We were waiting for the movers to come on September 11, 2001. My wife and I were sitting on the front porch, sipping coffee, excited to be heading back to Texas. Our townhouse was a couple of miles from the Pentagon.
In retrospect, we heard the crash. We remember saying, “Did you hear that?” At the time, we couldn’t process what it possibly could be. Our toddler played near us, while her infant sister gurgled in a car seat. We couldn’t imagine the death, the destruction, the horror happening so close.
There were 2,977 people murdered that day. There were millions whose lives were upended. There are billions who have been affected.
Today, 19 years later, the magnitude of the attack is still staggering.
The Islamic terrorists wanted America destroyed. Perhaps they thought toppling buildings could achieve that end. Or maybe they thought shedding the blood of civilians would make the rest of us kneel before their god.
That evening, as the nation grappled to understand what happened, there was a palpable fear that America had been dealt a crippling blow. Fortunately, the horror of 9/11 gave way to the steady resolve of 9/12. America would not be cowed by terrorists.
And yet, on this 19th anniversary of that horrible day, there are those in our country carrying out the terrorists’ ends. They want to topple our constitutional rights. They want us to kneel before secular gods.
Our cities are being terrorized by people who despise liberty and would see the American experiment in self-governance ended. Just as those Islamic terrorists dreamt of a globe-spanning caliphate, the BLM and antifa terrorists want to impose a radical socialist agenda on the rest of us.
In a fallen world, attacks on life should be expected. The forces of darkness and despair seek to extinguish the light of liberty. When the inevitable assaults come, we can choose the ease of surrender … or we can fight back faithfully. In fighting, we have the opportunity to love God, love our neighbors, and take our place in history amongst the men and women who boldly stood against tyranny.
What will we do tomorrow? Will we resign ourselves to the inevitability of a leftist tyranny? Will we shrug our shoulders and head down the well-trodden road to serfdom?
Or, will patriots rise up? Will we rededicate ourselves to those founding ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Will we fight for what America can be? Will we fight for that more perfect union of self-governing sovereigns? Will we, in the words of the Old Testament exhortation, be “strong and courageous”?
At the end of his life, Joshua gathered the people of Israel together and told them they must “choose this day whom you will serve. … As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The choice we make today about what we will do tomorrow will shape the future of our Republic. As for me and my house, we resolve to fight.