Denver: September 11, 2012 has evangelical significance for Denverites as it does around the United States. The conversation for many people harkens back to the age old question “Where were you when the planes hit the World Trade Center?” On the 16th Street Mall this weekend prayer walkers, diners and shoppers remember that they prayed, some for the first time. “When people say that 9-11 changed everything, I know what that means to me,” said Carlita Aragon an Hispanic middle-aged woman originally from New York. “I was brought up in Queens in a traditional Roman Catholic family, went to college and beauty school here in Denver but I never made a real connection with God but 9-11 corrected that in my mind and heart and since that day I have been challenged to prayer walk the 16th Street Mall everyday. 9-11 challenged me and it allowed Jesus Christ to change me.” In the hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” one of the verses that give so many people comfort rhymes “Safe and secure from all alarms.” That phrase tells you where evangelicals were the day of September 11, 2001.
Steady drips and residue
While prayer had a resurgence in the days following the disaster the thought in most major cities was that it was a ‘temporary fix’ and more therapy for a hurting and mourning people than a return to God. “In many cases as the recovery lingered on at Ground Zero people lingered in the respect for the men and women who gave their lives as well as the heroes who were working at the sites of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,” an Air Force Officer told DEE. “What made 9-11 different than any other national disaster in history was the sustainable turning to patriotism in the face of the steady drip of skepticism and even the conspiracy theories.” When asked where was that officer on September 11, 2011, he was at breakfast in Colorado Springs, getting ready for class. “The silence of the sky gave a tribute, and we were at a different place at The Academy.”
Back to apathy
Throughout the eleven years there has been a remnant of people in Denver who have been mindful of the sacrifice of military, the role of the churches, and the continuing thought process of thinking that hope was possible in the midst of our darkest days. Along the 16th Street Mall the usual banter of street musicians can be heard. At The Tattered Cover people drink coffee and get caught up on reads, listens and views of the world. On this Sunday it is not yet determined if more or less people were in church or at the Colorado Symphony, or at the Buell Theater. There are many dressed in their Sunday best heading for brunch. “Reflection is a funny thing,” said a street preacher who frequents 16th Street. “People forget about the times when it seemed like we were about to lose everything we stood for, but that wears off. The economy hit, Katrina hit and there was enough blame to go around. But it is a choice we can either point fingers at each other, or we can point people to the truth.” The question, “Where were you when the planes hit the towers that morning of September 11, 2011?” For Carlita it was more of a psychological, spiritual place in her life than a corner, or an office, classroom or bus stop. “I was at a crossroads on September 11th.” Eleven years later, “I’m at a place of re-commitment. A renewing of my mind and heart, revived and ready to reflect. It seemed that on that day I wasn’t chasing anything anymore, all that I had left was prayer.”
Beginning in October:
Monday: Denver Evangelical Examiner- 52 Breakthrough Outreaches in Fiscal Year 2013
Tuesday: Denver Special Needs Examiner- 52 Breakthrough ways to reach people with special needs, their caregivers and families.
Wednesdays: Denver Media and arts Examiner- 52 Breakthrough media and arts releases.
Thursday- The National Prayer Examiner: 52 Breakthrough Prayers
Friday: 52 Breakthrough ideas and leaders that will impact the Front Range in 2013.
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