News Bits And People's Thoughts - Page 1

By the President of the United States of America,
A Proclamation:

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked America in a series of despicable acts of war. They hijacked four passenger jets, crashed two of them into the World Trade Center's twin towers and a third into the Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense at the Pentagon, causing great loss of life and tremendous damage. The fourth plane crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside, killing all on board but falling well short of its intended target apparently because of the heroic efforts of passengers on board. This carnage, which caused the collapse of both Trade Center Towers and the destruction of part of the Pentagon, killed more than 250 airplane passengers and thousands more on the ground. 

Civilized people around the world denounce the evildoers who devised and executed these terrible attacks. Justice demands that those who helped or harbored the terrorists be punished -- and punished severely. The enormity of their evil demands it. We will use all the resources of the United States and our cooperating friends and allies to pursue those responsible for this evil, until justice is done. 

We mourn with those who have suffered great and disastrous loss. All our hearts have been seared by the sudden and sense-less taking of innocent lives. We pray for healing and for the strength to serve and encourage one another in hope and faith. 

Scripture says: "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, honoring the memory of the thousands of victims of these brutal attacks and comforting those who lost loved ones. We will persevere through this national tragedy and personal loss. In time, we will find healing and recovery; and, in the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, "one Nation under God."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark this National Day of Prayer and Remembrance with noontime memorial services, the ringing of bells at that hour, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I encourage employers to permit their workers time off during the lunch hour to attend the noontime services to pray for our land. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in these solemn observances. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth. 


Published Wednesday, 
September 12, 2001 Leonard Pitts, Jr. Miami Herald

We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles
the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears
sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only
words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable b**tard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our
World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would
learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. when provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers
pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On
this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans,
we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the
streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing
about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or
the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several
times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and
hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else
raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is d***** tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

"Stand proud, America!"

6:00 PM

Dear Friends,

Like you, I am stunned and saddened by today’s tragic events. Seeing these things unfold before my eyes on television was a strange experience, being accustomed to such sights in movies but knowing that this time there were real people suffering and dying before my eyes.  How do we respond?  Surely we can do better than to simply sit as spectators, glued to the tube.  But what to do?  Earlier today President Bush asked that we give thanks and that we pray.  1 Tim. 2:1-3 makes the same point, saying:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live 
peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and
pleases God our Savior…

Following are four points for prayer:

1) Grief and mourning.  Though it will take many days before the total loss of life can be comprehended, we know that many are dead, many are wounded, and many are missing.  As I write, many are possibly still trapped alive amidst rubble.  This is a time for mourning, a national funeral.  Let us make requests to the God who is an ever-present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1) that he will comfort everyone who is in trouble and especially those who have lost friends and loved ones.  Let us pray that those who know Him will look up to Him for help and that those who don’t know Him will do the same.

2) Intercession for those in authority.  Let us pray for President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.  Let us pray for the governors and mayors of New York, Maryland, Virginia, New York City and Washington D.C.  Let us pray for all those making decisions about a military response, about re-opening airports and bridges and tunnels, and about what changes need to be made to our national security.  Let us pray for pastors as they comfort and counsel and instruct their churches.

3) Trust in God.  Psalm 33 reminds us, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.  But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love” (vv. 16-18).  Let us pray that God will comfort and strengthen us with the truth that He is the all-powerful, sovereign ruler of the universe.  Let us pray that we will not be afraid, even if the earth gives way (Psa. 46:2).  Let us pray that we will not become vengeful in our hearts or our attitudes, leaving it to the government to bear the sword and to the Lord who says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 
‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19).

 4) Thanksgiving.  Is it really appropriate to give thanks amidst such carnage?  Is it uncaring and insensitive to be grateful amidst such loss?  By all means let us avoid being glib.  There are no pat answers here.  Yet we are instructed to offer up not only prayers and requests and intercession but also 
thanksgiving.  Let us, as the President noted, give thanks for the heroic efforts of firefighters, doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel.  Let us give thanks for the extraordinary way this country has been protected and preserved for many years.  Let us further give thanks for the gospel of Jesus Christ; a gospel that promises eternal life which no terrorist can ever steal from us.  Finally, here at FCC, we want to give thanks for God's mercy to preserve and spare a number of our members who work at or visit the Pentagon and who could have been killed.  While we haven’t tracked down everybody yet, all the news we had has been good.

Dear friends, may we do our best to respond to this day’s events wisely and humbly.  As citizens of America, let us pray for our nation. As neighbors and coworkers, let us join in mourning with those who mourn while avoiding easily misunderstood statements about this humbling America or promoting evangelism.  Let us humbly acknowledge the agony and fear that many are experiencing and remember that suffering is always painful.  As citizens of heaven, let us be still and know that He is God, our rock and our fortress.  Where God provides opportunities, let us be quick to point to Christ as the
source of the hope that is in us.  As parents, let us see this as an opportunity to instruct our children, helping them to make Biblical sense out of all this.  As those who bear His name, the only hope of the world, let us live in such a way that His light shines through us so that others may drawn to our God and Savior, Jesus.

Grace to You,
Mark Mullery

P.S. I’d encourage you to read Psalm 46 before you go to sleep tonight.

The Battle Belongs to The Lord

In heavenly armor we'll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that's fashioned against us wil stand
The battle belongs to the Lord

And we sing glory, honor
Power and strenth to the Lord
We sing glory, honor
Power and strength to the Lord

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He's raised up a standard - the pow'r of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord

And we sing glory, honor
Power and strenth to the Lord
We sing glory, honor
Power and strength to the Lord

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
The battle belongs to the Lord
Take courage my friend your redemption is near
The battle belongs to the Lord

And we sing glory, honor
Power and strenth to the Lord
We sing glory, honor
Power and strength to the Lord

"Do not fear or be dismayed. . . 
for the battle is not yours but God's." 
II Chronicles, 20:15

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Page created: September 12, 2001
Last updated: May 2014