…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ~ President Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address”
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’ ~ Romans 12:9-19, MSG
Just like countless people have their own Damascus Road experience, there also are numerous individuals who have their own Ground Zero experience. Just as one Man gave His life so that many could live, there also are hundreds of firefighters, rescue workers, and police officers that gave their lives so that many other men, women and children might live. For this last reason, the Ground Zero Cross is in honor of those individuals who lost their lives trying to save the lives of others, in honor of those lost lives that could not be saved, and in honor of those individuals whose lives were maimed and injured on September 11, 2001.
It is just astonishing how the Ground Zero Cross miraculously appears on September 13, 2001, standing almost upright in the middle of the mysteriously demolished World Trade Center 6’s rubble. This controversial 17-feet tall steel crossbeam, which excavator/rescue worker Frank Silecchia believes fell there from one of the World Trade Center’s two towers, is now on display in The National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
However, from the moment Mr. Silecchia spotted this Ground Zero Cross in the middle of the crater beneath WTC6’s rubble, until this present day, this intact crossbeam has been more than pieces of steel coincidentally shaped into an identifiable Christian icon. Ironically, like Jesus the Christ’s Calvary Cross is THE most recognizable SYMBOL in this world of God’s Love, Hope, Faith, Mercy, Grace, Freedom, Salvation, Forgiveness, Healing, New Life, and Peace, which ONLY can be obtained through His Son’s suffering and death on the Cross; this Ground Zero Cross also is a symbol of joyous hope, enduring faith, phenomenal healing, and inalienable freedom.
To be sure, this Ground Zero Cross is a truly familiar symbol that continues to let people know that God indeed was in the middle of this tragedy. This Ground Zero Cross, thus, unambiguously assures the spared first responders, the attack survivors, and the suffering and traumatized families of the 9/11 dearly departed loved ones and the 9/11 cherished alive relatives that what some individuals meant for pure evil through God nothing but good will come from this tragedy, because in ALL things God truly works together with those who love Him to bring about what is good, which to Him is the saving of many lives (cf. Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28)!
For this last reason, this blogger prayerfully hopes that the tenth-year anniversary of September 11, 2001 will witness a grand opening dedication ceremony at The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which is built at Ground Zero—the site of the World Trade Center. This blogger eagerly wants this opening dedication ceremony to cause the world not only to note but also long remember the volumes that the silence on this day speaks, as well as wants the world NEVER to forget the acts of perfect heroism and altruistic sacrifices, which happened on this site, on that most horrific day (September 11, 2001). Why? The main reason is: The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which is the new name for Ground Zero, definitely is consecrated ground where all gave some, AND some gave ALL!
Lastly, as Americans rejoice with those who rejoice over the completion of this 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and mourn with those who mourn over the nearly three thousand lives, which finally have been put to rest here at the site of the World Trade Center, there can be no doubt what the desires would be of these dead who are dedicated and memorialized, on this tenth-anniversary day (September 11th). For sure, these honored dead would want the living Americans to engage not only in a solemn remembrance but also in a genuine reflection of the terrorist attacks, to the extent that Americans continuously have renewed resilience and faith, and constantly have renewed commitment and hope for life, freedom, peace, and the pursuit of joy.