My generation has grown up in the aftermath of 9/11.
Our brothers, sisters, and friends are the ones fighting the war that has lasted more than a decade. We all remember where we were when we got the news about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Some of us watched the towers fall on live television.
That historic act of evil happened on September 11, 2001. But countless acts of heroism followed in the rescue attempts and the recovery.
A few months later, on December 19, 2001, The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters.
For some people, that fact is insignificant.
But for much of my generation, The Lord of the Rings is THE narrative that has shaped our lives, particularly in the last 12 years. It is the fictional framework through which we have interpreted and endured our personal triumphs, tragedies, heartbreaks, and eucatastrophes. It is THE story of faith, love, friendship, and hope in the midst of utter despair and pure evil.
I watched The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time on January 1, 2002. Even at the time, as an 11 year-old boy, I remember reflecting on how timely it was that this tale, one of the greatest ever told, should be released in theaters during one of the darkest hours of American, and potentially world, history.
As a 22 year-old about to turn 23 this October, I can say that The Lord of the Rings carries even more emotional, moral, and spiritual weight than it did when I was 11.
As my late, beloved Dr. Fears always said, great books speak across the ages, and they speak to you today.
As I mourn 9/11 on the 12th anniversary, The Lord of the Rings continues to speak to me today in a very powerful way. It reminds me that “there’s some good in this world…and it’s worth fighting for.” It renews my hope for the Eucatastrophe of Eucatastrophes: the final, ultimate triumph over evil at the very moment when all hope is lost.
Thanks for reading.