On September 11, 2001, both towers of the World Trade Center in New York were destroyed by terrorists using hijacked commercial airliners with passengers aboard, with great loss of life. The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. was also attacked in the same way, with the cost of many lives.
The pride and anger behind such an attack shows the worst of human motivations, but let us make sure our response does not confirm it. While the attacks are cowardly and evil, it is possible our response could be vengeful rather than defensive, and to harm innocents in the name of reprisal will threaten our already fragile grip on humanity. We have the power to break the cycle of violence through patience and self control, or to accelerate the headlong rush to destruction begun in modern times.
Let us pray our leaders will reject the culture of death, a culture we ourselves have promoted over the whole world. Indeed, we have “sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.” Let us now sow peace, in the hopes of a happy return for those to come after us.
In these next days and years, let us especially remember our origin as a haven for all those who desire freedom. If we harm those among us whom we perceive to be related to our attackers, we have joined in the destructive and ever-quickening dance of death. Historically, fear and anger follow attacks, and in this atmosphere bad leaders arise, innocents are harmed and freedom is lost. Let us not be hasty in judgements, or too quick to give up the legitimate freedoms we enjoy. At the same time, perhaps we can take a more sober attitude toward liberty. Death is a certainty, and the nation that wastes its liberty in license will lose both.
We can take two roads from here, the road of violence we have long trod, or the road of life. Choose life.