This past Wednesday at chapel at Bishop Seabury Academy I took a moment to mention the 18th Anniversary of 9/11 and almost said, “we all have our 9/11 story” but then realized that most, if not all of the students present were not alive at that time. My eldest child Alex, now away at college, was less than two years old.
Which means that for a large group of young people, the message is no longer “never forget” but rather “let me tell you what I remember,” which is a huge responsibility on our part because what we should remember should be, in a word, nuanced. We should not, cannot, present an image of those events depicting flags and patriotism and calls to a war that has yet to end without also talking about lives lost in the moment, lives lost in the years to come from being covered in toxic dust or serving overseas, and lives still affected because they lived on.
And of course, the constantly unresolved question of how we are respond as Christians. The Sunday after 9/11 I was present for a sermon preached by an Episcopal clergyperson who shall remain anonymous who succumbed to the emotions of the moment and presented what I suspect is now a regretted diatribe in which he said that sometimes hate is good because it gets us to do what we need to do. There were a lot of responses by people of faith in the aftermath of this event, and we still struggle to figure out what the right thing to have done, and yet still to do, is.
Courage, pain, and reflection, the most noble and the most ignoble qualities we possess, all through the lens of our relationship with God. That’s the story we need to be telling a new generation of our children.
Yours in Christ,