The Day After Tragedy

If you have a keepsake edition of a newspaper chronicling the mayhem of the September 11th attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, it is most likely a paper dated “September 12th.” The newspaper that came out on September 11th was about daily life as if nothing was wrong. It probably talked about Major League baseball, the latest movies, or the president’s approval ratings. No one expected that day to fall apart like it did.

Throughout that Tuesday, we watched in horror as the planes hit the towers, the people flung themselves from the upper stories, and finally the towers fell. That evening there were long lines at the gas pump. The next day, however, we had to go back to our lives. We had to try to understand what had happened and how our lives were to be lived from that day forward. We had to try to re-prioritize what was important to us. We had to try to imagine what the future would look like. The day after tragedy was an important day.

Now, here we are ten years after the day after. We’ve moved on with our lives. Personally, ten years ago I was a college student dating the woman who is now my wife and mother of my four children. Many things have changed, but what happened then still affects my life today. What should be our attitude toward September 11th? We ought to remember.

Psalms 143:5 says “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” There are many unanswered questions that may always be unanswered. But it is good for us to not only remember the tragedies, but the good things God has done in our lives. We need to remember that a day filled with horror and calamity is not the last day for us; we need to move on and remember that we are in God’s hands.