How can I help my kids learn from the events of 9/11?

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How can I help my kids learn from the events of 9/11?

Sep 11, 2021

 How can I help my kids learn from the events of 9/11? From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I home-school my children and am teaching them about the tragic events of 9/11. I was only 8, but the visions of what happened will always be in my mind. I don’t want my kids just to know the tragedy, but I want them to learn from it. – A.E.

A: Sept. 11, 2001, is a date people remember everywhere and will for generations. On that terrible day, four passenger jets were hijacked and used as weapons against the United States. Thousands of innocent people died.

What does God want us to learn from tragedies like 9/11? While the full answer is hard to determine, it caused many people to turn to God for the first time, and millions came together to pray.

Tragedies have lessons. Jack Mowday served in the military as a helicopter pilot, but tragically died while falling from a hot-air balloon that had caught a high-tension wire. His wife later said that her husband knew that if he didn’t survive the leap, he would be in Heaven with the Lord. Because she had that complete assurance that Jack had prepared for death, she would someday see him again. She said, “My own life has changed dramatically. … I have supernatural peace because the Lord really meets us in our times of need. Although the pain of missing Jack is very real, the comforting presence of the Lord is also very real.”

One lesson God would teach us all is that our only lasting hope is in Him. Life has always been uncertain, and events like 9/11 make that clear. Only God’s kingdom will never end. This is why it’s vital for people to put their faith and trust — their very lives — in the hand of God, for He alone offers us “a kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2021 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(c)2021 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

On 9/11 God Was There

On 9/11 God Was There

 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, members of a Middle East terrorist group boarded four of our U.S. passenger planes and succeeded in using these planes to kill thousands of innocent American people. These terrorists believed that if their plan would work, America would crumble – but they were wrong.

 

Their terrorist plan may have worked. All of their calculation of time and place may have succeeded, but they made one grave error – they underestimated the American people. Because through all the death and horror and devastation, through all the grief and suffering, through all the loss, we have become not weaker, but stronger.  It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Our greatest glory consists in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. And the real strength of America is not in our possession, but in our people – we the people – and our faith in almighty God.

 

As a nation we have been blessed so much by God. And even though some are doing their best to push God out of our country, miraculously, thankfully, He is still here with us. After the terrorist attacks some asked the question, “where was God? Why didn’t He stop the attacks?” That’s a question no one can answer, but we do know this – God was there. As the passengers on those planes waited, they prayed. Some called their loved ones and prayed. Some prayed with telephone operators. And those who spoke with these passengers talk still today of the peaceful assurance as they spoke – a calm only God could give.

 

After the first plane hit that North Tower, there were thousands of people who were trapped with no way to escape. There are reports of one man on the 105th floor of Tower one, going from office to office praying with people, with groups of people, giving them the assurance of God’s love, His mercy, His forgiveness through Christ.

 

There are amazing stories of people who could have left but, instead, voluntarily stayed with the injured and those who could not get down the stairs. People who knew that by staying – they would never survive. Where did these people find the unbelievable courage to stay? From Almighty God.

 

One firefighter who had just finished his final training the day before, his first assignment was the 9/11 fires. He remembered, as the bus transported him and fifty other firefighters to that horrible scene, a chaplain was on the bus praying.  That Fire Department chaplain was killed outside the buildings, hit by falling debris. He had been kneeling in the rubble and chaos, giving the last rites to a dying firefighter.

 

And the firefighters who bravely stormed into those buildings literally melting from the intense heat of the jet fuel pouring down those stairwells, these brave workers went right into the very face of death with nothing more in mind than to help those in need. There are accounts of people who met these firefighters in those stairwells. Their faces, their determination, their bravery.

 

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

Up through the smoke and smell.

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

“I think I heard somebody yell!”

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

“Alive or dead, not ours to tell.”

Keep on climbing”, calls the Captain,

“Forget about your pain!”

“We have a few more floors to gain.”

“Keep on climbing”, yells the Captain,

“We will bring them down again.”

“Keep on climbing”, cries the Captain,

If I can so, can you.”

“Keep on climbing”, orders the Captain

“Right now, I need your best from you”.

“Forget about those sounds!

It’s just some girders twisting

And some concrete falling down.”

“Keep on climbing”, whispers the Captain,

“Climb right up to the light!”

“Right up to that sunshine.

No smoke to smell, no fire to fight.”

“Keep on climbing”, sings the Captain

“That angel’s hand will lead the way.”

“Rest boys”, sighs the Captain,

“You did your job today.”

“Keep on climbing”, prays our Captain,

“Eyes raised, headed for the top,

And when you’re tired and feel like quitting,

Remember them, they didn’t stop.”

(A poem written by Langley city fire chief, Jim McGregor)

 

“Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

 

Oh yes, on 9/11, God was there. To comfort, and console, to hold His dear children oh so tight, to wrap them up in His loving arms, and take them home.

 

And that same God is here with us today. To comfort you if you are hurting, to give us in the midst of sorrow, a peace in our hearts that only God can give. He is here with us today, to mourn with us in the loss of so many brave Americans – we the people.

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