On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 a West Michigan display was set up by a local non-profit group in honor of all those who had died in the World Trade Tower tragedy including all airline victims. From children as young as 3, to a retired infantry man of 67 who was the last American soldier to have left Vietnam, each life story was told. Some had come to meetings, others to meet loved ones, still others died from falling debris raining out of the bursting skies. Each life story was found written as a short biography onto a plastic card attached to the mid-section of every flag pole. During the five day event countless thousands visited, even as many as 35,000 on one hot day, in a steady stream of patriots seeking to mark the 2011 anniversary in some small way in personal tribute to the survivors and their families.
~ By clicking on the picture the field of vision may be enlarged and zoomed in upon ~
|A mosaic greets each visitor coming to honor|
the dead telling the story of American patriotism.
|Each flag represents one person who had died in the |
9/11 Towers Tragedy. A short biography of that person
can be found on a plastic card attached to the flag.
|60,000 visitors came over the weekend|
to honor the dead and had discovered
one of the dead was their own.
|A forest of national colours bend their |
banners on a morning's warm breezes.
|Presented by the Healing Field of West Michigan|
as a 2011 memorial on the 10th year of 9/11.
|Viewed from below can be found stake after stake|
telling the life stories of young and old.
|A troop of children walk through the forest of|
flags on the last morning of display.
What Real Patriotism Must Be
But this is not the end of the story. For by wrapping our pains, our sorrows, our agonies in a nation's patriotism will do little to assuage what must be preceded by forgiveness and mercy. This is a God thing. A Holy Spirit thing. A Jesus thing. For it is in Jesus that a nation may find the will to forgive and be merciful to their enemies. To act justly and not in anger and wrath. At all times must a nation seek wisdom and mercy in the dispensation of justice upon those who would hate and do wrong to the innocents of this world. It is in Jesus that this spiritual conviction may be found through the ministrations of love and compassion first and foremost above all else.
So that by allowing the pain of forgiveness to settle in and to become part of our broken spirit we may find the spiritual grace of God to show lovingkindness to those who would be our enemies. To find a spiritual will to live peaceably with all men without neglecting to pursue justice upon those who refuse to be peaceable, who prefer to act unjustly through war and terrorism, who violate the human rights and inalienable liberties of men, women and children everywhere. Then shall hell be reigned down upon their heads who would continue to do such grievous sins.
However, blind patriotism but blurs these lines preferring anger and indignation over wisdom's exercise of love and justice. True patriots seek God first, his will upon this earth first, above all other wills, even their own. This is what defines a country's greatness - by a patriotism both humble and strong, willing to act in truth and justice, that shows grace, mercy, lovingkindness and wisdom. It honors God by honoring the dead and the living, and removes the anger that is felt when savagely harmed, murdered , invaded, transgressed. This is a true patriotism, one that all men of all nations may agree upon, who would submit first to God, who would humble their hearts before his will, before marching to war, to division, to pagan destruction. Then, and only then, may patriots act - and it may be in ways unthought - in ministrations of nation-building, communication, national understanding, and charitable works of helps.
So then, be at peace with the One who is Peace. Be healed by the One who is our Healer. Be Loved by the One who is Love. Let not your hearts be troubled for it is God who will judge both the quick and the dead. It is in his hands that we must place our trust, our souls, our yearning for justice. Remember the dead by remembering your God in true memorial.