In remembering the thousands who perished seven years ago today, I believe that a renewed commitment to assuring that they did not die in vain is a right and necessary thing to do.
This does not necessarily mean doing anything in a tangible sense; prayer for the souls of the victims and their families, participating in remembrance activities such as the one Downtown this evening, or just quietly reflecting on what the last seven years have done to our country can be enough.
If I might have leave to make one observation, it appears that those who question the veracity of the official government account of the events that we commemorate today are making an impact in some arenas.
Despite the release of additional reports related to the underlying cause of the catastrophic failure of one building at the World Trade Center, many with seemingly credible backgrounds are offering up significant questions, with what appears to be a strong empirical foundation for the questions they are asking.
Popular opinion notwithstanding, we need to approach the questions and issues that surround 9/11 with an equal measure of resolve that we apply to identifying and dealing with the malevolent souls behind the attacks.
In the meantime, I am drawn to writings that have a timeless quality when I think about the effects of 9/11 on our nation, how to remember those who were lost that day, and how we can individually and collectively deal with an increasingly unstable world:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalms 23:4, King James Version
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.
Have a good evening.