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September 11

9/11, September 11

15 years ago SNL helped heal after September 11

September 11, 2016

snl-911-3-final

With the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001 here, many Americans are sorting through their minds and hearts.  How have I changed from 15 years ago? What do I feel when I think of September 11, 2001?  Where was I on that fateful day? Why am I still sad? Where can our country go from here?

Fifteen years ago on September 11, I was in college. I was getting out of a Tuesday morning class when I heard people talking about an airplane crash. As I walked back to my apartment, I heard more and more information. I walked by a truck and heard words on the radio, “World Trade Center… airplane… Pentagon… crash.”  I thought to myself, this is serious.  Minutes later I watched the towers come down. I felt utter loss and grief.

As many of us were anxious, worried, upset, and downtrodden, Saturday Night Live kicked off its 27th season. “Oh no” – I thought, how can we laugh at a time like this? Thousands dead, lives changed, and the future looks dark, how could we have any sense of joy? We Americans felt damaged. We were afraid.

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9/11, Culture, September 11

Three responses to 9/11 grief

September 11, 2012

On September 11, 2001 I was in college. I was getting out of a Tuesday morning class when I heard people talking about an airplane crash. As I walked back to my apartment, I heard more and more information. I walked by a utility truck and heard words on the radio, “World Trade Center… airplane… Pentagon… crash.”  I thought to myself, this is serious.  Minutes later I watched the towers come down.

With the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001 here, many Americans are sorting through their minds and hearts.  How have I changed from 11 years ago? What do I feel when I think of September 11, 2001?  Where was I on that fateful day? Why am I still sad? Where can our country go from here?

As we reflect and look back, we have three main responses to the attacks on September 11, 2001:

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September 11

Prayer for September 11

September 7, 2012

A Litany of Prayer

Leader: On September 11, 2001, our lives were changed.  Loss came into our world in a shocking and tragic way – loss of innocence as a nation,  loss of security in our communities,  loss of lives and livelihood for so many individuals.  We shall never be the same after that black day.  And yet we have survived.  For this, we can give thanks to the God who provides all good things for our being as individuals and as a nation.  Therefore let us mark this day with prayers of remembrance, prayers of healing, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers for guidance as we go forward in our lives together.

Lord of the nations, God of our strength, the images of the tragedy of September 11 are still so vivid in our minds and in our senses.  What we saw, how we felt, and what we said is still so very present for us.  Yet with a gentle and caring hand, you have lifted us from the depths of despair and guided us to this time of remembrance.

People: We remember, as God’s people, that we are to love.

Leader: When we recall the firefighters who rushed upstairs as most everyone else was racing out, we can say together,

People: We remember selfless service.

Leader: When we recall the police officers who stood to protect and defend the people and performed their duties until the towers came crashing down on top of them, we can say together.

People:  We remember selfless sacrifice for the safety of others.

Leader: When we recall the thousands of workers, women and men and, old and young, single and married, American-born and those born in countries around the world who did not escape the buildings.

Leader: When we remember the millions of Americans who gave so generously of their life and labor to endow funds to help the survivors and their families recover from their losses. Continue Reading…

September 11

Three Ways to Respond to September 11

September 9, 2011

With the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaching, many Americans are sorting through their minds and hearts.  How have I changed from 10 years ago? What do I feel when I think of September 11, 2001?  Where was I on that fateful day? Why am I still sad? Where can our country go from here?

Ten years ago on September 11, I was in college. I was getting out of a Tuesday morning class when I heard people talking about an airplane crash. As I walked back to my apartment, I heard more and more information. I walked by a utility truck and heard words on the radio, “World Trade Center… airplane… Pentagon… crash.”  I thought to myself, this is serious.  Minutes later I watched the towers come down.

As we reflect and look back, we have three main responses to the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Anger – We are understandably upset and angry that our country was threatened. We are angry that people’s lives were lost, that our sense of security was broken, and we are hurt that people think America is not a place of freedom. Ten years ago, we looked towards people and places to direct our hostile feelings.  Many of us may still be angry at people and institutions that committed these acts or did not prevent the attacks. Still, if we let our anger stew and our hate grow, we are no better than those who actively resist against our country.  Anger is a place that we can visit, but we cannot make a home of it. We are often angry because we are afraid.

Sadness – Tears are a way that we let our emotions out. Feelings of depression that hovered around on September 11, 2001 are revisited 10 years later.  We might even recall the numbness we felt watching the television week after week the scene of the towers coming down.  We feel sadness for those families who lost loved ones. Sometimes, sadness brings back memories that we want to forget. We often want to isolate ourselves during periods of melancholy. It’s healthy to be sad and express sadness. However there is a better way.

Hope – This is the stuff that makes Americans great. Our optimism has propelled each generation to work harder so that our children can have a better life.  Ten years ago, that was the message that we clung to. We hoped that we could rebuild. We did. We hoped that we could be safe. We are. We hoped that our country could be united. We remain. Hope is the final response we can have. Sure, anger and sadness are natural emotions, but it is hope that gets us through the worst of times.

On this September 11, may you have hope as you look back 10 years.  May you have hope as you look forward to another 10 years.  May you have hope that your family and  this world can be a better place.  Put your hope into action and start by committing yourself to acts of kindness and compassion in your own community.

Today, remember the day, but remember what is great about humanity: the ability to continue and recover in the midst of struggle.

If you are in Ballston Spa on September 11, I invite you to our village September 11 Service of Remembrance @ 6:30 p.m. Village pastors will be leading the service and we will recognize our community leaders.