I am a Christian, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, first and foremost. Next, I am an American, whose roots go back to the first settlement in America, Jamestown. My forefather, Thomas Mayfield, came to this country, as an indentured servant, worked off his indenture, and settled on land, married, and raised a family who would become the first American citizens other than the American Indian tribes who lived here. My family fought in the War for Independence, and every war since. They were the backbone of this country, and the reason we are free. I cherish the freedom we have because I know the sacrifice that was paid for that freedom. I was raised in a military family, by a father who chose to serve this country for 35 years of his life, and I’m married to a man who chose to serve for 22 years, and was sent to the Persian Gulf that day. My brothers, brother-in-laws, nephews, and my stepson have or are serving in the military. I never questioned why they serve, because I knew it was so we could all live free, able to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and all the rights given us in the U.S. Constitution. When America was threatened they stepped up to pay the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free. Maybe it is that willingness to protect the people and country they loved that made it easier for me to understand the sacrifice Jesus made for my life, to save me from my sins and give me freedom from the punishment for those sins. I don’t take either of these sacrifices for me lightly, and I know if it fell upon me to fight for my children or grandchildren to keep them free, I would fight to the death!
I open this way to let you know the heart of me, as an American, and as a Christian, so that you will understand what came out of the terrorists attacks on our country that took place on 9/11/2001. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Two of my daughters and I were living in Central California just a mile from the oldest of my younger brothers. We had just moved into a small trailer, and had no television yet. Our only way of getting news was my clock radio. September 11th was a school day that year and in our area it had just started the week before. My daughter, Laura, was in her first year of High School, and being at a new school it was important to make sure she was up and ready to go. I can’t remember why, but the alarm didn’t go off on time as it usually did, and so around 8 the radio came on and woke me up. It was staticy so I adjusted the tuner, and suddenly it sounded like a rebroadcasting of the “War of the Worlds”. Still groggy with sleep, I went and got Laura up, then started to get dressed before I had to wake my baby girl, Jk, up. We were listening to this unfolding attack, when I began to realize this wasn’t just a radio drama, but something that was really happening in our country. I ran to the phone and called my oldest daughter, who lived down in Southern California by the beach. Our conversation went just like this.
“Hey, Mel, do you have the television on?”
“Mom, do you know how early it is?”
“Yes, Mel, just turn on the news.”
(Mumbling as she goes to her television and turns on the news.
“Oh my ***! (a long pause)…Mom someone just flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York! Mom, they are saying that they think a group called Al Queda may be responsible! Mom, it’s horrible!”
At that moment, I broke down and cried. I cried because our country was under attack. I cried because of the fear for what my children, my family might be called to face in the future because of that attack. I cried because the land I love had been desecrated by some terrorists group that wanted to strike a blow for their religious beliefs based on hatred for anyone who believed differently. I cried, I listened to my oldest daughter, tell me what was being reported, and I listened as she said, “Mom, don’t worry, we come from strong military stock, and we will survive this.” Just those words made me realize that our family history was ingrained in us, and passed down through our genes. That the first patriots in our family had a special quality that was genetically ingrained into our souls. We were fighters, German, Danish, Dutch, Irish, and Welsh fighters, given the same Spirit that our great-great-great-great-great Grandfather Thomas had that helped him overcome indentured servitude to settle in a new land, that same Spirit his sons carried to the Revolutionary Battlefield to fight for the freedom to become a new country, the same Spirit that would lead every male member of this family to stand for what was right and fight to keep America together and free. That same Spirit that got my father through 3 wars, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, despite receiving shrapnel to his knees and legs. It is the same fighting Spirit, the Spirit to persevere and keep this country free, that lives in my brothers, brother-in-laws, my husband, my nephews, and my stepson, that causes them to stand up and fight to keep this country free from all tyranny, foreign and domestic. I saw this same Spirit in my oldest daughter and I couldn’t have been prouder that day. I knew from that moment on that what those Islamic terrorists had done would not defeat us, because once the grief and shock passed, this country and its citizens would rise up with righteous anger and show what they were made of. We would rebuild, regather, and fight those who tried to destroy us on that day. That is the mantle of a true American citizen. We are a strong lot who have overcome the oppression in other countries to form a new country based on freedom, the freedom that God gives us, freedoms that were stolen from us in other countries, and freedoms that we hold dear. Even in this time when we face domestic tyranny, we still hold our freedom in a cherished position and that love of freedom, and our love for God will make us victorious over it. We are Americans!
That day we were hit by 4 tragedies, 2 planes in New York, 1 plane at the Pentagon, and 1 plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was a horrific blow to our hearts and to our country, but out of the ashes of that tragedy we rose like a Pheonix, stronger, and we will hold on to the strength that came out of that tragedy as each year we remember 9/11.
Today there will be many tributes to the heroes of 9/11, and we should remember them all, but for me the story of 9/11 has many parts to it that we need to remember more.
First, we should remember that there is always a chance that we will be under attack again. The world is filled with evil people, jealous people, insane people, who want to destroy us.
Second, Our enemies not only lie out there in other countries, like Iran, but from the looks of our politics, we have enemies in our country as well, and some of them are in our highest offices. Those are the ones we need to deal with the most! I lived over a half a century, and never in my life has there been a greater act of fraud and treason as I see in our government today.
Third, We are not a salad bowl like many of the politically correct would have us believe. We are a melting pot, a land where people from many countries come, and like a ring melted and molded into Americans, and our joint cultures are like the jewels that bless that ring. We are not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, or European-Americans. We are AMERICANS, plain and simple! When we separate ourselves by race we are like metal that is bent and stressed, and will soon break. But when we join together as one, we remain strong, firm, and free.
There are terrorists out their who want to tear us apart, some are Islamic, some are Communist, some are from the inside like those who hate our Constitution, love ruling in tyranny, or want their religion to be pushed into our court system, or their lack of religion and belief in God to be what controls everything. We have faced such entities before and we have overcome, and if we stay united we will have victory again! We are One Nation Under God, and we need to always remember that. We are not over God, and those who think they are will perish one day when they face the one true God with their pride and evil. We are under God, being watched over by Him, led by Him, and helped by Him. As long as we remember His Greatness, and that we need to listen to the One who sees all, knows all, and loves all, we will find victory through Him. But when we turn from Him as our Democratic National Convention did this last week, we will see destruction. We don’t have to see another 9/11, another World War in our time if we do one thing first, and that is said in the following passage of Scripture…
If my people, which are called by my name, shall HUMBLE THEMSELVES, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14
Once we seek forgiveness from the Almighty God, stop sinning and began following his statutes, God will heal this land. He will restore us to greatness, and he will place leaders in this country to keep us on the right track who can restore our Constitution, our Economy, and our Strength. God will give us peace. He is the only one that can. Unless this happens we will face even worse tragedies in the near future than 9/11.
I’m not saying this to scare people, because I know even in the greatest tragedies come many of the greatest triumphs. For instance, in the wake of 9/11 many returned to Jesus Christ, acknowledging that his hand saved them from dieing that day. On 9/11 the people of New York came together to clean up, rebuild and comfort the victims, as one people looking beyond their differences. That week churches filled up, and offered comfort to those who were suffering fear and doubts. As a country we became one in resolve. There are may stories of those heroes who looked past their personal safety to help others live. Some of those heroes lived, while others died saving others. I may not know why some died and other lived, but what I’m sure of it the Lord God loved them all, and over 2,000 years ago he sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sins, and when we believe, that sacrifice Jesus made gives us victory over death through eternal life with him. I know that those who died on September 11, 2001, who were believers in Jesus Christ, are with him today and not suffering from the horrible things that happened that day. God gave us a reminder of that, and of his constant presence to help us through such tragedies on that day when 2 steel beams from the Trade Towers remained upright in the shape of a cross. It was not the government who gave us strength that day and who has carried us through since then. It is God, and God alone who deserves the praise for helping us through this tragic time, and who carries us through even today as we remember that day.
To all those who suffered loss on 9/11, and to all the heroes, including our military men and women who still fight to bring all those involved in it happening to justice, I pray God’s warmest blessings on you, and remind you to hold on to his unfailing hand. He will comfort you, love you, and protect you as long as you do. Please be ever vigilant in Him!
- The Cross Memorial from the 2 steel beams that remained upright in this form after 9/11.