An Aussie View of 9/11

Over the weekend Australians news agencies and websites, as well as the thoughts and hearts of people around the world will be on the ten-year anniversary of September 11, 2001.    While there are many articles and websites in honor of those who lost their lives I was interested by an interview with former Prime Minister John Howard who was in America during the attacks.  This interview was done by a website for The Age, one of Melbournes most popular newspapers and the link can be found here.

What struck me as interesting was how Prime Minister Howard described the day in a book he later wrote. There was compassion in his heart for those affected by the attacks ”Certainly, being on the spot had a powerful effect on me. I knew how shocked and bewildered the Americans were, although everybody was very calm. Everybody understood that this was a game-changer.”  This compassion led Mr. Howard to help with Australian troops almost immediately, this sentiment was seconded by the Aussie people who gave him a record high approval rating.

There was also shock as the former prime minister went from having a meeting with Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell on September 9 “blissfully unaware of what would follow” to hiding in a bunker underneath the Australian Embassy two nights later.  Howard tells of thinking as he boarded the first plane to leave US airspace after the attacks ”we now could be beginning a war on terror that would last for decades”.

I believe that all of us experienced the same shock, and horror over the attacks of 9/11 of this world leader.  And that’s what I really remember most about that day, that everyone was affected with that same emotion of sadness and loss.  I do remember where I was when the attacks took place but it’s another part of that day which is burned on my mind.  Later that evening my family (along with most others) were glued to the television screen watching the evening news.  The House of Representatives and Senate had been meeting during that day and on live television came out to sing together “God Bless America.”  Now I am aware that most of them weren’t truly asking God for help, but it displayed the fear and shock even in the hearts of our leaders.

As we remember 9/11 it is fitting to honor those who lost their lives in that attack and serve defending America’s freedom.  But we should also remember the feeling of fear and shock that caused us to realize we needed God’s help.

Because of Who He is,

John Wilburn

Read the Former Prime Ministers Article:

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John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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