Sunday, September 10, 2006


Today, we commemorate the fifth anniversary of a vile attack on America. Like most people, I remember what I was doing that day. Like most people, I remember hearing that a plane had crashed into a building, and considered the possibility that it was a deliberate attack. When the second plane crashed, all doubt was gone. We were at war.

I have seen the pictures, but I have never gone to ground zero. I remember hearing about the army of counselors that descended upon the city to help all the people who would never again see their husbands, wives, mothers, or fathers.

It was a particularly vile attack. It wasn't collateral damage from an attack on a military target. They purposely attacked unarmed civilians. They calculated the attack to cause maximum terror and outrage. 'Terrorist' is an apt name for our attackers.

Even if your cause is just, you lose a lot of your humanity and become just like those you despise when you resort to such tactics. They, of course, didn't even have the pretense of a just cause. They say that Allah wants them to do it, but if Allah is anything like the God of the universe that I know and love, they are sadly mistaken. When the suicide bombers head for their final reward expecting their flock of virgins, they are going to bitterly disappointed.

But what has happened during this past five years?

First of all, we started to pull together. I was never prouder of American and what she stands for than right after the 9/11 attacks. We became one in heart and soul and determination.

Alas, as I expected, it didn't last.

Or did it?

Yes, there are many nay-sayers. The liberal news media broadcasts its slant and loudly reports every mistake and mis-move that anyone involved makes -- that is, anyone who is on our side. The atrocities perpetrated by the enemy are reported, but most of them are glossed over.

If you talk to most Americans, they will tell you that they support our troops, pray for them, and thank them for doing their jobs. Some of the loud voices don't agree, but the vast majority of us are solidly behind our country and our fighting men.

Paul tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

And so, the "don't resist" doctrine is dead. Hijackers are now aggressively attacked and subdued -- as the shoe bomber found out. The patriotism and love of country is still here -- not the fresh roaring flame that came right after the attack, but the hot and simmering coals that just won't die away with age. Big and small, this attack has brought out the best in some of us, and the worst in others.

To some extent, it has divided us. Or, it seems to have divided us. Actually, what it really did was to highlight the devision that was already there. Those who would placate the attackers, or who hate their own country have always been there. Now, they're easier to see.

The rest of us are pulling together. It's really hard to explain, but it's easy to see. It's a kind of spirit that is here -- a spirit of America that won't be quenched.

Bad has come of this, too. Some liberties have been taken in the name of security. That, however, is minor compared to the fear that is in the hearts of some people.

Is there fear in my heart? No way! Yes, I know that they are likely to strike again. Yes, I know that this is a new danger that didn't much exist back when I was a soldier during the cold war. The fear that existed back then was that someone would push the button, unleashing a nuclear barrage that would wipe out civilization.

Did you ever look up the mortality statistics of 2001? I did. Even if you lived in New York, you were more likely to die in a car wreck than in the attack.

We must never forget that it was an atrocity that needs to be answered, but we must also remember that they didn't do us damage that deserves fear. They tried their best to hurt us, but the attack is well down in the list. If you want to extend your life expectancy, you are better off putting on your seatbelt than staying away from terrorism targets.

So we can despise what they did, but fear is way out of line. We are Americans, not little mice that should tremble in the corner. They gave it their best shot, and we all but wiped out their organization. Those that remain are the ones trembling in fear and hiding like mice.

It is good to remember that as we pray for the families of the fallen, pray for our troops, and pray that the wisdom of God will come upon our people and our leaders.


Anonymous Wendy Gutshall said...

Ray my friend, I stand up and applaud your entry! That was wonderful!!

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Cel said...

Thank you Ray. I so enjoy reading everything you put out on your blog.

4:17 PM  

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