September 11, 2001
A Twentieth Commemoration
This is a day of painful and dark remembrance, a day we remember all those who died on 9/11 and all who have died since in the forces of terror unleashed that day.
On September 11, 2001, the world lost so much, the dearest of which were the nearly 3000 innocent lives taken in an evil instant.
Think of those thousands of people who left home on a beautiful morning just like this one. They expected to see their loved ones again but never would. Think of those co-workers sitting beside one another, those passengers on the fated planes, who never realized they were speaking a last word to each other.
Remembering them, we might be moved not to leave unspoken that word of gratitude, compassion, forgiveness or love that we would put off until later. We might look into people’s eyes, to smile and offer a greeting. We might notice a need otherwise overlooked; we might realize that the people around us are precious and fragile. Every life is so delicate. In an instant it can disappear.
As the years have passed, we have understood that so many precious things were injured or died that day:
- the joy and dreams of bereaved families
- the ensuing health of first responders
- the spontaneity to believe in and trust each other
- the freedom and security to be in our world without fear
Still, although this is a somber anniversary, we can use it to motivate ourselves positively. We can make a choice today to do something for light and peace. It is only when we see others as objects that we can injure, curse and kill them. When we see others as persons — children of God like ourselves — we are moved to act with kindness, patience and forgiveness.
Deny those who tried to fill our country and hearts with fear and darkness. Always and ever, deny them what they tried to do!
Let this solemn anniversary make us persons of greater light.
The prayer of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Keep us, O God, from all pettiness.
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us not be faultfinders
and keep us from self-absorption.
May we put away all pretense
and meet each other truly face to face,
without self-pity and without prejudice.
Grant that we may realize
that it is the little things of life
that create differences,
that in the big things of life
we are all the same.
Music: Da Pacem Domine – Arvo Pärt
Da pacem, Domine in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui punnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.
Grant peace, O Lord, in our time.
for there is none else
who would make a way for us
if not You, O God.