Do you remember that day? Do you remember that moment? This collection of e-mails I received after 9/11 sure does bring back memories. How about you?
The hand can be seen as the symbol of peace or the symbol of victory.
Note that the fingers are the World Trade Center towers.
This was sent to me from my e-mail penpal in Germany. Two languages on one logo represent to me--unity.
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr.
We, who love America, are angry. A fierce, strong fiery anger. An anger that needs an object. We are faced with a choice upon which our lives depend, upon which the future of the world depends. Do we mix our anger with hatred, and become like "them," those terrorists whose anger gave them the strength to plan, for years, to destroy those they hated? Or do we mix our anger with faith, thus, with the help of God, creating determination, the determination that evil will not triumph?
Many of us are tempted to give in to violence. We see pictures of holy places of Muslim Americans violated. We see the wounds of a Sikh grandfather, attacked because his skin was dark and someone objected to his headwear. We hear the story of the elementary school child who is harassed because his ancestors came from India.
The original "American Dream" was not a spouse, 2.5 children, a house, two cars with one an SUV, and a dog. The original dream that created our country was to be able to worship God as each individual experiences who God is. The Roman Catholics, the Puritans - and now the Sikhs and the Muslims.
We are supposed to be angry. This anger is a sign of strength, a sign of the strength of our love for our fellow Americans, a love that is quite evident this week in the stories of heroism, sacrifice, and how we have acted upon the need to help those whose lives have been shattered. This is how our faith calls our anger to produce that which is good. It is in answering our President's call for a Day of Prayer, standing united with candles lit, volunteering in droves as Red Cross volunteers and carefully moving forward in the cause of justice that we defeat the threat of evil.
If we destroy the innocent in the cause of wiping out the evil that has tried to destroy us, we will shatter our integrity as Americans and that evil will triumph. If we allow this evil to blithely touch our lives without response, other than hiding more deeply in our houses, this evil will triumph. The call to "turn the other cheek" is not the call to be apathetic door mats. It is a call to do the unexpected, to respond to violence with justice, rather than vengance.
We have a narrow path to walk, and with God's help, we will travel that path. It is time to prove to the world that we are a faithful people no matter how we as individuals worship God. It is time to allow our faith in God to transform our anger, to let go of the desire to destroy, and to replace it with the determination that the light of God's love will triumph over the darkness of evil this day and every day.
This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
America: The Good Neighbor.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television Commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.
None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10?
If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
Not a bird falls from the sky, that God does not notice.
Who was it who said,
To follow 'an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth'
just leaves you a nation of blind people who can't chew.
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Father Mychal Judge was a Franciscan Friar, the Chaplain of the FDNY, and a sober alcoholic. He was known and loved by the NYC Firefighters as well as NYC AA members. He was killed on 9-11-01, while administering last rites to a dying firefighter at the foot of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He created the prayer shared here:
Lord, Take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say,
and Keep me out of your way.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
These are somewhat comforting statistics (at least for those of us fortunate not to have lost anyone in the profanity of September 11, 2001.)
By now everyone has been hearing the death toll rise and reports of the destruction from the terrorist attacks on the US. These were deplorable acts that we will never forget. But now is a time to look at the other side of the numbers coming out of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The sad but somewhat uplifting side that the mainstream media has not reported yet - the SURVIVAL rates and some positive news about the attacks.
*** The Buildings ***
*The World Trade Center -
The twin towers of the World Trade Center were places of employment for some 50,000 people. With the missing list of just over 5,000 people, that means 90% of the people targeted survived the attack. A 90% on a test is an 'A.'
* The Pentagon -
Some 23,000 people were the target of a third plane aimed at the Pentagon. The latest count shows that only 123 lost their lives. That is an amazing 99.5% survival rate. in addition, the plane seems to have come in too low, too early to affect a large portion of the building. On top of that, the section that was hit was the first of five sections to undergo renovations that would help protect the Pentagon from terrorist attacks. It had recently completed straightening and blastproofing, saving untold lives. This attack was sad, but a statistical failure.
*** The Planes ***
* American Airlines Flight 77
This Boeing 757 that was flown into the outside of the Pentagon could have carried up to 289 people, yet only 64 were aboard. Luckily 78% of the seats were empty.
* American Airlines Flight 11
This Boeing 767 could have had up to 351 people aboard, but only carried 92. Thankfully 74% of the seats were unfilled.
* United Airlines Flight 175
Another Boeing 767 that could have seated 351 people only had 65 people on board. Fortunately it was 81% empty.
* United Airlines Flight 93
This Boeing 757 was one of the most uplifting stories yet. The smallest flight to be hijacked with only 45 people aboard out of a possible 289 had 84% of its capacity unused. Yet these people stood up to the attackers and thwarted a fourth attempted destruction of a national landmark, saving untold numbers of lives in the process.
*** In Summary ***
Out of potentially 74,280 Americans directly targeted by these inept cowards, 93% survived or avoided the attacks. That's a higher survival rate than heart attacks, breast cancer, kidney transplants and liver transplant - all common, survivable illnesses. The Hijacked planes were mostly empty, the Pentagon was hit at it's strongest point, the overwhelming majority of people in the World Trade Center buildings escaped, and a handful of passengers gave the ultimate sacrifice to save even more lives.
Don't fear these terrorists. The odds are against them. Still, keep the victims and their loved ones in your prayers. And pray for our nation's leaders. And show the love and grace of God to one another...
that's how one person can make a difference!