Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts on 9/11 - Seven Years Later

This morning my husband and I watched MSNBC as they replayed the tapes from the World Trade Center disaster. I watched it all over again, as if in real time, but with a running commentary in my head about how our country has changed in the years since that day. I was struck by the innocence of the journalists as they tried to relate to the viewing public what the images meant. I thought about my children, especially my oldest son, and wondered when he officially stepped over the line between innocence and adult cynicism. I don't know, but I think 9/11/2001 was the day my country grew up. When I think about my country I feel the same way as I do when I look at my young adult son..."What's happened to you and are you going to be okay? Sometimes I don't know who you are anymore."

But when I got in the car and tuned into KNPR, my local public radio station, I was hit with a different prospective. They were running a story about the dedication of a memorial at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. I was struck by a comment from a MassPort official. He said that because the two planes that were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center both originated from Logan that employees at Logan will always feel a sense of responsibility and a depth of sadness that few people can understand. I got that and it hit me hard.

I knew one of the men who died in the Pentagon. He was an acquaintance and I only met once but it was just prior to the plane diving into the building. He didn't even work at the Pentagon. He was there for a meeting. Max Beilke's smile and firm handshake are forever etched in my mind. I didn't know until today while researching this post that Max was the last US combat solider to leave Vietnam. He lead an extrodinary life.

Not long after the tragedy I was asked to speak during a memorial service at my church in Harvest, Alabama. Here is a little of what I said that day...

I searched diligently for comforting words but I have none because I am in need of the same comfort. I look to people I trust to help me determine where to go from here. They remind me we should stand tall, bringing the United States together under a loving God for the good of the world. They tell me we should continue to pray for the victims, their families, and the tireless rescue workers. They also remind me of the most difficult concept of all...that I am called by Jesus to forgive. I am to remember that nothing happens in this world outside of a Divine plan. And most of all, good things and miracles will not end because we have been wounded.

Seven years later I want to pass on again that good things and miracles will not end, have not ended because of our loss. The world is filled with danger but it is equally filled with love. We do not need to tighten our ranks, see enemies around every corner, and lock our doors against the world. The opposite is true...if we only believe it is so.

The glass memorial at Logan is a beautiful reminder of our capacity to heal and learn from our past. I guess my biggest question on this day is what have we learned and how have those lessons shaped our present? And what about the future?


thewishfulwriter said...

What a wonderful post and a wonderful message to remember. Thank you Lisa. Thank you.

Linda said...


Gail Patty said...

Wonderful and insightful post Lisa.
Our Christian faith does compel us to forgive...but I have to be honest. I am, to this day, having a pretty difficult time forgiving pure evil and the wanton murder of innocents. I guess there can be no exceptions though. I'll have to work on that. Your bringing that to my attention is timely indeed.

Lisa McGlaun said...


You inspire me glad to do it in return.

Best Wishes,

Lisa McGlaun said...


No, you're beautiful.


Lisa McGlaun said...


What a wonderful surprise to find a comment from you! It is hard to forgive but if we don't resentment begins to eat us up and forever change who we are.

I can forgive anything if I try. I can learn a lesson from every circumstance and become more Christ like because of it if I choose to. It's not easy and it's sometimes feels downright impossible but it's what God calls us to do.

Love you,

Clarisse Teagen said...

May Max rest in piece.

Lisa McGlaun said...


Thanks. The more I read about him the more I wished he'd been a friend instead of just an aquaintance. He seems like a wonderful man.

Thanks for dropping by. I loved the music on your blog.

Best Wishes,