For your prayers on September 11, 2021
Beloved in Christ, today is the 20th anniversary of that horrific terrorist attack on our country that killed 2,977 people, of whom 412 were first responders, and brutally injured more than double that number. Other victims include those who have died or experience ongoing effects of illnesses caused by the 9/11 destruction. If you are like me, you remember exactly where you were when you heard that an airliner had crashed into one of the two World Trade Center Towers in New York city. First, we heard reports of the violence and destruction. Then we heard stories of valor and dedication: the office workers who came to the aid of one another, the selfless first responders, the heroic passengers on United Flight 93. There were the painful stories of people jumping from the buildings to escape the intense heat of the collapsing towers and of airline passengers phoning loved ones from the air to say goodbye, and there were the inspiring stories of people rescued and of the country coming together to provide aid and on-the-ground support. I do not offer any grand harmonization of the conflicted reality 9/11 was and is. Rather, I invite us to prayer.
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, we call to you again. Even as the shock and horror of that staggering terrorist attack have receded, the grief, anger, and emptiness persist. We remember before you those who lost their lives in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, mindful that many of those who lost their lives were public servants who went into the danger for the sake of others. We remember before you those who were injured, knowing that there are those whose injuries are permanent. We remember and lift up to you the families and friends of those victims. And we pray that in our remembering, we remember with hope and remember that our hope is in you.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Still be our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.