Remembering September 11th





"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, the United States witnessed first hand the horror of terrorism and the barbarism of extremists willing to take any and all life. America the great, an impervious superpower had been wounded leaving behind a scar that remains for generations to come. I still remember the day as though it were yesterday. The ache in my stomach nearly paralyzed my body as I froze in disbelief while the events unfolded before my eyes on television. Every passing minute felt like an eternity as I watched my fellow Americans suffering – lost in confusion and gripped with fear of the unknown. Instantly, my heart was broken for my country. My soul absorbed every horrifying second and in those moments I did not see strangers running out of the burning buildings nor were there faceless names lost in the aircraft used for such destruction. Rather, I saw family. My brothers and sisters were dying. The sorrow I felt was as intense as I have ever experienced and it is a feeling I will not soon forget. In those hours and weeks to follow, we were a nation no longer divided by politics, socioeconomic, ethnicity, or religion. Before the finger pointing and weakness of our humanity surfaced again, we were able to put aside our differences and hold high the arms of those around us in pride as one nation united.

The heroic acts of the firemen, policemen and those serving in every area of civil service were exemplary. The instinctual nature of those who rushed back into the burning towers and those who pulled victims from Corridor 4 of the Pentagon reminded me of a protective father willing to confront a home intruder or extinguish a fire that threatens his children. Thousands of Americans gave up everything to minister to the needs of those who had lost loved ones and rebuild our broken cities. Lines formed around armed forces recruitment centers and our military acted without hesitation, drawing a line in the sand to the rest of the world in bold proclamation that you are either with us or against us. These brave men and women went above and beyond the call of duty. May we never forget!

Just yesterday, a letter we had written to a former National Day of Prayer volunteer coordinator on August 30 was returned.  At the bottom of the letter were these words:

Dear National Day of Prayer, Please note that both Jean and her husband Don were on Flight 93 that went down in PA on 9/11. We bought their home and it is so sad that we still receive their mail to this day. Please keep them in your prayers forever.

Twelve years later we are just finding out why we had lost contact with one of our own – a fellow prayer coordinator. Please help me in remembering Jean and Don and everyone who lost a family member.

It is hard to believe it was twelve years ago when the images are still so vivid in my mind. Harder yet for me to grasp is the fact that two of my children were not even born yet. I don’t ever want to forget what happened on September 11 and my children must hear the stories. They must be told of the trials we faced and the triumphs that followed. When the world thought we would crumble because we were a society wrought with selfish ambition, greed and divisions, citizens young and old rose to the occasion and defined what it meant to be Americans. There were no riots in the streets. The system didn’t collapse. Chaos did not ensue. Rather, we as a people put on our boots, tightened our belts and got back on our knees, not in defeat but in strength before Almighty God, recognizing that the He is the source that grants victory over adversity.

May God Bless America!

John Bornschein
Vice Chairman
National Day of Prayer Task Force