Like everyone else, I have a story. I was coming out of a college class on the morning of September 11, 2001. A student was watching a small television set in the lobby, and as we began to understand that something terrible was happening in New York, our class gathered in the basement of the library to watch the morning’s events unfold.
I remember distinctly how alarmed everyone was, and the speculation was that there could be 50,000 or more souls trapped in the Twin Towers.
As it was (I imagine the day was similar to the news of the D-Day landings in 1944, as the nation waited), more than 3,000 lives were lost.
It was quite clear at the time who perpetrated the attacks, and I think the issue has become a dividing line between…Americans. An epic moment that diverted our collective, national history.
That day, a group of people took out their rage against the American people. A superpower of the scale of the United States has to, sadly, defend itself in the court of international opinion, as various peoples rage against the alleged abuses of the “colonialist” Americans.
But the rage cannot erase the fact that America has truly always been a beacon of light and hope for all people, and we say it unashamed. History knows, and even the critics know what America has done for good around the world.
Rebuilt Europe. Constant international aid. Wars of liberation from tyranny. The sharing of life-saving technologies. I don’t have time to write the greatness of the United States of America.
As a multitude of historical revisionists go about their work—and they have been at work since at least the second plane struck the Towers—I will remember who perpetrated the attacks, always.
I will also, all day, remember a stark fact: American citizens jumped or fell out of burning buildings that day (who can forget the iconic image of the man plunging head-first?).
It is good to acknowledge reality and to remember even unpleasant days. Vigilance and a long memory are necessary for survival in the future.
I’ve talked with a few fellows who landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. I tremble in their presence, literally. American courage has freed people all over the world from the beginning. That courage was on display just as dramatically on September 11, 2001, in New York City.
But as we are forced to endure revisionist history and documentaries and interviews white-washing the perpetrators, do not forget what I mentioned a moment ago: in an unprovoked attack by barbarians, Americans that day fell to their deaths. Their families don’t even have bodies to bury.
To my dying breath, I will refuse to apologize for America. Rather, I will affirm her, and in the face of the revisionist history, recount always this country’s greatness. God has been merciful to us for over two centuries, and as I remember that, I also can say in the spirit of biblical faith:
May God have mercy on our enemies.