9/11 Devotion

Where were you when 9/11 happened?  On September 11, 2001, a group of terrorists carried out horrific and deadly attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia.  The memory of these attacks has been permanently etched into our national consciousness; the current group of LuHi students, though all born after 2001, have all been impacted by this horrible event in one way or another. 

I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened – I was a freshman student at LuHi, passing between classes and hearing snippets of news.  At first, there was confusion because nobody yet realized how devastating the attacks were. I do remember that our school had a clear purpose amid the chaos.  As news continued to come in, the whole LuHi family gathered in the chapel to pray. Though we didn’t know exactly what was happening, we did know that the only way to make any sense of it was with God’s help, and that the best thing we could do was to join together in prayer.  

A few years ago, I traveled with a group of LuHi seniors to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan.  Those seniors, like the current LuHi students, had no direct memories of the events of September 11, because they were so young.  However, each of them had been shaped by the attacks in some way, and they found the artifacts and stories in the Memorial to be moving.  One artifact that I was drawn to was a piece of a steel beam that was uncovered by a firefighter who was digging through the rubble after the towers fell.  Somehow, during the attacks or during the collapse of the building, a page from the bible became fused to that piece of steel. And on the page, completely legible, is a verse from Matthew 5 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil.  But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  

It is an important and poignant reminder that there is nothing stronger than God’s love.  The September 11 attacks were some of the most evil, hateful acts ever committed. But this beautiful symbol, the beam with the bible page, reminds us that even in this broken, sinful world, God’s Word - and His mercy - endure forever.  This truth gives us hope and comfort.  
Now 18 years later, we still rely on prayer to help us remember and understand what happened on September 11, 2001.  Today at LuHi we will pray for the victims of the September 11 attacks, their families, and the first responders that rushed in to help.  We will pray for peace and love to abound in our broken world. But most of all, we will pray in thanksgiving for God’s amazing gifts of mercy and love – gifts that endure forever. 

By: Vicar Adam Schoepflin - 9/11/19
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School    |    131 Brookville Road, Brookville NY 11545    |   516.626.1700
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School is a Christ-centered, college-preparatory school whose mission is to glorify God by educating young people in body, mind, and spirit.