Yesterday was a crazy day for me. I moderated my first political debate between Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and his Democratic challenger Francis Thicke. I wrote a story about said debate. And, I followed around some people at the fair that you can read about later this week.
Amidst it all, I kind of missed that it was the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I mean, I thought about it a time or two, but I did not really take the time to reflect on it, so I will try to do that here.
I remember being on a school bus when I heard the news on the radio. A lot of the kids were talking amongst themselves and missed it. As a 14-year-old freshman, I did not even know what the Twin Towers were and myself missed the gravity of the situation. Whatever I missed on that bus, I gained once our class was interrupted with live footage of the second plane hitting the second tower.
"Remember what happened to Nagasaki and Hiroshima?" I remember asking a classmate. "That will be nothing compared to how we respond to whomever is responsible for this."
Looking back, I am so thankful I have grown up so much since that day. All I could think of initially was revenge? The sad thing is, I doubt I was alone in those thoughts. Adults and kids across the country were looking to push the red button.
That was the first thought I had, but, thankfully not the only. The next thought was quite the contrary, actually. I remember bawling my eyes out, praying that God would have mercy on all those involved.
Over the years, the latter thought has won out. I've become a pacifist of sorts. I'm not a fan of war, though I do have friends serving and I support and pray for them.
The tougher part is praying for those considered to be the enemy.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,'" Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, continuing, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
It's not easy and it definitely doesn't come naturally. But, as we reflect on that horrific day in history, let us always remember to respond in love. And, let us always think of the thousands all across the globe that die everyday and say a prayer for them and their families.