Everyday when my daughters and I get ready to start our schoolwork we begin our day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
I remember this is how the school day always started when I was in elementary school and while I don’t know if this practice is something school children still do at the start of each day (goodness, I hope it is) in my homeschool classroom it is a tradition that will not be forsaken.
Especially on days like today.
Today after saying the pledge I instructed my girls to pull out their calendars and find the box for September 11th.
“Today is a special day,” I said. “Would you like to hear why?”
“Yeah,” they cheered together.
“Today is Patriot’s Day,” I continued and for the next several minutes I shared the story September 11th. Tenley, my three-year-old, was for the most part oblivious, but Aletheia, my five-year-old, seemed absorbed in the story.
I explained to my girls how bad people who hated America and all the good things we, as a country stand for, decided to do very bad things to American people and places that symbolize our freedom, liberty, and strength.
I told them that many, many people died because of the things the bad people did.
“I don’t like the sound of that,” Aletheia said.
“I don’t either,” I told her but then I also told her that September 11th is a story about heroes. I told her that there were people that day who refused to let the bad people do what they wanted to do. I told her that because of these heroes and the sacrifices they made many, many people were rescued.
Finally, I told my girls that America, today, is still in need of heroes because there are still bad people in this world who hate what our country stands for. People who seek to steal, and kill, and destroy.
I know there is a lot our country is getting wrong these days but I also know there are still people in the United States who believe in freedom, and liberty, and justice.
America, at its core, was established to give freedom and liberty to its citizens and, in turn, offer that freedom and liberty to the world.
On September 11, 2001 our nation witnessed the power of what can happen when American heroes decide to stand for what they believe in and stand for what is right. In the face of all the evil that sought to prevail that day the actions of American heroes stopped evil in it’s tracts and saved the lives of thousands.
Thirteen years later, at a pivotal time in our nation’s history the best way to remember September 11th, the people who died, the people who gave their lives and stood as heroes, is to become heroes ourselves.
To stand for what we believe in…
To act in the face of injustice…
To fight against evil and darkness…
When we do these things we offer freedom. When we live like heroes we shine liberty’s light against the darkness that lurks in this world.
We don’t have to bring down planes. We just have to look for ways to be heroes to the people around us in need of rescue.
A single mom in need of groceries.
A teen on the brink of destruction.
The new person in the neighborhood, at school, at church in search of community, a friend, a place to call home.
The heroes of 9/11 sacrificed everything they had to do what they knew was right and we can honor them, we can honor God, when we’re willing to sacrifice our time, our luxuries, our resources, for the benefit of others.
So today, be a hero. Be a hero to someone in need a rescue. Right something that’s wrong. Take a stand against evil and darkness.
Remember the Pledge of Allegiance, the way it feels to stand before the stars and stripes with your hand over your heart.
Remember the story of 9/11, the people who died, and the actions of heroes.
Remember freedom. Remember liberty.
And share them with the world.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1 (NASB)