September 12

Written by Bill Grandi on September 12th, 2023

A further recollection of 9/11…only this one comes later…one year later.

I was still the pastor of a church in Sandusky, OH. As 9/11 approached, I knew the memory was still very real. I had befriended several other pastors and met with them on a monthly basis for laughter and mutual encouragement and prayer. I lived in a small town outside of Sandusky and had become acquainted with a law enforcement officer or two (not from disobeying the law). 🙂 Some of the other pastors had communication with LEOs and firefighters. So we decided to have a memorial service, which included some singing, short recollections, and honoring the men and women in attendance who were, what are now called “front line workers.” Standing on the stage with me were pastors of various churches, various colors, various races, and various nationalities. There was no distinction based on race, color, or creed.

There is a reason for that. When tragedy or hardship strikes, it knows no boundaries. It doesn’t say, “I’m just going to bother white people this time.” As a matter of fact, did AIDS just visit one class of people? COVID? Does discrimination? The answer, of course, is a big resounding NO.

We used a school auditorium for that one year anniversary of 9/11. It was packed! Year #2 not so. Much of the cooperation was also gone. Not because of animosity, but because life moves on. It happens. The pastors still met for prayer, laughter and mutual encouragement. But, in some way, the collective remembrance stopped. For me, 9/11 always brings a time of silence, of gratitude for others, and a renewed sense of living in a flawed, but still-the-best-country to live in.

I still sing “God Bless America” when I hear it (mostly under my breath because my singing acumen has much to be desired). 🙂 🙂 But I pray more that America will bless God, that we will repent and return to the ONE who controls all things and heal our land.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. The ceremonies I watched yesterday were vibrant and full of emotion, as if 9/11 had just happened. There are millions of Americans who will never forget what happened. Sadly, this administration is brushing it aside. I just heard this morning that the US is unfreezing money for Iran. Why??? Please, Lord, save this country from evil!
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I read that story yesterday Martha. It goes along with a prisoner exchange. Can you say, “Being sold?” And yes, it is being brushed aside. No representation at 9/11 remembrances. smh

  2. Pam says:

    Dick and I were just talking yesterday about the surge in church attendance following 9/11 that then dropped back to previous levels within a few months. Though many may not practice their faith on a daily basis (unfortunately), we know where (rather Who) to turn to when we admit life is beyond our control. And yes, it is still the best flawed country in the world to live in!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is one factor I failed to mention Pam. Thanks for bringing that out. The partisan politics picked back up soon after as well. It is sad, but like you said, we know WHO to turn to.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    I think life does tend to return to a “new normal” which is to be expected, but not always desired. Thankfully, God is unchanging and if I focus my attention on Him, then when the periphery changes, the negative impact is less.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is expected but not desired is a great point Ryan. But I like even better what you say about keeping our attention on God.

  4. gail says:

    It is sad that we get moved by events but our attention span can be very short. It is important to have certain things you pray for on certain days so that you are not overwhelmed to pray for such a list each day that you cannot give the attention to each pray that is needed. It is also important to pause and ask God, where do I need to direct prayers today. God is amazing on how He will direct you when you stop and listen. Keeping our lives God focused and reading His word, with that focus alone, things will take shape.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Good point Gail. Our attention spans are short and getting shorter. I like your idea of smaller lists to pray for on certain days. It is easy to get sidetracked when the list seems endless. Thanks for good advice.

  5. Ed says:

    It was a tragic day followed by a surge of nationwide prayer and unity (to my recollection) but it seems now that the outcome, prayer and unity, was only like a flash in the pan. I hope that it really doesn’t take another tragedy for our nation to come together again!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It does seem like a flash in the pan. Sadly. And like you, Ed, I hope it doesn’t take another tragedy to bring us together or to our knees.

  6. Cheryl says:

    America reminds me of the Israelites. They would forget God until He allowed something horrific to come along. That would, very temporarily, drive them back to Him in a unified way, He would so graciously have mercy, they would settle back into lethargy, then sink into apathy and forget God, even turn on Him and replace Him in their lives. Then the tiresome process would repeat. We see the same pattern now and each time we turn our backs on God, the heart of our country grows harder. It is agonizing to watch.