Septembers since 2001 have become a time period in each year endured by all Americans releasing deep streams of emotions. This September as America marks the 9/11 anniversary things apparently will be alittle different in that it will be disjointed, complicated and abit lukewarm because…
The White House has instructed officials to downplay al-Qaeda’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks, while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in order to avoid offending Muslim groups, has decided to exclude clergy and first responders from participating in the 9/11 ceremony this Sunday.
Bloomberg said he decided to exclude clergy and first responders because he wants to keep the focus on the victim’s families. The ceremony will be restricted solely to family members of the murdered victims.
The decision has caused outrage among various groups. During the hours that followed thousands of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and others worked tirelessly for days attempting to retrieve victims trapped in the wreckage.
In the years following 9/11 many first responders and people working nearby have suffered health problems from breathing the toxic air caused by the collapse of the twin towers. Critics have said it is outrageous to exclude these people from a service commemorating the first attack on American soil since the War of 1812. The attack by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 caused the death of nearly 3,000 Americans.
In times of moral and social crisis how have Americans coped in the past? I would have thought Americans have learnt from their forefathers not to wallow in self pity but to gather together before God in unity and ascribe their dependence on Him and His Sovereignty (firefighters, police, clergy, presidents and all).
Abraham Lincoln led the country through a period of great constitutional, military and moral crisis but what caught my eye was a letter he wrote on September 4th 1864 to Eliza P. Guerney during the American Civil war (a portion of this letter is what I would like to share with all my American friends as an encouragement this September 2011):
“The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom, and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.”
O America stay united and look to God alone; let those who weep be embraced and comforted by the company of those who valiantly risked their own lives and livelihood. This day we who are afar off from your shores sing the words of your very own patriotic song to you, America the Beautiful:
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov’d,
And mercy more than life.