Yesterday dad was mostly quiet, doing the usual Saturday routine of cleaning the house and working in the garden. Around mid-day he went into the garden to reflect and pray, remembering the events that unfolded nine years ago.
I decided to join him and sit among the freestanding stone structures, since that is where there was shade as we were experiencing above normal temperatures.
Dad shared with me what he was feeling in his heart and how embarrassed he was about the attention a pastor was getting for the proposed burning of the Koran. Dad felt that not only Americans lost their lives that day when two planes dove into the towers and a third crashed into the Pentagon, but also many individuals of other nationalities and religious beliefs.
Those who perished were first fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters who were part of a family before they were Americans or Christians, or of any other nationality or belief. We must begin to embrace all in order to recover and heal our wounds. Yet it also means that we shall not forget the day.
It is indeed very difficult to forgive, but when we do, only then is the burden lifted from our shoulders and doing so reflects a greater emotional maturity then to place ourselves on the same level as our attackers. We need to recapture the spirit of unity that had once bound us together on that day, a day that forever is seared into our lives and in our hearts.