Remember 9/11 Today

By Piet and Mary Van de Mark    9-11-2023

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chron 7:14 KJV)

“I just totally love you…and I’ll see you when you get there…Bye, Babe.” These were Brian’s last words as he called his wife from aboard United 175 being flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Twenty-two years later, I realize that couple shared a level of faith that we didn’t possess that morning of 9/11/01.

Of course, we didn’t hear Brian’s words on 9/11. We just sat on the edge of our bed being numb, watching TV, listening as both towers were struck, ultimately to collapse; the Pentagon was hit; the terrorist attack ended a long hour later when the brave passengers aboard United Flight 93 attacked the terrorists, causing them to crash in a Pennsylvania field. To this day, Piet looks away when those images of tower impact are broadcast. But he remembers!

Remember the agonizing live images of despair among the onlookers, many of them frozen on the sidewalk as though watching a bad movie? The chaos on the streets of Manhattan as horrified survivors fled the scene? Intensely focused first responders running to the flaming building to help?

What only came later was knowledge of the countless brave heroes of all sorts who succeeded in getting most folks out of the towers before so many were killed when both buildings finally fell. And we learned of awesome death-defying courage in the Pentagon, didn’t we?

Witnessing all that heroism and remembering it inspired a large part of who we have become today. We’ll not forget the ghastly images of death and destruction. Nor the totally inappropriate words and joy that followed. Remember news videos of dancing-in-the streets celebration in many parts of the world as news of the killing spread? We were dumbstruck by many comments from Americans summed up in the opinion, “Well, we deserved that.”

Looking at each other, jaws literally agape at the evil displayed on our TV, we asked, “What’s happened here to America and the world?” Life took on a new meaning, a new beginning and a long quest for answers began. For us, this National crisis was a genesis.

Much of our shocked nation responded with unity. Members of Congress rose and sang “God Bless America” on Sept. 11, 2001. They also sang our National Anthem on the Capitol steps following a moment of silence that day. Churches filled for a while. American flags appeared on lapels for a longer time. However, in time most of those not personally affected moved on. They simply forgot to remember.

Mary and I chose to seek God for wisdom. What we found was Jesus, Holy Spirit and His Word. His Truth. Life took on a new richness, a new beginning and our long quest for answers began. Thank God, we have forged a personal relationship with Him that allows us to know and respond to the pervasiveness of good and evil in the world.

Have we seen times change? WWII was won by what is often called the last great generation: the men and women who surely saved the world from totalitarian evil. Many Americans in the War Years and those that followed were not “tight” with God outside of the proverbial foxhole. But, most were well-aware of His goodness and guidance and the value of (well, most) of His Ten Commandments. The result was a moral grounding at least sufficient to continue much of the pioneer strength that built America…for a bit longer.

The 1950’s followed, comparatively safe, joyful and prosperous. Then the abrupt socio-economic-political-educational transition into the 1960’s was allowed to begin. Those who lived it can now look back to see the slippery slope of backsliding, both morally and spiritually.

What did we both learn from our years of seeking? Was America distracted from the basic biblical worldview that sustained her for centuries? Had America’s sense of God’s Truth been destroyed? Yes! “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6 KJV) That was our conclusion. America chose to be distracted and dragged down by spiritual and moral inattention.

Is it too late? Absolutely not! We are thankful that the enemy has so overstepped his passions to form an ungodly globalist government that a burgeoning number of Americans is indeed beginning to awaken! “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV) That Spirit of Freedom opens mouths and ears to both speak and hear Truth. We Americans must do that fearlessly!

We are restoring God’s guidance to America! Think about it: you do know how this story ends! “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV) Use those gifts with Joy. Become Salt and Light!

We hope you have acquired the habit of speaking to passing cops, firefighters and military: “Thank you for your service!” Oh, and how about honoring your local police and firefighters by taking them some cookies on 9/11?

Piet and Mary Van de Mark
Biblical Citizenship Committee Co-Chairs

Piet and Mary Van de Mark Headshot (300 x 300 px)

Mary is a Tucson native. Piet, a Tucson resident since 1964, founded Baja’s Frontier Tours here in 1966, producing Personalized Wilderness Travels throughout Baja California. In 1987 Mary joined the adventure, and they expanded their educational tours to include select areas of Mexico and the American Southwest.

Piet and Mary are passionate about sharing their love of God’s Word and discipling others towards a Biblical Worldview which informs all aspects of life and culture.

They have long been members of 4Tucson. In 2020, they were called from producing educational tours to beginning more specific aspects of God’s leading. This continued with working under Paul Parisi in 4Tucson’s Government Domain, where Piet and Mary are co-chairs of the Biblical Citizenship Committee, working to establish Culture Impact Teams in churches throughout Tucson/Pima County, awakening the Church and getting out the Biblical Vote.

They also teach/coach Constitution classes from Patriot Academy, including the most recent offering, Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. Their Biblical Citizenship endeavors include encouraging others to join them in sharing the truth of America’s rich godly foundations both via Zoom and in personal classes in churches, clubs and homes.