If there was any doubt that 9/11 still lingers on in our consciousness, it should be put to rest.

On this, the sixth anniversary of the tragic attack, people are yet pausing to remember.  Those who died are gone, but they are not forgotten.  I wasn’t blogging then, so I can’t point back to what I wrote.  I remember sitting in Biola University’s prayer chapel and overhearing the reports on a workman’s radio outside.  For that moment, prayer ceased and I tried to comprehend what I had heard.

It would not sink in until nearly an hour and a half later, when it was confirmed for me at chapel that the world had changed.

It has been called the defining moment of my generation.  And for many of us, it has been.  We are too young to appreciate the fall of the Berlin Wall–too young, even, to really understand the first Gulf War.  What’s more, both events were removed from us–they happened in some far off country that had little, it seemed at the time, to do with the United States.

This, however, shattered the illusion of unassailable security and safety that most of us had grown up with–and to which so many of us have quickly and easily returned.  A new sense of instability was thrust into our lives, long enough to even make us stop complaining about long security lines at airports.  The deep chaos of a sinful universe, the deep chaos that runs through our own hearts, rose to the surface in the least expected and most tragic of ways.  And it was terrifying.
Now, six years later, we have not forgotten.  Like those patriots who reside in the waters of Hawaii, entombed in the USS Arizona, the lives of those who died on September 11th, 2001 will never completely leave our consciousness.  The passage of time may someday cause their legacy to dim, but what we have learned today is clear:   it has not grown dim yet.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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