Two small numbers—9/11—have become shorthand for an infinite number of emotions: the shock and disbelief of watching the terrorist attack on live TV, the horror of watching the twin towers collapse upon themselves, the national grief as the number of confirmed casualties grew to over 2,800, the growing realization that we are no longer beyond the reach of terrorist attacks, and perhaps most of all, the fact that those who remember where they were on that date, will never, ever be the same.
During this week before the 15th anniversary, here’s a look back at some hopeful and helpful posts since that horribly historic day.
We are strong! We will survive!
September 17, 2001 Like any print and online journalist worth his or her press card, I’ve scrambled to comment on this unbelievable tragedy.
It seems that these cold-blooded attacks only serve to reveal America’s strengths. [Continue reading].
Hope amid horror
September 11, 2006 For those of us glued to our TVs on September 11, 2001, certain images are forever burned into our brains: the planes exploding into the World Trade Towers, the towers collapsing upon themselves, the blood- and soot-covered faces… [Continue reading]
We light this candle
September 11, 2001 On the evening of September 11, 2001, our small community gathered at LaOtto Wesleyan Church north of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for this liturgy written by its pastor, my wife Lois. [A liturgical reading following an attack]
Reactions, reasons, responses
Unfortunately, terrorist attacks throughout the world—and on American soil—have continued, and I have continued to respond with, I trust, hopeful and helpful resources in responding to these heartless terrorist attacks.
• Dealing with death and grief
• “bin Laden, kiss my pass!” (September 10, 2003)
• Talking to your children about terrorism
• What motivates terrorists?
• Taking the terror out of terrorism
• Can war on terrorism be won? (September 11, 2005)
• How can we overcome evil with good?
• What we haven’t learned from 9/11 (September 9, 2002)
Cartoon of the week
I wish I had something humorous to share today, but I’m afraid I don’t. I do have hope that God will provide comfort for those hurting today here and around the world. And that hell itself cannot stop his power and providence.
Get your daily dose of hope and humor on Facebook, Twitter and at the archives.
Quips and quotations on 9/11
Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. President George W. Bush (September 11, 2001)
Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we’ve lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (September 11, 2011)
If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate. Wife of Flight 93 pilot Sandy Dahl
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” President George W. Bush (September 11, 2001)
Read more quotations of hope at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.
This week’s podcast asks the question, Does God make ‘prank’ phone calls?
You can also access over 300 posts—more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at—on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.
All writing copyright © James N. Watkins and is protected by United States and international law. For permission to print or repost, please visit my press page.
• World Trade Center Memorial: i.cdn.turner.com
• World Trade Center lights: Fisher Marantz Stone
• Woman grieving: MorgueFile
If you found this week’s issue helpful, please share on your social networks. Thanks!