Sunday, January 21, 2007

Culture: Remembering United 93

In youth group this morning, our speaker shared about the intersection of remembering, forgetting and anticipation.

We need to remember the past because we need to be grateful for the good that has happened.

We need to forget the past not in the sense we deny it ever happened but some aspects of our past need to be forgotten because we don't want those things to define who we are today and into the future.

We need to anticipate the future because a life with nothing to look forward to is a sad life.

No doubt about it, it was a message we all needed to hear given some of the things that have happened in our church.

If life is to have meaning beyond mere existence, then one must reflect. In Christ, we have the benefit of a God whose blessings inspire our gratitude and whose grace can make sadness meaningful.

For the afternoon, my mind took a turn toward remembering a national moment, I watched the DVD of United 93.

When the film came out, many people said it was too soon.

I went to see the film on the first weekend it came out. I went alone. I didn't have the heart to ask any friends to join me for fear they would not want to see the film or to impose on them to see the film out of obligation to tag along with me.

I confessed to wondering what motivated my fellow movie goers that night.

Did they know someone on the flight? Or someone who died on 9/11?

I did not.

I went to see the film because I felt the need to remember the horrors of that day but also the heroism.

The advertising tag line for the film was: On September 11th, one of the darkest days in our nation, 40 ordinary people sat down as strangers and stood up as one.

That resonated with me.

Like most people, I read the various profiles about the passengers of that flight, saw the interviews about the final phone calls, felt the anger and outrage at the incomprehensibility of such blind hatred and wept at the lost lives many cut down in the prime of life.

In support of remembering, I'm making a contribution to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund.

On the home page, it succinctly explains why:
The story of Flight 93 is a national treasure -- a story of hope in human courage and cooperation. When confronted with the gravity of their situation, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act heroically and sacrifice their lives for their country. These 40 heroes made a democratic decision to fight back against terrorism and thereby thwarted a planned attack on our nation’s capital, saving countless numbers of lives.
I encourage you to donate if you haven't already. I also urge you to see United 93 if you haven't already.

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