That day shook the world
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
A great disaster affected America ten years ago. The passenger airlines were directed against the towers in New York and some other places. The whole world saw two huge burning towers. We might not have realised that there were hundreds of dead or burnt alive people there. It was a very precisely organised attack of Bin Laden and the Islamic terrorists. At that time we had the anniversary of the famous Battle of Vienna when Poland’s King John III Sobieski had crushed the Turkish storm. Some say that Islam wanted to take revenge for that defeat. Who knows?… And we were watching defenceless America, this wonderful country that was also a great military power and so helpless facing evil; we were watching how it was crying and trying to rescue its brothers. Today this tragedy returns to us as a recollection of something that has become a symbol. Power and its strength is also a warning to the world.
Today, after ten years, we look at the whole world, Europe and other continents through the prism of that event. We also look at America and its relationships with the whole world. One should remember that the Christian roots of Europe are also included in the American history. Therefore, one should not be surprised that Europe looks at America with anxiety. Generally speaking, the Old Continent is weak and incoherent today, and it needs support of its younger sister – America.
For us, Poles, America has been a dreamed-of paradise for our numerous countrymen. We are thankful that America has sheltered thousands of our brothers who immigrated to earn their living there, and it has allowed thousands of Polish families from the Tatras, Kaszuby, Mazury and other Polish regions to live worthy lives. Many immigrants have supported their relatives in poor Poland. The relationships existing between America and Europe, between America and Poland are strong since this is the fate of common roots that also have economic and cultural dimensions. We should also know that some circumstances do not favour a good development of this country and humankind. For instance, the support for abortion shown by the President of this country is among the threats. It is the pain of pains that this great, wise country, with a very rational – it seemed so – attitude towards life, is not always an example of what is the best, what is of God. One can find many other weak points in America that lead people and communities astray. But when we look at the American people we can see that most of them follow God’s way in their desires and follow Christian principles, and for them the Gospel is the most important book. It has been America that for centuries has defended what is worthy and good. For several last decades this country has been a great support and hope for Poland. We will thankfully recollect for long the great President Ronald Reagan and other people who have done so much for Poland and for the cause of peace in the world.
When we recollect the terrible day of 11 September 2001 in New York we want to express our solidarity with all the families that suffered then, and we are praying for those who died then. We would like in some way to recover the sense of brotherhood between people, brotherhood that was broken by the activities of the Islamic extremists. I have said that Europe is anxiously looking at America but America also needs the spiritual support of its older sister – Europe. It needs the support of the Church. The world needs peace, balance, justice and good laws. It seems that America can still remain the leading power of the world but it must be supported by Europe’s prayers and lit by the light of Christ’s Church so that it may not disappear in the darkness and maze of opinions. It requires a big concern. However, this concern will not exist without our mutual sympathy and kind attitudes. And, of course, without doing our best so that the treacherously introduced foul laws may encounter proper social reactions.
Therefore, love and prayers for the American continent should accompany the anniversary of the New York tragedy. May Christ, the King of Mercy and Peace, bless America…