For those of us in the United States, the digits 9-1-1 are literally a call for help. To reach Emergency Services, we dial 911 on our phones and are connected to a specially trained operator who gets us the emergency help we need...an ambulance, fire truck, police.
Add a slash to those numbers, and their meaning changes. 9/11 signifies the date on which three thousand people died when terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania.
It's the date we in America remember all too clearly because we were sending 911 calls of prayer heavenward as 911 phone calls went to the emergency operators. Emergency services responded to the calls, and then so many first responders lost their lives when the towers collapsed. It was horrible to watch on television, and I can only imagine how those who saw it happen in front of them felt.
Today, on the anniversary of that horrible day, we remember those lives lost, the mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters and husbands and wives and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends who died because of hate.
We remember that day of helplessness and hurting. And we remember how we came together in the days following. We remember the international support we received. We remember the help and healing and love.
But today, mostly, we remember the loss. And our hearts break all over again.
God's grace, peace, and comfort to all who suffered personal tragedy that day. Please know that we remember and lift you up and cry with you.