On the 10th Anniversary: We remember 9-11-01

Published 1:07 am Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago on September 11, we were very concerned about the safety of our two youngest grandchildren. Both were living in New York City. Brendon was in Columbia Medical School about 6 miles from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and Katie, in her second year of studies at New York University, had an apartment on the 17th floor of the Lafayette Building in the shadow of the Trade Center.

Here is what happened to Katie when the twin towers were bombed. She stood shocked and disbelieving, looking out of her front window and snapping pictures of the Twin Towers as they disintegrated and fell.

The falling debris rained down upon her building and in the streets and a heavy cloud of gray dust enveloped the entire area. Katie’s father, Stan Jr., reported to us from his home in Ann Arbor that if the Twin Towers had toppled over instead of imploding downward it would have crushed the Lafayette as well as the other buildings in its path.

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At that moment their mother, Huda, was giving a scientific lecture at Harvard in Boston. When she saw what was happening in New York she hired a limousine (no other transportation was available) and traveled to New Jersey in order to pick Katie up. In this day of amazing communication the two women were able to keep in touch by cell phone.

By the time Huda got to the designated meeting place Katie had been evacuated from her building, walked 20 blocks through the dust and rubble, then another 30 blocks to a ferry that took her across to New Jersey where the two women met. While she was on the ferry a number of concerned

women helped Katie wipe the thick dust from her face and comb it out of her hair.

Today, on the tenth anniversary of 9-11, the nation grieves that three thousand innocent people were cut off in the prime of life. Those three thousand souls should have lived to raise families and make their contributions to the world. I am thankful to God that Katie was spared to become a blessing to so many people. Otherwise her good work might never have happened.

About 5 years Katie ago helped to create MicroClinics International, http://microclinics.org/, a public health service in developing countries in the Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Africa. I have been very impressed with what she has been able to accomplish as Chief Operating Officer and asked her to tell me about her work.

She wrote to explain that each MicroClinic is made up of a nurse and a group of people who suffer from a common disease such as the world-wide epidemic of diabetes. The nurse teaches the patients about diabetes management (insulin, diet, exercise and oral medication) and the patients give each other emotional support, exercise together, exchange recipes, and visit.

Katie has set up hundreds of MicroClinics in local communities scattered across such countries as Jordan, India and Africa. After hearing about her work, I see my granddaughter as a very resourceful medical missionary.

Today we need to remind ourselves that our American Muslims were never part of the 9-11 atrocity. Following the bombings Arab and Muslim organizations were flooded with letters and calls of empathy from leaders and ordinary Americans, including many Jewish Americans. President Bush publicly informed the nation that the terrorists did not represent the Muslim religion and that Osama bin Laden would not be allowed to turn his terror into a war between Islam and the West. (Check out: “Arab and Muslim America: a Snapshot” on the Internet.)

It might surprise you to know that the religion of a majority of American Arabs is Christianity. Their ancestors came from Lebanon and Syria generations ago.

The Brookings Institute researched the attitude of Arabs in America and this is what they reported:

Muslims are the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. armed services. Over two thirds of the Arab Americans are in favor of war against countries that harbor or aid terrorists. (69%)

A majority of Arab Americans are in favor of having the police practice extra questioning and inspecting of persons who look or speak like Arabs. (54%)

Along with Quakers, American Muslims are the most tolerant group in the nation- 92% favor freedom of religion.

They also have more confidence in our American political system than any other group.

Even Jewish citizens see American Muslims as least likely to sympathize with Al Qaeda.

And here is a wonder: 78% of Jews and 81% of Muslims in America support a Palestinian state coexisting alongside Israel.

We often ask God to bless our troubled world. Listen to John, the last of Jesus disciples who was still alive. In a letter to fellow Christians he offered us the key to God’s heart when he wrote, “Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone that loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7,8.