Do you know that today is Patriot Day? It falls every year on September 11th to honor the memory of those Americans who lost their lives on this day in 2001. The day is marked nationwide with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m, the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center. American flags are flown at half-staff at the White House and U.S. government buildings worldwide. And citizens and businesses are encouraged to display a flag at home and to volunteer their service to a worthy cause.
But today is not a federal holiday and so children go to school, parents go to work, business stay open. It begs for red white and blue but not in the celebratory way we have worn it all summer long. A national day of service and remembrance,it begs for communities to come together and volunteer. It begs for us to believe that good will prevail over evil. It begs for us to be both aware and brave, selfless and unified.
Today there are children in school who have no idea why September 11th is a very important day. There are schools who will not make any kind of observance at 8:46 or discuss this day in history at anytime. There are people who won’t realize that they should stop and remember on September 11th until they watch the evening news. That won’t be me.
Today I will pray. I will pray for the brave Americans who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. I will pray for our nation’s leaders who fight to keep us safe more than we will ever know. I will pray for our dear friends, neighbors, and school community with whom we spent this day in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Our memories will forever be shared among us and bond us with a special glue tinged with pain yet gratitude too. I will pray for our nation’s future as we face so much uncertainty.
And I will pray for my children. That they will choose not to live in fear but instead with confidence in their country and fellow Americans. To live with love for a peaceful world and an open mind to all it holds. And to live with self discipline to work hard at whatever they do, guided by a faithful heart that is full of hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.