The weekend had begun like so many ministry trip weekends. After ministering in Minnesota, Hope and I flew to the Philadelphia Airport and headed to New Castle, Del., where we had been invited to speak at the DelMarVa Pastors’ Fellowship being hosted by Berean Baptist Church in New Castle. Like everyone else in America that Tuesday, Hope and I started our day as if it were a normal Tuesday. But, like the rest of America, we were at the beginning of a new normal—a normal that forever changed the lives of Americans everywhere, because Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, became anything but normal.

Pastor Sordelet called us to his living room, and together we watched as the North Tower billowed smoke and the second plane impacted the South Tower. We were mesmerized as the images were replayed. That day we headed to the church for the meetings and later would hear of the Pentagon and Shanksville, Penn., crashes. The meetings turned from preaching to prayer and comfort.  Updates were given, and we closed the meetings so participants could get back to their homes and families as security procedures were being implemented.

Ten years later, it is essential to remember that day. Time and geographical distance from New York City or the Pentagon or Shanksville have diminished the impact of 9/11. When the war began, patriotism was strong; but now, 10 years later, we are different. It’s been said our military went to war while Americans went to the mall. We still support the troops, but to a great extent Americans are “done” with the war. Complacency has largely replaced the spiritual concern of those early days. To many it seems the only ones who truly remember are the families of those who died on 9/11 and the military and first responders who every day help keep us safe.

Freedom is only a generation away from extinction, and it is the most expensive possession we have. Our physical freedom has been purchased by the blood of the men and women who have worn the cloth of the American military, and our spiritual freedom has been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.  FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!

As we remember, let us be in prayer for the families who lost loved ones that dreadful day, as well as the families of those who have given their lives to keep us free since then. The fight continues, and our chaplains are there to minister to the troops as they continue to protect our homeland. Thank God for the men and women who have put their lives on the line to preserve our freedom.


Twin Towers photo by Ed Van Dongen, © 2001. Used by permission.