The comemorative events for the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks are now history. It was touching to watch family members trace the names of loved ones off the granite of the memorials at the site of the World Trade Center in New York. The tributes of so many different groups from the NFL to commercials companies had prepared especially for today were also tasteful and thoughtful. I was pleased to be in worship today where 9-11 was certainly remembered, but the focus of worship was on forgiveness.
We have journeyed a good distance from the horrific day when more Americans died than on any day other than the Civil War Battle of Antietam. The time has been consumed with fighting two wars that have sacrificed some of our finest young people and subjected our military to some of the most demanding strains that have been experienced with multiple redeployments to battle zones. The needs of military families are staggering as they face long absences of soldiers and sailors. At the same time, we have spent enormous sums of money on an adventure that only time will be able to assess its full outcome. History will judge whether we have accomplished the goals of those military efforts.
The combined demands of justice and forgiveness struggle for the soul of our country still after 10 years. We have become more likely to know Muslims in America than ever before. At the same time, many of them are blamed for what they may have despised as much as most Americans did. We struggle to integrate them into the wider society and help them experience the freedoms of America. The past ten years have given us the opportunity to get to know both the best and worst about Muslims and to gain an understanding of their faith. The vast majority of them are no more endorsers of the violence that has occurred than are most Christians responsible or supportive of the violence recently occurring in Sweden. We need to get to know our neighbors better and work with them for the common good, especially our Muslim neighbors.
There are still raw nerves and free-running emotions from 9-11, but there is an opportunity to be Christlike in the face of evil. My prayer is that I can be and others will join in this