Chivalry Beyond September 11th
By Scott Farrell
(c)2002 Shining Armor Enterprises
The attacks of September 11th quite naturally caused people to question their core values and beliefs. On this day, chivalry was put to the test. Now, one year later, we pause to reflect on what has arisen from the ashes of that terrible day.
We learned some unpleasant lessons on September 11th. We learned that courage does not always deter cowards who attack from the shadows. We learned that even the most law-abiding person isn’t immune to injustice. We learned that there are monsters in the world who can transform generosity into a weapon to serve their own ends. We learned that some hearts can only accept mercy by twisting it into hatred. We learned that organized liars can sometimes deceive those who act in good faith. We learned that nobility is meaningless to those who have no regard for their own honor. And we learned that even the most hopeful person must endure moments which seem hopeless.
Amid grief, tears and fright, many people wondered if chivalry had failed on September 11th. They asked why the shining armor of the knightly virtues didn’t protect us from the attacks, and they contemplated abandoning the Code of Chivalry in favor of simple self-preservation.
This quandary would certainly have been a familiar one to the knights of the Middle Ages who struggled to maintain their own chivalry in the face of brutality, violence and terror. They could have chosen to hide inside their castle walls and raise their drawbridges at the first sign of trouble, but instead they rode out, putting themselves in harm’s way in order to demonstrate the enduring strength of chivalry through their own irreproachable actions and unflagging virtue. And, at the end of the day, when their armor was marred with mud, dents and scratches from the battles they had fought, they knew that an attitude of chivalry would shine through to hold the darkness at bay and bring hope to those teetering on the edge of despair.
Similarly, as the madness of September 11th passed and the sun rose over the ruins, we saw that, in the wake of the disaster, we needed to embrace the Code of Chivalry more strongly than ever. Heroes of every kind stepped forward to give aid and comfort to those who had been hurt by tragedy, and we were all inspired by acts of selflessness and courage, both great and humble. People who just a few days earlier had been completely focused on their own lives were suddenly looking around and asking, “What can I do to help?”
The most valuable lesson we learned on September 11th was that, although tragedy and terror my injure our flesh and damage our possessions, these things cannot rob us of our convictions.
Take a moment today to remember those who fell on September 11th and all that was lost one year ago. Then, honor those memories with a renewed commitment to serve others, to set a worthy example, to live by the knightly virtues, and to uphold and advance the cause of chivalry today.
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9/11 Prayer, by Josh Leininger a.k.a. Star Gazer
“Oh God and Goddess,
We ask that you look over and help those, their families, and their friends who were effected, either directly or inderectly in the attacks on September 11th of last year throughout the country, and indeed the world. We ask that you continue to give them strength in mind, body, and spirit on this one year anniversary and for the countless days and nights to come. Help us continue our lives as you have over the past year, proving that our souls, spirits, and minds were not, and can not, be defeated. Watch over us as we continue to follow the paths that you have helped to guide us down, and the obsticles that await us in the future. Please continue to keep watch over those whom we, as a country and as a culture, lost on that fateful day one year ago, and those whom risked and gave their lives to help those in need durring the aftermath for the months following. We ask that you watch over those whom risk their lives on a daily basis, in both private and governmental jobs, to keep us safe. And finally, we ask of you, oh God and Goddess, to continue to do your part in watching over all others, keeping them strong in mind, body, soul, and spirit.
So Mote It Be”