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What We're Following Today September 11, 2020

Today is a hard day…I like to be light on Friday’s but it’s hard to be light when thinking about 9/11. I can truly go back and feel so many of the things I felt on that day. And while we all had fear, shock, anger, confusion, and many more negative feelings, I think today I would like to focus on the positive side of 9/11.

I can now look back and say that to feel “hatred” is akin to murder - 1 John 3:11 - 18. 11For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13Do not be surprised, brothers,c that the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

In retrospect we had this hatred in our hearts and it has corrupted us somewhat over the years, but we also came together across ALL differences to love one another and bond with one another in this country. I remember the memorials, the tears shared across police, firemen, civilians, military, politicians, etc. Men and women of all races and backgrounds came together as AMERICANS or people who simply felt devastated in the loss of innocent life.

Fast forward 19 years, and we look more divided than we have been in over 100 years. Both sides of different political ideologies express open hatred in public, on social media and in the general media. We have moved to a place where disagreeing is not something you talk about but rather judge the "other" as evil (if you believe X then you are Evil, or if you don’t support Y then you are evil…). Evil does exist, but we have to be very careful about generalizations that will only serve to weaken the meaning of what is "evil". I pray that we can come together soon, and overcome these emotional pulls to believe that someone who doesn’t agree with “me” is inherently evil, because there will never be unity or peace in this mindset.

In tragedy, we can see great progress and perspective that drives greater understanding and cohesion. There were so many more hugs, conversations and common ground in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Flags were symbols of pride as they represented our common beliefs as a country and culture and I hope we get back to that soon so that we can continue to live safely in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. The 9/11 attack started as a violent act that brought us together; a togetherness we have not experienced since.

For those who lost loved ones on 9/11 or after because of health consequences and/or emotional traumas, we mourn your loss(es) today, but let’s also take a moment to remember the love we felt for our brothers and sisters in the aftermath while working to better ourselves and minimize the level of hate we feel for “adversaries” home and abroad.

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