When the world saw the horror of two passenger planes purposely ploughed into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Centre, few could have been prepared for the horror when those towers disintegrated and collapsed, sending a deadly tide of masonry and dust through the surrounding streets.
The world will remain haunted by the sight of flames and smoke, and poor terrified people plunging to their deaths, leaving us feeling as impotent as those who looked on, aghast and numb, on 11 September 2001.
We mark the twentieth anniversary of that fateful day, which also saw a third plane attack on the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crash into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, due to the sacrificial action of the passengers that brought about their deaths, but prevented another target being hit.
For us, as Christians, our over-riding duty, on this day, is to pray at every opportunity possible: for the souls of those who died on that horrific day; for those whose catastrophic injuries changed their lives for ever; for the terrified and traumatised; for those who wake up at night, screaming and weeping from their hellish nightmares; for those who continue to treat and care for those whose lives have been affected; for those who mourn, and have to get through this terrible anniversary; for healing and the emotional rebuilding of society and families that will last generations…. and for peace and hope, for today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
This is really a day for few words, but to simply take up our prayer-ropes for all who need our prayers – living and departed – and to simply pray with hope to the Saviour, the Conqueror of Death, and Prince of Peace, “Lord, have mercy.”
“ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(John 14: 27)