September 11, 2012

President Bush 9/13 2001  

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark this National Day of Prayer and Remembrance with noontime memorial services, the ringing of bells at that hour, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I encourage employers to permit their workers time off during the lunch hour to attend the noontime services to pray for our land. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in these solemn observances.

President Obama Sept. 2012

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that the people of the United States honor and remember the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved ones through prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils, and other appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Why do we still have 9/11 memorial services? There is an element of honoring the victims of 9/11; though this is becoming a more and more private affair. This year at ground zero there will be no speeches, just the reading of the names of those who died because of the attack. We honor the rescue workers who courageously gave their lives and did all they could do under the most horrifying of circumstances. We remember and honor the phrase “let’s role” spoken by Todd Beamer as he and the other passengers of Flight 93 gave their lives so that the terrorist’s day would not end as planned.  

There is a connection between 9/11 and our two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There should be a sense of honor for the men and women who responded to 9/11 by volunteering to put their lives on the line by going to war in these foreign locations. Ask them what they are fighting for and they could tell you. They were fighting for freedom. It was President Bush who first made the public connection that the 9/11 attacks were attacks against our freedom.  

We also understand that this attack against our freedom is an attack against the One who gave us that freedom. Our Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”

We have also always understood that our freedom was attached to a godliness in character that sprang from a biblical foundation. James Madison, 1787: “We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future … upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.” George Washington on the day of his inauguration would lead the new members of the government to Saint Paul’s Chapel in New York City where they would spend two hours in prayer dedicating the nation to God.  He would make this statement in his inaugural address:  “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained”

I wonder that President Bush in his prayer announcement would mention “prayer for our land”. It would be Billy Graham speaking on that very day Sept. 14, 2001 who would speak what needed to be spoken: “Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now — this event can give a message of hope — hope for the present, and hope for the future. Yes, there is hope. There’s hope for the present because I believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in our nation. One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And God has told us in His Word, time after time, that we are to repent of our sins and we’re to turn to Him and He will bless us in a new way…But now we have a choice: whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people and a nation — or, whether we choose to become stronger through all of this struggle — to rebuild on a solid foundation. And I believe that we are in the process of starting to rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God. That’s what this service is all about and in that faith we have the strength to endure something as difficult and horrendous as what we have experienced this week.”

Are we building on the foundation of trust in God? Mayor Bloomberg, at the tenth year anniversary of 9/11 would exclude clergy and censor religious expression at our National Memorial. Billy Graham’s call to repentance will not be allowed 10 years after the event. We do need to rebuild, but we need to rebuild with a proper spirit and that proper spirit of humility has to be birthed in repentance. On September 12, 2001, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle on a Joint Resolution of Condemnation of the attacks addressed the world as a representative and leader of America: “But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that I think speaks to all of us at times such as this: The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars. That is what we will do. We will rebuild and we will recover.”

Have we rebuilt? Have we recovered? Have we repented? We are rebuilding, but without God. Our national debt was 5.8 trillion dollars in September of 2001 and today it is 16 trillion and counting. One WorldCenter is being rebuilt and will open next year. Cost will be over 4 Billion dollars. That comes right out of our debt accumulation. The attack on 9/11 was an attack on our symbol of financial might. Yet, now it seems that our financial might is under attack.  

There was another harbinger of 9/11. It was the flooding of our churches with people looking for answers and looking to God. Is there still hope that God can move again in this nation? The TwinTowers were officially opened in 1973, the year we as Americans allowed 7 men to determine the killing of babies in the womb is just. We still live under their decision today. The death toll: 50 million and counting. Is there any hope for a nation that kills its babies?  

Freedom was attacked that day and freedom is under assault in this country every way we turn. So where do we turn? We must turn to Christ. John 8:31-36

31 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”…

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

 Maybe this year Billy Graham’s prayer can become real for our nation.

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About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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