St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church
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Saint Helena, CA, 94574-1048
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Reflections on September 11
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Reflections on Sept. 11, 2001

This weekend we will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States — the fall of the twin towers, an attack on the Pentagon, as well as a plane crashing in Pennsylvania. As painful as this day is in our history, let us never forget what took place that day. With the loss of lives came a new resolve; a new determination that America will never give up, that America will not crumble and fall. We had a new purpose and mission — to come together and protect and fight for the freedoms we enjoy as a democracy. We laid aside our differences and dusted the dirt off our feet and pulled together to enter a war on terrorism. To fight against those who hate our freedom as a nation and hate us simply because we are Americans. 

Today, after 10 years of war, we see nations all around the world — nations where we never thought it would be possible — wanting a form of government like ours. Today, I am proud to be an American. I am grateful for the sacrifices that have been made over the past 10 years to protect me, my family and my country. The world has been changed because of what America has done. 

I know that everyone may not agree with me, but it is OK to disagree within our country. Not every country will allow a free press and give its people the opportunity to speak freely. In our country there are rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. Sadly, during the past 10 years we have seen people abuse these rights — and speak and act in bigotry and with prejudice. No, we are not a perfect nation and we have many faults, but we are still learning and growing. A country can only develop when it can freely expose its errors and challenge its people to rethink what they are doing. I have visited many countries around the world within the last 10 years, but in spite of the many faults we have as a nation, I would much rather live in America than anywhere else in the world.

Of all the freedoms we enjoy, I am grateful most of all for religious freedom. It allows everyone, regardless of race, education, age or sex, to choose to worship the God he believes and in the way he wants to. It is not this way in every country and because of this many are persecuted all around the world. This is an age-old problem with no simple answers, and our nation’s founders knew this well and protected us by giving us religious freedom. 

The Bible speaks about the last days of Earth’s history this way: “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15). Revelation 13 is talking about an antichrist power that will try to force people all over the world to worship it.

This tells me that once again our nation and our Constitution will come under attack. There will be attempts to change our Constitution and to take away our religious freedom. My prayer is that we will never forget what has taken place since Sept. 11 — the loss of lives and the resolve to keep our freedoms regardless of the cost. May God bless you, your families, and those who are risking their lives for our freedom. God bless America.

 

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