securities may fail us, but God never will.

Even after the worst tragedies, God provides healing and strength to persevere. “[God] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). We will never forget the days of confusion and fear after the 9/11 attacks, and how even the sound of a plane flying overhead caused us to look twice. But by the grace of God we’re still here, the families of victims are growing, and as a nation we have stood strong. God has been good to us and by his grace, we have not suffered another such attack. He is giving our nation new day after new day to turn back to him.

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