Saturday, September 11, 2001. A day seared into our memories: the day of the biggest terrorist attack in American history.
We have reached the 20-year mark when the terrorist flights of radical Islamic death and destruction took place on a sky-blue Tuesday morning. The hijacked planes became weapons of hatred crashing into the iconic Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
It was all over in 102 minutes, from the time of the first crash and the disintegration of both towers, killing 2,997 people. Less than two hours changed our way of life, adding 9/11, al Qaeda, and the Twin Towers to our national vocabulary.
At the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, a quote from the Roman poet Virgil is emblazoned on one of the walls: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” Surely this is a truth.
As an American, I’m heartened by Israel’s demonstration of the strong friendship between our two countries. Israel is the only nation that built a 9/11 memorial that includes the names of all who died. Located only 20 miles from the capital, the bronze memorial features a 30-foot-high American flag that forms the shape of a flame to commemorate the flames of the Twin Towers. Metal scraps from the towers form the base of the monument.
Like the question Americans asked for years after November 22, 1963, “Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” so September 11, 2001 took its place as a traumatic landmark in our national psyche.
On 9/11, I knew almost immediately that we were attacked by terrorists. I was a teacher’s aid in a Christian school. Somehow, I knew right away it was terrorism. I announced to my high school students as calmly as I could, “Class, our nation has just been attacked by terrorists. You will remember this day for the rest of your lives.”
Our hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan will become another of those days seared into our memories.
After 9/11, ordering our military into Iraq and Afghanistan grew into 20 years of sacrifice from our patriotic troops and their families. Now, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has left many Americans—and the world—thunderstruck. With the ensuing sorrow, anger, and desperation, quick responses of mercy and rescue have emerged.
Like the deeds of unity and courage on and after September 11, 2001, and 20 years of service from U.S. armed forces, we are now witnessing more valor: the unity of private NGOs rescuing Afghans and Americans who were left behind. It’s a testament to what is best in us being motivated by a spirit stronger than evil.
Numerous NGOs and 501(c)(3)ministries interlocked their efforts to help rescue abandoned Christians, Americans, Afghan friends, and minority religious groups. Several weeks of rescue operations are still taking place with help from media personality Glenn Beck’s audiences who raised upwards of $30 million for the Mercury One mission.
Twenty years of blunders, successes, deaths, and injuries will undoubtedly be discussed repeatedly by Americans in the coming years. However, the rescuers in the Mercury One coalition of private NGOs, United States military veterans and US military on the ground and in the air at Kabul’s international airport know:
Lies are the Taliban’s native language and evil is their idol.
Biden, however, after decades as a Democrat Senator and then Obama’s Vice President, still, now as “Commander-in-Chief,” did not and does not grasp the terrorist mindset, including the Iranian terror leaders. Biden’s disastrous decision limited our military’s capabilities, resulting in chaos and deaths.
It intensified first when he did not notify allies prior to ordering the United States military to abandon Bagram Air Force Base in the middle of the night. Worse, pulling out our military first, violated their sacred vow not to leave anyone behind. The Taliban now releases photos of themselves wearing US uniforms and helmets and holding US weaponry. Biden has “donated” the Taliban with a well stocked massive armory of high tech American hardware.
In the September 10, 2021 press briefing by Biden’s Press Secretary Jan Psaki, she described the Taliban as being “businesslike” because they allowed a flight to leave with terrified passengers on board. The US State Department said yesterday that the Taliban needs to be more “inclusive.” What planet does the Biden Administration live on? A planet of denial or a goal to deconstruct American democracy and the America way of life?
At this writing, controversies are rife. Can flights still waiting with fleeing passengers on board take off from another airbase, Mazar-i-Sharif? Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) on the House Foreign Affairs Committee told Fox News, “The Taliban will not let them leave.” Many left behind by Biden will indeed face becoming hostages or worse.
A US State Department spokesperson recently commented, “We do not have personnel on the ground, we do not have air assets in the country, we do not control the airspace—whether over Afghanistan or elsewhere in the region.” And that description is the problem.
Remembering the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday and now reeling from this calamity, not on our soil this time, but in our hearts and emotions, many Americans are asking ourselves, “What now?” For us as Christians, our prayers must continue for US service members past and present, Gold Star families, and NGOs still working to rescue those trapped in Afghanistan.
Prayers must also extend to our Israeli ally and others in the Abraham Accords who are nervous about “Biden’s Botches.” Donations to a rescuing ministry are still needed. Many of them already work on behalf of persecuted Christians and others worldwide. Those left behind are suffering in Afghanistan and in many other nations under the hateful hands of cruel terrorists.
Although the US administration is hopeful that Americans will forget Biden’s left-behind botches, I’m praying-and voting-in 2022 that common sense members of congress will retake en masse the Senate and the House.
I also hope and pray that Americans who have what I call “Biden Voter Regret Syndrome” will join me and elect a freedom-loving Republican presidential candidate in 2024. A competent Commander in Chief who will stand strong against the totalitarianism taking hold here in the US, any terrorist threats against Americans, and an authentic ally of Israel who will shut the door on an Iran deal.