From left to right, The Pentagon,
Not that long ago,
David P. Christiansen
Perhaps the three images above are more meaningful than any pictures of burning buildings, explosions, or crash sites. National disaster causes many reactions, the first of which is doing what we have to do to accomplish the rescue of any survivors, to comfort families and friends of those injured, and those who did not survive. We also must ensure the security not only of our national borders, but also of internal facilities that may be in danger from evil men because of our own complacency. Americans, more than any people in the world, have demonstrated that they can pull together in time of tragedy.
At first, we all come together – some on search and rescue, some giving blood, some counseling, some donating time, money and needed supplies. Second, we find comfort in a surge of the patriotism that is our birthright, and we signal our righteous outrage over the cowardly acts of a demented few who mistakenly believe they can break our spirit. Finally, we may feel helpless, like the lone rescue worker atop the mass of rubble in the photo at right above. But we are not helpless. Thank God we live in a country where the “People” can find ways to keep the spirit of our sacred birthright alive for future generations.
One way is to make sure that our children and grandchildren understand their birthright. We all need to personally take part in projects that promote the very foundations upon which this great nation was formed; Faith, Family and Flag (country); projects that teach and instill the traditional meanings of Patriotism, Dignity, Honor and Respect.
One such project is Freedom Field, a 30-acre national
educational park and entertainment facility dedicated to the honor of the Flag
You can take part in this very special project.
Our mission is to cultivate in the largest possible number of our young citizens an appreciation of both the responsibilities and the benefits which come to them because they are Americans.....and are free.
AT THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
We are here in the middle hour of our grief. So many have suffered so great a loss, and today we express our nation’s sorrow. We come before God to pray for the missing and the dead, and for those who loved them.
On Tuesday, our country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty. We have seen the images of fire and ashes and bent steel.
Now come the names, the list of casualties we are only beginning. They are the names of men and women who began their day at a desk or in an airport, busy with life. They are the names of people who faced death and in their last moments called home to say, Be brave and I love you.
They are the names of
passengers who defied their murderers and prevented the murder of others on the
ground. They are the names of men and women who wore the uniform of the
They are the names of rescuers — the ones whom death found running up the stairs and into the fires to help others. We will read all these names. We will linger over them and learn their stories, and many Americans will weep.
To the children and parents and spouses and families and friends of the lost, we offer the deepest sympathy of the nation. And I assure you, you are not alone.
Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history, but our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder.
This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others; it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.
Our purpose as a nation is
firm, yet our wounds as a people are recent and unhealed and lead us to pray.
In many of our prayers this week, there’s a searching and an
honesty. At St. Patrick’s Cathedral in
God’s signs are not always the ones we look for. We learn in tragedy that his purposes are not always our own, yet the prayers of private suffering, whether in our homes or in this great cathedral are known and heard and understood.
There are prayers that help us last through the day or endure the night. There are prayers of friends and strangers that give us strength for the journey, and there are prayers that yield our will to a will greater than our own.
This world He created is of
moral design. Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness,
remembrance and love have no end, and the Lord of life holds all who die and
all who mourn.
It is said that adversity
introduces us to ourselves. This is true of a nation as well. In this trial, we
have been reminded and the world has seen that our fellow Americans are
generous and kind, resourceful and brave.
We see our national character
in rescuers working past exhaustion, in long lines of blood donors, in
thousands of citizens who have asked to work and serve in any way possible. And
we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the
A group of men drove through
the night from
Today, we feel what Franklin
Roosevelt called, “the warm courage of national unity.” This is a unity of
every faith and every background. This has joined together political parties
and both houses of Congress. It is evident in services of prayer and
candlelight vigils and American flags, which are displayed in pride and waved
in defiance. Our unity is a kinship of grief and a steadfast resolve to prevail
against our enemies. And this unity against terror is now extending across the
America is a nation full of good fortune, with so much to
be grateful for, but we are not spared from suffering.
In every generation, the world
has produced enemies of human freedom. They have attacked
On this national day of prayer
and remembrance, we ask almighty God to watch over our nation and grant us
patience and resolve in all that is to come. We pray that He will comfort and
console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank Him for each life we now must
mourn, and the promise of a life to come.
As we’ve been assured, neither
death nor life nor angels nor principalities, nor powers nor things present nor
things to come nor height nor depth can separate us from God’s love.
May He bless the souls of the departed. May He comfort our own. And may He always guide our country.