Remembering on September 11
“I thank my God every time I remember you…” (Philippians 1:3, NRSV)
An elderly couple came walking slowly across the summertime hot parking lot at our local Walmart store. As they made their way to the entrance doors I greeted them, explained the food drive we were conducting, and handed them the list of food items needed. I noticed the gentleman’s cap identified him as a Korean War veteran.
They listened politely, but as with most that day, they were eager to get on inside the store. Just as they started to step away, without really thinking I said something like, “By the way, thank you for serving our country.” The couple was almost inside the door, but the gentleman stopped, looked directly at me, and said with a bit of a cracking voice, “Thank you. God bless you. God bless you.”
Today is 9/11, a national day of remembrance. We remember the terrorist attacks that took place 12 years ago. We remember the many that lost their lives that day. We remember the survivors whose lives were forever changed. We remember the courageous efforts of the first responders that played out in front of us on live TV. We remember our military personnel who have, continue to serve as a result of that day. We remember how that day’s events changed our world.
But the very brief encounter I shared above reminded me that every day is an opportunity to remember. Every encounter is an opportunity to remember. Every person is worth remembering…because of the value God places on them. Just think Jesus Christ on the cross.
“I thank my God every time I remember you…” May the Apostle Paul’s ancient words be true for us on this day, September 11, and every day.
In Christ’s Peace,