Remembering Sept. 11, 2001; What Have We Done with the Lessons Learned?


By Robin Smith 

Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time. So many reading this may not have been born or old enough to remember. Many reading this will reflect on history with varying opinions about why, and the things which have come from that history.

Yet, let’s agree. At that moment, America was forever changed. And in that moment of dramatic crisis, our responses–for a time–were unified.

Since 9/11/01, how we enter an airport for travel has been completely changed with an entire department of the United States Government, the US Department of Homeland Security, having been established. 

Less than two months after the acts of terrorism by a group of men who hate the freedoms of Americans, the Patriot Act gave sweeping government authority regarding surveillance of the movements of individuals and their communications, including access to email and phone records.

Right after Sept. 11, 2001, our churches were full, flags waved and a civic kindness prevailed because America’s collective being had been violated forcefully and unquestionably for the purpose of instilling fear and hatred against our Liberty–our freedom to worship, our freedom to speak, our freedom to own property, our freedom to have family and our way of life.

Looking at the first responses, which reveal one’s heart, of our return to worship, our brotherly love among our communities and unity beyond politics, what lessons did we learn and how are those being applied today?

I hear you. 

It seems we’ve pretty much forgotten the lessons that were freshly learned and applied and have grown isolated as individuals, divided as communities and committed to destruction in our politics. 

Nokia phones, popular in 2001, were tools to bring us together, unlike some of the digital devices today which drive us into isolation and some pretentious cyberworld of “likes,” “friends” and posed reality. Flying American flags has fallen out of vogue with the rewriting of history, rather than learning from the sins of America at its founding, its youth and as we grow as a nation. Our American politics have fallen from the art of the possible to the art of intentional division and destruction. 

And what about the church houses? Throughout the days following Sept. 11, 2001, those who read God’s Word saw events that lined up with promised days of confusion, war and loss. More sought answers in the church and from the Creator of all things rather than from Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or Twitter.

Interestingly, 9/11/01 drove people into the church, while COVID has kept people out, even to this day.

As Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 arrives, those who remember the weaponized airplanes used for terror, murder and injury against innocent Americans and our precious Liberty will benefit others who speak of those memories. And to recall how, in the face of evil acts, Americans chose to respond with goodness among ourselves. 

Let us all ask, are the responses of good among the possible again today? Yes, indeed! If we decide so.