Photo Friday: Marking a Somber Anniversary
Stand for Israel | September 10, 2021
Tomorrow marks 20 years since the devastating terror attacks of September 11, 2001. As we remember the thousands of lives lost, we thought we would share these words written several years ago by beloved Fellowship Founder, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein:
When radical Islamists crashed four commercial airliners into the two World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, they took nearly 3,000 lives, and Americans’ sense of safety. While there had been terrorist attacks on American soil before (including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing), 9/11 truly brought home the reality of the Islamists’ war on the U.S.
In the wake of the attacks, some people said, “We’re all Israelis now.” In a sense, it was true. Who knows the reality of Islamist terror better than Israelis? The threat of attacks is a fact of life in the Holy Land, where no one is a stranger to heightened security procedures, bomb shelters, and gas masks. 9/11 brought Americans to understand that they face the same foe that Israel does, and need to be constantly on guard – call it a shared kinship of vigilance.
This kinship is born not only from a common threat, but common values. Both Israel and the U.S. are founded on principles of democracy, the value of human life, and freedom of expression and religion. Islamist fanatics despise these principles; these are the very ideals they try to destroy with wanton acts of violence against innocent people.
But these ideals are the guiding lights of both Israel and the U.S. Through good times and bad, we defend them as our God-given freedoms. And they prompt us to pray for God’s strong hand of protection on both our countries, and on the world, even as we cling to the biblical promise of His steadfast and loving care: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
As we pause to remember one of the darkest days in U.S. history, let us pray for all those who still grieve the loved ones they lost on that day, and to remember the ordinary Americans who, in their efforts to save others, showed us the meaning of heroism. And let us give thanks to God that His love and faithfulness to us endures even amid our trials and tribulations.