I am writing this early on the morning of Sept. 11. I am sure there has been a Sept. 11 every year of my approximate three score and 10 years of life.

But I have very little recollection of any, except one. Sept. 11, 2001 is indelibly etched in my memory. Radios and TV were left turned off that morning as we prepared for another day at work.

As I drove out of our neighborhood, the car radio was on. At first, I was paying little attention to what was being said, my mind was focused on the day ahead. From what was being said, I gathered there had been a tragic disaster. My first thought was, I wonder what country that is in. As I began to listen, the scene began to unfold and I realized it was in my own country.

Shortly after I began listening, there was a second plane that flew into the twin towers. Then another flew into the pentagon. Another was aimed at the While House or the Capitol. Our country had been attacked by Muslim Jihadists, who hated our country and wished to destroy it. They had attacked our center of finance, our center of the military and aimed for the center of our political system.

That day radically changed our world. We lost a sense of security. We began a war on terror. But a word to the wise! A nation can be destroyed from either the outside or the inside.

The historian Edward Gibbon, in his classic work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, argues that the fall of Rome was not primarily due to invading forces, like Attila the Hun. Rather he argues that Rome was destroyed from the inside. Its moral fiber was gone.

May we remember that “Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a disgrace in any society.” (Prov. 14:34, God’s Word)

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psa. 32:12)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.