With the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks nearly here, it’s vital to acknowledge how significant this day in 2001 was and still remains for this country on so many levels, a faith leader based outside Seattle, Washington, shared with Fox News Digital ahead of the day.
“It is important to pause and remember what happened,” said Pastor Jesse Bradley of Washington.
“It shapes our path forward.”
The faith leader who oversees Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, is also a speaker, evangelist and author.
He conveyed three key points ahead of this year’s solemn remembrance of the terror attacks that took thousands of innocent lives, changed cities and our nation forever — and still resonates deeply today.
Radical Islamic terrorists crashed four planes in the United States on that fateful day 22 years ago.
Two slammed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, one hit the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. — and another went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Christopher “Dom” Colasanti worked as a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald when the World Trade Center attacks occurred.
“He was one of my teammates at Dartmouth College,” said Bradley, who played professional soccer overseas as a goalkeeper before a serious illness ended his athletic career.
“The men’s varsity locker room has now been dedicated in honor of him,” said Bradley, “because it’s a place where lifelong friendships are formed.”
He said that all these years later, Colasanti’s “legacy of connecting, serving, joy and love continues” to this day.
Amid tragedy or emergency, “many people are escaping and understandably running for their lives,” said Bradley.
But first responders in our country are the ones who deliberately head right into danger in order to help others, he said.
“This powerful example of bravery, unselfishness and service inspires us today,” said Bradley.
“Love includes sacrifice.”
He urged people to “take 10 minutes and read Todd Beamer’s last conversation from the airplane, saying goodbye to his family, praying the Lord’s prayer and Psalm 23 before he said, ‘Let’s roll’ — and helped stopped the hijackers, along with others, before more people were killed.”
Beamer, along with others aboard Flight 93, fought the hijackers to stop the plane from crashing somewhere in the nation’s capital, believed to be the destination. That plane went down in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Said the pastor, “It reminds us of the Bible verse 1 John 3:16: ‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.'”
Said Bradley, “The national motto of the United States is In God We Trust.”
And “Psalm 46:10 says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
The pastor added, “God is personal and eternal. God is holy and gracious. God is transcendent and immanent.”
And “we need God daily and nationally in the deepest ways. In the Bible, the Israelites cried out to God repeatedly and He delivered them.”
This is why, said Bradley, people need to “avoid drifting into idolatry or a false sense of complacency.”
Urged this faith leader, “If you are overcoming tragedy and trauma, remember that you are loved. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).”
He said, “A relationship with God brings healing, restoration and an indestructible hope that is greater than our grieving.”
On the anniversary of Sept. 11 and always, “We remember our loved ones.”
And “we remember where we find peace and a profound sense of purpose,” he said.