20 years now.
Where'd they go?
I don't know.
I sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone.
From "Like A Rock", by Bob Seger
The word "score" has quite a few definitions. Three of them stand out to me. First, as a sports fan, it is the fulfillment of the requirements in the rules to create a point or points. Second, as a musician, it is the manuscript which contains all parts of a composition. But it is the last one which sets the tone for this post. It is a measure of time which spans twenty years.
That is where we are today.
We are two decades removed from the greatest terrorist attack in this country's history. Four hijacked airplanes. Three cities now forever linked in history's annuls: New York, NY; Washington, DC; and Shanksville, PA. 2,996 lives lost; thousands more altered. A blood red-letter day when we recall where we were when it happened.
Even now, as the country seems to be taking a new approach to the "war on terror" after twenty years, we still have unresolved questions. As I have suggested in other tribute posts, this is as much a spiritual battle as it is as ideological one. This was an incident where Satan just decided to discard his facade and give us a direct look at his face. "I caused this effect. Look at me. Look at my power. Fear me. Bow to me. Give up and give in." And then we are reminded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, "I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." (John 16:33) The victory is won; however, the battles in this spiritual war still need to be waged. Part of those battles will involve terroristic acts by the enemy and those who agree with him. Turning the other cheek cannot be an option if true justice is required.
We as a country vowed to "Never Forget". Ceremonies and tributes have and will take place from sea to shining sea. Attend one if you can. Find more eloquent words than mine (in terms of finding them and they being more eloquent, it shouldn't be difficult). And while the idea of turning this into a national "Patriot's Day" has faded, what this means to us as a nation shouldn't. This was a rallying point which allowed us to set aside our differences and come together in a common cause. It is that spirit of unification which is needed now more than ever as we contend with enemies both foreign and domestic, those that legitimately want to do "We the People" great harm.
We grieve with those who still mourn. We aid those who still need our help. We honor those who for seemingly no good reason are not with us. I once again offer these intercessions for your prayerful consideration (as I did in 2007, 2013, and 2018):
1. The souls of all who died.
2. Those who still mourn.
3. Those who seek a just solution. (While this may have been accomplished May 1, 2011, have we really solved the problem?)
4. Forgiveness toward our enemies.
5. Our enemies (didn't Someone command us to do this?).
6. The courage to continue the fight.
Where have these twenty years gone? Seemingly no closer to solutions. Some peace, but yet an uneasiness still lingers. So does the sadness. Yet we are here. An obligation we have voluntarily undertaken and so will continue to do. And, perhaps someday with the grace of God, it will still retain its meaning without the underlying motivations and become a fitting tribute to a time when Uncle Sam got a black eye and overcame it.