It’s become an annual tradition. For the last 13 years the one day of the year which marks the commemoration of the carnage in New York city, Arlington VA and Pennsylvania seems to stop time itself. I remember.
Some believe they have done something about what happened that day. That somehow they have exacted justice. What they’ve imagined to do is fleeting.
When the towers fell thirteen years ago, it was validation of my decision to join the Army just four months earlier. We were going to war, and I would be a part of it.
The nation cheered as our special operators made quick work of the Taliban, and I’ll never forget watching a soldier slap an American flag on the face of Saddam’s falling statue nineteen months later. We were exacting justice, and the enemy was on the run.
Many, many years ago, it was the British who were trying to enslave us. Later, our enemies came to be the Mexicans and then the Spanish. The Germans and Japanese, we thought, must be stopped, followed by Korea and Vietnam, et. al. At one point we even fought ourselves, allegedly for freedom’s sake. Now, we set our anger against another enemy, and we diminish ourselves, all for the fleeting cause of justice. It is madness to think more killing will quench the fires of evil. They burn without earthly limits.
The writer of Ecclesiastes recognized it well. It is all futility, vanity and meaninglessness. To pursue justice is to chase darkness. Killing terrorists is the end which the means of war justifies. To that there is no end. There is no justice apart from Christ Jesus. No, none. To separate from Christ is to fail to judge ourselves and thereby know ourselves.
It’s become an annual tradition, to pursue justice.