Today is the anniversary of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in America on September 11, 2001. It was a Tuesday, and it felt like any other day. But at 8:46 a.m., five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern face of the World Trade Center's North Tower, and at 9:03 a.m., another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern face of the South Tower. Barely 30 minutes later, five hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon building in Pennsylvania. The attacks killed almost 3,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in damages .
9/11 is a day that will forever live in the memories of Americans who experienced these events firsthand or through the massive media coverage that continued non-stop for days and weeks.
If you are a teenager right now, you may not remember what happened. You may have been just a toddler, playing with your toys, unaware of the tragedy going on in the world. You may not have even been born yet. But that doesn't mean you don't need to know what happened. It's important to understand and remember these events in recent history. They are tragic and horrible, yes. But it is from history that we learn how to move wisely into the future.
"For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity." —Proverbs 24:16
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." —James 1:2-4
One of the things I remember distinctly from that day and the days that followed is the sense of a common love for fellow human beings, an unspoken agreement to be kinder to one another, more peaceful. Strangers held doors open, let others go first, gave of their resources, met each other's eyes, and seemed to realize that life was about more than petty differences and disagreements. Life was more than taking what you could get. Life was about giving of yourself to others.
"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" —Acts 20:35
My young friends, do not allow the memory of what happened on September 11, 2001 to disappear into your history books. Use this knowledge to change the way you walk into the future. You get to have the incredibly awesome and huge privilege of shaping that future with your life—with the way you speak, the way you act, and the way you love.
"If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." —1 Peter 4:11
Cat is the webmaster and editor of 412teens.org and writes novellas with local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, five socially awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily that gets together every Saturday for various shenanigans.