Why you should still care about 9/11

On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Josh Kristianto reminds readers of the importance of remembering this horrific part of our history.



Josh Kristianto, Writer

On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Josh Kristianto reminds readers of the importance of remembering this horrific part of our history.  | File photo


I was in fifth grade when the 9/11 attacks happened. I remember hearing the news at home, watching the replays at school of the planes striking their targets and wondering why it all happened. That was over a decade ago.

While the gravity of the event did not escape me, when it came down to it, 9/11 still did not affect me personally. I lived in California and had no family or close friends affected by the attacks. To me, what happened felt tragic and far away, sort of like most global disasters I heard about on the news. What could I really do?

For those of you like me who were not there to see and feel the terror, the hardest thing about 9/11 anniversaries might be trying to make it personal. Now, the attacks are thirteen years behind us and our childhood memories are just as distant. But we are not kids anymore. As we start to grasp what living in this world means and prepare to be leaders in the church and this country, there are several reasons why 9/11 should still be in the forefront of our thoughts.

Right now, Iraqi Christians are being upended and driven from their homes by a radical militant group calling themselves ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Even al-Qaeda, the group responsible for 9/11, has distanced itself from ISIS, according to a statement from al-Qaeda. Reports reveal that ISIS is taxing Christians and even torturing and killing them for their faith.

The commonality between 9/11 and the Iraqi Christian persecution lies in a radical form of Islam. This type of Islam desires, through terrorism, to see the world conform to their beliefs.

I find this deplorable and I condemn all actions that assault basic human rights. But I also call myself a Christian, and the Bible is saturated with teachings about love, notably for those who call me their enemy. Hard as it may be, does this not mean I must bless those who persecute me? While justice cannot be set aside, perhaps I’m called to meet ISIS, 9/11, and radical Islam with the kind of selfless love Christ had on the cross for us all. If we all choose to overcome evil with good, though difficult, it might change the world.

For Americans, 9/11 is a reminder that we are not invincible. We are often a target for our enemies’ hatred. As young Americans, we face the issues of security and freedom, racial profiling, growing foreign powers, among others. We may, God forbid, face another horrific event in the future.

But I have faith that the nation conceived in liberty, the land dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal under God, can strive to make the right choices. We can face our challenges without fear, and we can stand tall to go boldly into that horizon. And while the world might forget what we have endured, I hope we will never take for granted what this country has stood for.  

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