This won't be moving or poetic. I admire all the 9/11 tributes, and the 2996 project is more than inspiring, but it is not in me to follow suit.
I found out about the first plane just before the second hit. The first words I said after hearing about that second plane were, "We are at war."
That has not changed.
Rome was sacked, not by some other empire, but by Gauls, Vandals, Visigoths and Ostrogoths. Rome's size, wealth and technology gave her great advantage against her terrorist foes, but did not deliver her forever. The rabble took Rome's glory.
We are pitted against Islam. My time in Saudia convinced me of that long before 9/11/2001. To underestimate our foes is a grave mistake.
That said, to overestimate ourselves is a greater mistake.
Every year we come closer to being that empire that persecuted the church. Every year we slide further into the immoral morass and spinelessness of which our enemies accuse us. Every year we vote with our wallets, but each year there is less restraint of conscience against it. ("It's the economy, stupid.") Every year I wonder a little bit more at our arrogance, and at God's willingness to let us slide.
Rome fell when she lost the backbone to stand.
Rome fell when God removed His last support from her.
We are at war. We must and will prosecute this war, and I believe we will win round 1.
Round 2 makes me very nervous.