Tuesday, September 11, 2007
September 11, 2001
It's hard to believe this happened six years ago today! What a tragedy and yet, what a reawakening. I remember feeling shocked and numb. It was almost like watching a Hollywood movie. My mind struggled with the knowledge that it was, in fact, real. But in the days that followed the tragedy of September 11, 2001, America proved that good still existed in spades! It was so emotional and inspiring to watch as the nation united in prayer for and remembrance of the fallen, both victims and rescue workers. I've been thinking today about how Buddha and Bugga lived in heaven during this event. I wonder what they were doing and how heaven was responding to the evil and destruction playing out on earth? I've also been thinking about how life has returned to "normal" since that infamous day. I surprised myself by actually remembering that today was the anniversary of 9/11. And I'm a bit sad that remembering came as a surprise. I know, it's a confusing line of thought. Just bear with me. I wonder how many of us make a conscious effort to remember? To me, it's like reading scriptures and saying prayers. I know they are wonderful. I know they bring the spirit into my life and make me truly happy. Doing these things improves my daily life immensely. But I don't always do them. I'll be on fire for days and days: reading scriptures diligently, saying my prayers, feeling close to my Heavenly Father, being a more loving wife and mom, avoiding television trash, serving others, etc. But then something happens, like a long, hard day with the kids, or a dispute with the spouse and I make an excuse like, "I'm too tired to kneel down and pray tonight," and the fire burns out just like that. If I know the benefits and blessings that come with remembering to do these few little things, why is it so hard to stick with it? Why is it so hard to remember such a life-changing event as 9/11? So many people died, so many people risked their lives to save others, so many tragic and inspiring stories that ought to keep the memory alive, but without an effort on my part to remember, all these elements of 9/11 will turn into words on the page of a history textbook and nothing more. What's important in this life is to remember. Even if I have to remind myself to remember. I believe that Heavenly Father wants us to just keep trying. I will be in spiritual trouble if I ever give up trying to do what is right and what is required of me. Just like America will be in trouble if we ever stop remembering. I believe that the events of September 11, 2001, brought out the "religion" in each of us. We felt vulnerable against a very powerful and pervasive evil and called out to our Creator for mercy. We remembered that we need our Heavenly Father. We remembered and, for a moment, remembering made us forget about our selfish, worldly pursuits and desires. Remembering made us good and it made evil shrink. We must remember always and we must be good always. Then, and only then, will we win the fight against evil - a very determined and malicious evil. You know, what I'm really trying to say, though it's coming across quite poorly, is best understood by these words offered by the French Historian, Alexis de Tocqueville. This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. He said:
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
And so, I will try to remember. I will remember the feelings of love and peace I have when I am righteous and when I do those things Heavenly Father has asked me to do. And in remembering the blessings that await, I know it will be more difficult to make excuses. I will also remember the feelings of unity and love that came out of the tragedy of September 11, and I will be more tolerant of others, more willing to serve, and more distant from the filth and trash of the world that would make the sacrifices of those who died seem meaningless and wasted. I will be good and hope that it helps to make my beloved country great.