For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV
Today, our pastor preached on remembering. He said we all remember exactly where we were ten years ago today. I do. It was an overcast rainy day. I argued with youngest son about going to school. He hated school. I finally got to work and was at my desk when a volunteer called, “Turn on the television. A plane hit the World Trade Center.” We gathered around a television with only a small antenna for reception. The image was grainy and poor, but the announcer’s voice came through clearly. We heard more than saw the second plane hit another tower. And watched in horror as both buildings fell and people ran through the streets to safety. But, not all. Especially not the ones who ran back into the building hoping to save lives. Just doing their job. September 11 is all about heroes. Ordinary people who became heroes. Firefighters and police officers doing instinctively what they had been trained to do. Janitors who knew how to open doors and lead others through mazes to the outside. Subway operators and ferry boat captains who held cars and boats until the last possible moment to carry as many as they could away from the burning buildings. And a plane load of people who knew that they were going to die, but chose to go down fighting and with their choice saved hundreds of others who were targeted for death as well. But, we didn’t know all that then. All I wanted to do was rush to my children’s school and pull them out of class and hold them. But, the School Board urged us to make the day as ordinary as possible. So, when we were finally reunited, we drove in the pouring rain to the craft store to buy supplies for youngest son’s school project. I kept the television off and we covered a balloon in paper and paste. But, my mind did not stray far from what was happening in New York and Washington, DC. Oh, yes, I still remember and to this day, I do not see a plane in the sky without imagining it bursting into a ball of fire. And I remember when I see my sons, one now a law enforcement officer and one a firefighter. I wonder if their career choices were born on that day so long ago. Our preacher said this morning that in remembering, we are shaped into who we are. In remembering, we are changed. Forgetting breeds arrogance, self reliance, and judgmental attitudes. I think perhaps, many of our politicians have forgotten. For shortly after 9/11, our country came together in unity. But, in an even greater tragedy than exploding planes and falling buildings, partisanship still reigns. What we need are more heroes. More selfless, giving, brave men and women who are willing to risk their lives for what is right. In remembering, we are challenged to be like Christ, who gave His all so that we might live. Remember.