I’ll never forget that morning. As I went out to get the newspapers that day, I made a comment that I normally never make. While I am grateful for every day that God gives me, I never usually express that feeling out loud. But that morning, I looked up at a sky that was so blue, felt the warmth of the sun, through a cloudless sky and said: “Wow, what a beautiful morning!”
That was the morning of September 11, 2001.
This month will mark the seventh anniversary of the events of that terrible day. The names of the victims will be read, the firemen and police men of New York City will march to Ground Zero, the men and women of our Department of Defense will gather at the Pentagon, the families of those heroes on Flight 93, who gave their lives to prevent further destruction, will commemorate the sacrifice that their loved ones made. In the next few years, more tangible memorials will be in place to remember that horrible day.
In the midst of this darkness, there were moments of light on that day and the days that followed . The flashlight, carried by true heroes, which penetrated the smoke and debris filled hallways and stairwells of the World Trade Center; spotlights shining on American flags as rescuers dug through what remained of buildings to find any signs of life; candles shining in the faces of those gathered to remember the lives of those taken in the name of hatred.
Freemasonry is an organization dedicated to the principal of helping good men to search for more light. We are to be a light shining in the darkness of this world. Our commitment to this principal is a reason why political systems committed to dictatorship and oppression have persecuted Freemasonry. In the Twentieth Century, we have seen that Freemasonry has outlasted those political systems.
Even though we are only a few years into the Twenty-First Century, it is apparent that the world still has people who are determined to rule by violence, hatred and fear. And Freemasonry will still have to deal with those forces in this world who not only want to destroy the principles of Freemasonry, but could potentially persecute Freemasonry as it was persecuted in the Twentieth Century.
It has been said, on numerous occasions, that September 11, 2001 changed our world forever. We, as Freemasons, have the opportunity to change the world, by living our princples on a daily basis, and exposing the forces of darkness in this world by shining the light of Freemasonry into the world, that the world may see us for what we are, an organization committed to making the world a better place.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Jack Daugherty, W.M.