I talked to a man last night on my radio show whose son was in eleventh grade on September 11, 2001. His son decided then and there he'd join the Army to take the fight to the enemy. An explosion in Iraq took his son's life. The son lingered for some time, but ultimately died.
I talked to a man in a dead end job who quit after the towers fell and joined the Army.
A lady told of her best friend who rallied her coworkers to get out of the south tower of the World Trade Center before it fell.
A man called who was in prison at the time the towers fell and told how all the men in prison with him wanted to get out to go fight for the country.
We are an extraordinary people.
In the funeral observances of John McCain so many people said things like, "they don't make men like that anymore," or "we won't see those kinds of people again." The human heart most often looks longingly to the past and makes an idol of it. The present is always measured by the past and often found wanting. But in our idolatry of the past we lose sight of the ordinary men and women who rise to meet challenges.
We had such challenges on 9/11 and both men and women left jobs, schools, wives, husbands, parents, children, and lives to go keep our country safe and free. We make people like that.
In the years since 9/11, we have not really been challenged as a nation. We have been able to focus on the petty politics of here and now as we bicker amongst ourselves. But something wicked will again come this way and we will again see ordinary men and women become extraordinary as they rise to face the fight. It could be your neighbor. It could be your child. It could be you. We will not know until the time comes to see.
But we should remind ourselves that we are an extraordinary people who do rise when needed. We will do so again.