Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Eleven Years On: 9/11
Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
It was supposed to be "just another day".
History had other ideas.
Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the destruction of the "Twin Towers" at the World Trade Center in New York City via a most hideously ingenious plan: by ramming each of them with a commercial jet aircraft. A similar fate awaited the Pentagon in Washington, DC, although the damage to that building was mild compared to the skyscrapers. A fourth airliner was targeting another prominent landmark in the country; but, because of the bravery of some of the passengers, crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA.
The Gregorian calendar, in its effort to help humanity mark time, takes advantage of the adage "what goes around comes around". For only the second time since it happened (the other being 2007), the anniversary date falls on the day when it originally occurred. While we may have "leap days" to keep in sync with our reckoning of the solar cycle, we cannot skip remembering a day where evil seemingly won a big battle.
Gone but not forgotten are those who perished. For all of them except those who perpetrated this crime, it was going to be "just another day". Nothing out of the ordinary, they were going to do what they were supposed to do: live out their lives. No one had scheduled Emily Dickerson's guest; then, again, it is rare we know that hour is coming. Even this thief in the night will do his work in the full light of day.
Yet eleven years on, we still don't know what to make of it. Fellow 'blogger Anastasia Crosswell of "Kyrie Eleison Me" wrote a poem two years ago in where she struggled with the "why" of this, a statement which still rings true to this day. In a blatant act of gamesmanship, evil gets in our faces and taunts us unmercifully. "I'm still here, making your life miserable," it says. "Give up and give in."
My response to that is, "Hell? No!" How fortunate the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross is a mere three days away from today. It is a reminder that Christ has overcome death, sin, and evil. The Church with her greatest icon, a crucifix, assures us time and again that victory is ours as long as we persevere. This is a spiritual battle fought as well on a temporal plane. As we are made of both flesh and spirit, the conflict will rage until death "kindly stops for me."
As has been the case for the past eleven years, there will be prayers and speeches, tributes and memorials, words and deeds to mark the occasion. If there is something in your locale, I encourage you to attend. Check out other commentary in the 'blogosphere. Fly Old Glory, if weather permits.
We should not forget.
We cannot forget.
This is not "just another day".
UPDATE (9/12/12): Miss Crosswell has informed me the poem was written shortly after the 9/11 attacks and was re-posted at that later date. Duly noted.