As everyone knows our minds and hearts are transported this week back ten years to a fateful day in 2001. We know that day simply as “9/11.”
Too often we celebrate traditions and rituals while not fully appreciating where these traditions came from. I recall hearing a story about four soldiers who offered a volley of gunfire to honor a fallen soldier at his interment. A fifth soldier stood nearby and extended his hand at each cemetery service.
After a time someone asked the head of the honor guard what was the purpose of the fifth soldier with his hand extended. He did not know and it seemed as if no one else knew either.
Some further research revealed that the fifth soldier held the horses of those who fired the volley salute. However, it had been decades since any honor guard rode horses to the cemeteries. Nevertheless the fifth soldier did what those before him had always done—only now to no real purpose. As I said, “sometimes we forget the origins of our rituals.”
There are few people we know who have forgotten why we will pause this coming Sunday to remember 911. A majority of us know exactly where we were when it all happened. I was sitting at my friend Bobby Baggett’s breakfast table in Belton, Texas.
My prayer for all of us during this week of remembrance is to remember that one of the few good things to come from 911 is to help us keep the prayer for peace directly in front of us at all times. The alternative is too disheartening to contemplate.
I like what Isaiah writes in his prophecy:
The effect of righteousness will be peace,and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever—(Isaiah 32:17). Amen.