Eighteen years. That’s not just the age of the typical college freshman. Eighteen years. It’s been eighteen years since that awful, terrible day when some awful, terrible people did some awful, terrible things that resulted in nearly 3000 people dying that day, with many more dying in the years since. Eighteen years. It hardly seems possible it’s been so long. It hardly seems possible it hasn’t been an eternity ago. Eighteen years.

I suppose that they will gather in southwestern Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon near Washington, DC, in lower Manhattan and read the names. I suppose bells will toll and flags will fly at half-staff. There will be posts on social media. The twin shafts of light will shine again up into the sky from the World Trade Center site. Here at Central, every year, the Session pauses at its meeting closest to the date and remembers an Elder of this congregation who was killed that day. We did it again this past Monday night. Eighteen years. A lifetime for this year’s college freshmen, but a day that many of us will never be able to forget or to get through without remembering those who are gone and how life changed for us forever, eighteen years ago.

I do not know where you spend the day or how, but I encourage you to spend some portion of it remembering. Hate has tremendous destructive power, but love, we believe, is even stronger than hate. May it be so for you.

–Pastor Don Steele

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