September 11, 2023 marks the 22nd Anniversary of 9/11. Over two decades ago today, the USA was shaken to the ground as two of its tallest buildings imploded and close on 3,000 people lost their lives due to the horrific actions of merciless terrorists. Today in their place you will find two giant fountains where the iconic Twin Towers once stood.
“When you come to the edge of each of these voids and you see this enormous empty space in front of you, it’s space that can’t be filled and will not be filled,” says the architect of the enormous pools, Michael Arad. “It is there where you encounter the names of the dead.”
The names of all who lost their lives on 9/11 and the 1993 World Trade Center bombings are captured in bronze on the perimeter of the fountains, often adorned with roses. As a visitor to the memorial said, ‘It’s like a sea of names in an ocean of tears.” (See the video from 9/11 Memorial and Museum below.)
9/11 22nd Anniversary
Reflecting on the 9/11 22nd Anniversary, everyone who was alive at the time remembers the exact place where they were when those planes hit the Twin Towers and Pentagon. Some say it was a day that changed the world. Now two decades on, we remember all who lost their lives in the attacks and all the brave first responders who sacrificed their lives for the call of duty. They will always be the heroes of Ground Zero.
Two decades on we know how the 9/11 attacks resulted in wars both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands more lives have been lost including many, many military personnel from America and her allies. Nothing can avenge the loss of life on this magnitude, not even the killing of the notorious Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Al-Qaeda terror group. On this 9/11 20th Anniversary we must remember all who lost their lives to terror and continue to pray for the safety of the US as a nation.
On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 the Memorial fountains were opened to the public as a place where grieving families can find some comfort however they are also a lasting memorial of a huge vacuum that terrorism has caused in the national psyche. Following the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 the USA has lost the ground they conquered in the War on Terror with all the chaos surrounding the withdrawal of US troops opening the way for new terror threats.
Within the 9/11 Memorial you will find a vast wall with a simple inscription, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” Every life lost must be remembered, and as believers we must continue to intercede for the USA and its security. That God would restore this great nation and keep the American people safe from further terror attacks.
While visiting New York I realised I could not come to this world capital without paying tribute to those that lost their lives during 9/11. New York is a tourist paradise, from taking a cruise to the Statue of Liberty to experiencing the buzz of Times Square and Broadway. But for me, it was the vast fountains of the 9/11 memorial that I found so moving.
It reminded me as a Christian that God is much greater than any terror attack or tragic loss. He is greatest fountain of life and as we trust in Him there is hope, no matter what the terror threat level may be. Also, we as believers have a calling to uphold righteousness, justice and peace. As Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
For those who are fearful of new terror threats in this Post 9/11 world, remember, “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. That one may avoid the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27). We don’t know the day we are called home, but we cannot live in fear. We must live a life of faith. For further encouragement read A Christian response to terrorism in this post 9/11 world which offers insights from the book Terror-rest, a short mediation on Psalm 91 “God’s prayer of protection for you and your loved ones”.
This post was written by Al Gibson Author.