It’s a memory that’s burnt into my brain. At any moment I can flip the switch and I relive the very moments as if time hasn’t moved on.
It’s fifteen years now. Where I was, the people I was with, the weird sorrow and uncertainty we felt all day, I remember it all. Glued to the TV in every room and place I went. The people I was with–no one spoke. What could we say?
The community I grew up in was always patriotic, but the flags flew higher. There was a printed flag the size of a newspaper that came to our homes and were proudly hung.
“We will never forget…” Plastered home and business windows alike.
Churches were full across our whole entire country.
It’s a day I won’t forget because of the tragedy, the unity, but also because it also was the first day ever in my life I felt vulnerable. That I could be a target and that feeling made me mad. Angry in fact. I wasn’t alone because many of my friends I had known most of my life took The Oath, put on the uniform, and fought face to face with the evil.
Our country as a whole was behind our military and police officers. The young men and women were supported fully. Our respect for authority was high.
Fast forward fifteen years. I look outside and see more and more evil. I see more and more divisiveness. The once packed churches are empty again.
Looking past that, though, I still see something more. I see a people that put on the uniform of the most powerful military in the world. Those men and women are fighting to protect what our united country stands for no matter the consequences for themselves or their families.
When they come home now, it saddens me. They (we/I) are reminded our country’s people aren’t appreciative anymore. Somehow we maintain our freedoms and protection and it is just expected. We are an entitled people and it breaks my heart terribly. Respect and appreciation is lost on the next generations.
Closer to home–our police force. The people that put on the uniform to protect and serve in our communities, they experience this daily. Lack of respect for authority. Lack of respect for those who truly want the best for our communities. Appreciation is lost.
What’s different as I remember this tragedy today? We aren’t in church. We accept all things for fear of rejection. We allow evil to win because we are scared. Who are we that we should be scared? When we stand firm on the Word of God we shall have no fear. He is always was and always will be the same. The things He promises, He’s always fulfilled. We don’t have respect for the authority of God.
So from here on out, as I “will never forget” and remember this date, I’ll also remember who my ultimate authority is. I’ll fight fear with the One who already won. I’ll face fear head on knowing I may meet opposition and at that point I’ll fight even harder–on my knees. Praying for our country. For its leaders. For our military families. For our police families. For God to use me for His purposes and not my own.