Visiting New York’s National September 11 Memorial a few weeks ago, I was enormously touched by one small but radically bold design choice by the memorial committee. Inscribed next to the name of each of the eleven pregnant mothers who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center was the phrase, “and her unborn child.”
Since the memorial’s mission is to “reaffirm respect for life,” this decision is entirely appropriate. Making such a beautiful statement is not only refreshing in a society that so frequently dismisses the humanity of the unborn, but communicates an indispensable message to a watching world — every life is precious. Indeed, remembering every single victim killed in the attacks — including the unborn — is the ultimate form of defiance against the pointless violence of our enemies. While the terrorists who attacked New York, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 were anxious to kill men, women, and children, the 9/11 memorial testifies that Americans as a whole are just as zealous to commemorate every human life lost.
Counting these precious unborn children among those who died on 9/11 elucidates in crystal-clear terms that America is principled in the belief that every person is valuable, no matter their size or age.
As a pro-life advocate, you would presume my head was swirling with a variety of thoughts including, “Is the commemorating family pro-life or pro-abortion?” or, “Does Mayor Michael Bloomberg realize his commitment to ‘reaffirm life’ is contradictory to his pro-abortion stance?” or, “What about the children who were born not knowing their parents lost in the attacks?” But no.
As I stood alongside the footprint of the South Twin Tower, staring down at the names of the victims and the recognition of their unborn children, I had only one overwhelming sentiment. I thanked God that I live in a country whose Biblically-based value of life and liberty permeates the core of every one of us.