The twelve-year old SUV is still with me. The day I registered it for the plates was the day America was attacked in New York and Washington by terrorists. 9/11. The day we all remember.
I had purchased the car three weeks earlier and decided that morning was the time to go to the motor vehicle bureau and finish the registration process. When I returned home my wife met me at the door with the news about the attacks. In between phone calls from family and friends who wanted to discuss it I was glued to my television the remainder of the day.
This year's anniversary was almost forgotten. The passage of time has a way of removing significance from a day or an event. Had I not looked at the news alert in my inbox I might have forgotten this day. But I look out my window and see my SUV and remember the event. An aging motor vehicle reminds me of an event that took nearly three thousand lives and shocked a nation. In a pathetic way it is a memorial, and memorials are important since they help us remember.
In the book of Joshua, God told the people to erect a memorial of twelve stones to remember how they crossed over the dry land of the Jordan River by His grace. Whenever, they or their children looked upon and asked about their purpose they were to say, "Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land" (Joshua 4:21-22). A pile of rocks were to remind them God acts in history and among nations. Whatever it takes.
Maybe that's another reason to keep my twelve-year old SUV around. It is still giving good service and function. And it acts as a reminder of a day and an event with deep meaning and significance in American history. We should not forget.