Legacy Letters, A Grandson's Memoirs
by Brenda L Lewis
It is now July 2006, almost five years after September 11th, 2001 when 2,973 people were killed. The films and documentaries are being made about the terrorist attack that killed 2,740 people in New York, 189 people in Washington, D.C., and 44 people in New Jersey. This act of war on American soil must never be forgotten. Hate filled Islamic fundamentalists crashed two jumbo jets into buildings in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. The fourth airplane crashed in New Jersey, but was intended to crash into the capital building or the White House. They call this war against America Jihad, meaning Holy War. They hate America for its support of Israel. They believe that Allah (God) would bless the killing of Americans. Their world view is that a right world must be ruled by Moslem laws. Most of these men were from Saudi Arabia. Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, the global terrorist group who brought the war to America is thought to be hiding in the country Pakistan. ( Do not judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character... Martin Luther King)
This terrible event on 9/11/2001 would unite the American people. The patriotism was great. The flags were everywhere. I proudly wore a pin of the American flag. I was reawakened to express and celebrate what is great about our country. The Holy Bible says "To every thing there is a season..." Read it for yourself in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9.
Do you know that America is and was from its' beginnings a work in process? We as a country are continuously changing, struggling, and evolving. We are a diverse nation connected by language, law, and belief in God.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America... One nation under God . . .
Under God is a phrase not liked by many people. The existence and relevance of God are being challenged from within and out by the foolish, and in some cases the Godless men.
This is why you must get the knowledge of Biblical truth to keep you firmly grounded. Go to Sunday school, grandson. If this sounds like foolish talk right now, one day you will understand. A spiritual war is being fought in heavens. This is a war you can't see. It is a war being waged between good and evil, and right and wrong. Unlike earthly wars there are no shades of gray in heaven. In heaven rights and wrongs are clear. In Spiritual wars the fighting is waged for souls. What souls will choose to serve God? Who will refuse to serve God? The consequences of the wrong choice are both seen and unseen in the lives of the people and their generations.
However, on earth, and in America life is governed by laws. This law is central to America's survival. We are first a country of laws. The respect for law is basic to our continued existence. American laws protect free speech, but free speech is not free. If you stand up to disagree with power, you will undoubtedly exact a price that must be paid, War is sometimes a price, as a last resort for most, and a first resort for others. However, the moral of the story is to count the cost of war.
On September 11, 2001 I lived in Alexandria, Virginia and worked in Washington, D.C.. On the morning of 9/11/2001, America would be changed. I would be changed. It is time to speak and there is much to speak about. America would now be at war with some unknown entity. That entity not a country turned out to be a terrorist group, Al-Qaeda. This Islamic fundamentalist terror group was able inflict a mortal wound upon the American people.
September 11, 2001 is this generations Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on South Oahu in Hawaii. Once again, 60 years later American has been attacked on its own soil. The American people are called to be courageous as we face a new enemy. Our sons and daughters are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We went to war in Afghanistan to find the terrorist who hurt us, but before completing the mission, our countries leaders decided to turn their attention to Iraq. At this juncture in American history, most Americans think the decisions to war in Iraq may not have been in the best interest of the American people. After 9/11, an empathetic world was ready to cooperate in the capture of the criminals terrorized and kill innocent people in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. The decision to war in Iraq has resulted in the isolation of America, and its people. The cost will be paid by your generation in dollars and sacrifices as yet unknown.
This is my message to my children and their children, and my children's children. Love God, family, and country. Do not be confused by the worlds view and values for stuff and things. Stand for the right purposes: God, family, and country or risk falling for most anything. Become a praying- thinking man. Obey the laws. (Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but to God what belongs to God).
Will you study and appreciate history? I learned to love history from my father , your great grandfather, James Clark Lewis March 3, 1919 to April 20, 1965 who served in World War 2. He was a black man in America at a time where great discrimination existed against people of color. Yet, he was thoughtful man. He wrote letters to the editor of the Toledo Blade about the events of his time. All the accomplishment that maybe taken for granted today were paid for through the sacrifices of the men and women who came before you. Honoring their sacrifices is right.
Historically, most African Americans came to America as slaves. The African American peoples did the work, that helped make America great and profitable. We labored. While we labored we grew strong. We were unrecognized inventors and scientists. Until we could write our own stories, they went untold. Many African American families knew little of their roots. Our family histories have been full one of struggles that were overcome. You won't get lost if you remember ... struggles that were overcome. Yet at the heart of African American history is a love of God, faith, family, generosity and concern for our neighbors, and friends. We are just passing through this life. Keep living in perspective by thinking of the generations beyond yourself. Ask yourself what legacy you will leave your sons and daughters?
The time for blame is past. It is the age of personal responsibility and principled, and thoughtful living. May young men and woman are lost today. They are lost because, they don't know where they came from. How can they don't know where they are going? They are lost because, they allow misguided people to choose the direction of their lives. Have you ever seen a tree stand without roots? If you see a rootless tree, run. It might hit you. Who should lead you, then?
YOU can be rooted! Know where your people have been. Do not follow, unless led by the facts of Biblical truth and prayer. Honor your father and mother that your days may be long.
Grandson, "PRAYER IS FOR REAL MEN!" Through faith and prayer God will reveal and bless the calling that is just right for you. Life without God, is to be without the confidence of roots. All else passes away.
I am disappointed with the messy facts of recent American history, but people are imperfect and messy. We make mistakes. God hates our mistakes, but continues to love us. We learn when we mess up. Sometimes even, we get it right. God smiles. God keeps up sane.
I have faith that God's plan ultimately overcomes the mess and faults of men and women create.
"Boy, put yourself in Jesus hands!"
That comes from a song called,"Grandma's Hands" by Bill Withers. Ask your dad. He will remember.
I have lived to experienced the redeeming deliverance of Jesus Christ. God is our ever present help in times of trouble. For God's folks the battle, both spiritual and earthly, is the Lord's.
Faith comes by hearing the word of God. What is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of what is unseen. What is was first imagined, before it came to be.
Ask God. God will not turn you away.
God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whom so ever would believe in HIM would have everlasting life.
God is the light of the world. In God, there is no darkness.
Grandson, it is your legacy. Have faith in God! God will never leave you, or forsake you. Raise generations who will love and serve God. This is the only reason for living. They will become the mighty men and women of their generation. Love God, be caring and committed to your family, and your country.
I am telling you the truth.
September 11, 2006
Five years after the monstrous attack on New York and Washington DC, and four years after the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where are we. We live in a world even more dangerous and volatile. For the first time Iran and Iraq are united. Iran is offering to help Iraq with security. Thousands of Iraqi's are being killed every month. American forces are beings killed at the rate of 2-3 daily. Iraqi's by the dozens. 30% of Americans continue to support the president, George Bush on the war and 70% do not. After 4 years of mixing up stories, the president has admitted, Iraq had nothing to do with 911, today America's presence in Iraq is recruiting more terrorists than Bin Laden could ever have hoped for. America is in trouble, owing to the leadership in this country whose answer to everything is force, domination, and control.
Bin Laden is safe in Pakistan, where American troops are not allowed. Bin Laden is loved by Moslem's all over the world for taking on America. At home America is failing its citizens. Symptoms suggests we are a country in decline. American jobs and capital is moving to others countries where labor prices are low and growth of economy and incomes are generous. At home our schools rankings haven fallen well below the world top rankings.
African American families are more greatly at risk. AIDS is increasingly a black disease. Black men prefer prison to college. Young black men live in deadly environments, where even if careful they are more at risk for criminal predicaments, and death. Still, grandson, God IS in large and in charge. God is with the people of God through every circumstance. You can trust God everyday, always. I love you.