Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Cost of 9/11

As we approach the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 I thought we should see how much that insidious event cost us. I know that there are all kinds on conspiracy theories running around but one thing I do know is that on that day almost 10 years ago 2,752 people died in a barbaric attack of our county. Yet that was only the beginning. Men and women from across this country volunteered to respond to this vicious attack, affecting thousands of families across our country. They sacrificed comfort, time with their families, jobs and educations to answer this attack. They certainly didn't do it for the money or the prestige, they did it out of a word that means little in our culture - DUTY and might I add HONOR.

They have fought valiantly in Afghanistan and Iraq. More often than not as collective ping pong balls of self serving politicians. During this time the United States alone  has lost 1,756 in Afghanistan and 4,282 in Iraq - (6,038). That is over 6,000 families who have lost a son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father. Additionally, an additional 33,602 were wounded, you would have to live with permanent blinders not to see our disfigured and amputee heroes walking or rolling in a wheelchair in our midst.

Then there are those who do not bear the marks from the result of an IED. They are the ones who have come back with a pain that runs deep within them. They may appear jumpy, angry, depressed or just quiet with that 1,000 foot stare. They may have become domestically violent or even criminally. Some have come home to spouses who have left them, a lost boyfriend or girlfriend. Chaplains are  dealing suicides, neurosis and even psychotic responses for people who lived and did their jobs in Hell - for us. 
As you remember 9/11, please remember the cost. The cost of 6,038 lives lost, 33,602 wounded and the uncounted thousands suffering from PTSD. Please remember the thousands of families that have been shaken to the core. The widowed spouse, the children who lost a parent and the fathers and Mothers who have lost or are trying to help a child. Also remember that there are approximately 171,425 troops still deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you see a person in uniform, thank them.

In the meantime politicians will debate and continue to use these sons and daughters as political fodder to bolster their different agendas. While here at home thousands are already fighting their own demons. Some are the Vets who are trying to hold on to what sanity is left, while others are attempting to put their families back together.

Pray for our families, our country and our enemies. (Matthew 5:44)


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