Monday Motivation: Debt of Gratitude


I am still thinking about 9/11 and remembering my experiences on that September day. I am so grateful for God’s great Grace that sees us through the unexpected storms of life. God is always with us. He’s just a prayer away.


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13 – NIV

To whom do you owe a debt of gratitude? Has someone sacrificed at great personal cost on your behalf?

In my recent post, “9/11: Nowhere To Go,” I describe my experiences on that fateful September day when the world seemed to stand still. My mother-in-law Liz and I were stranded on the streets of downtown, D.C., uncertain of what perils might lie ahead for us and so many others. It was a horrific day, full of fear, loss and terrible tragedy.

But there was triumph too. There was triumph in the heroic actions of the first responders as they rescued those trapped in burning buildings. There was triumph amongst the survivors as they helped one another evacuate the Twin Towers. There was triumph in the heroic actions of the passengers and crew of Flight 93.

For eighteen years, I have remembered the heroic actions of the men and women of Flight 93, for I owe them a great debt of gratitude. Had they not risen above their fears, had they not taken action against the hijackers, had they not sacrificed their own lives for the sake of others, Liz and I would likely have lost our lives on that tragic day.

Having been evacuated from Union Station, we were standing on the street only a few blocks from our nation’s Capital. If the hijackers of Flight 93 had been successful, I am quite certain that the Capitol building would have been their next target. The wreckage from such an attack would have no doubt reached us as we stood trapped on that street corner.

Those men and women knew the peril ahead if the hijackers were successful in reaching Washington, D.C. They knew the damage that would be done, and they summoned the courage to stop it. They gave their lives that others might live.

How does one thank such hero’s? How can I repay such a great debt? How can I say thank you to their loved ones who live every day in the shadow of their great loss?

I don’t know how to repay this debt except to honor their memory by doing good, by helping others, by paying it forward. I cannot undo the bad things that happened on that long ago day, but I can do good this day. I can make a difference in the lives of others this day. It’s the only way I know to say “thank you.”

So today, I remember the passengers and crew of Flight 93 and offer my heartfelt gratitude. I thank God for their incredible bravery and their selfless actions. May we all honor their memory by paying it forward and showing our love for one another.


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:12 – NIV


O Lord, we thank You for the hero’s and heroines of that September day. We honor their memory and give thanks for their sacrifice. O Lord Jesus, we owe You a great debt of gratitude for Your sacrifice on our behalf. Lord, let us live a life pleasing to You, doing good, helping others, following Your call to action.

In the Loving Name of Jesus, we pray,




-APS 9/16/2019

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