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Posts tagged: 911

Still seeking

 Families and friends have wondered and agonized and prayed for the remains of their loved ones to be found within the debris, the pieces, of the September 11 attack.

 Some may still receive the physical evidence, the pieces of bones, of life, that once were part of a body, a life, as workers once again sift through material from the site.

 Our determination as a country and as individuals to honor and care for each other and our sacred bodies - even after death – may  offer comfort and solace to those left in grief.

(S-R archives photo)

We vowed to remember, so we do

We said we would always remember…and so we do.  We pause to acknowledge this anniversary of sorrow and loss, of confusion and grief, of private mourning and public outcry.

“Tragedy can teach us many lessons. From pain, we can learn compassion. From division, we can learn solidarity. And when our world is shattered, as it was on September 11, 2001, we can learn to seek understanding. On that violent day which shook us silent, America fractured. The lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ grew thicker, darker, and harsher, muddying our shared humanity. We have since inhabited the shadows they cast, shouting at one another from across divides. On this, the anniversary of that heartbreaking day, we mourn and remember those we lost and all who were affected. But we are also given an opportunity: to overcome the lie of ‘them’ and ’I’ and learn to live together. The terrorists of 9/11 were guided by a narrative of intercultural incompatibility. But as people of diverse religious and secular identities, we can prove them wrong in our unity. By building bridges of understanding, we can emerge from the shadows and learn — from one another — how to be our best selves.”  ~Chris Stedman

“Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.” ~Rabbi David Wolpe

“It is not those who say, ‘Lord, Lord!’ who will enter the reign of God, but those who do God’s will.” (Matthew 7:21) God of all races, nations, and religions, You know that we cannot change others, Nor can we change the past. But we can change ourselves. We can join You in changing our only and common future where you ‘reign’ the same over all. Help us not to say, “Lord, Lord” to any tribal gods, but to hear the One God of all the earth, And to do God’s good thing for this One World.” ~ Rev Richard Rohr

“Loving God of Peace: On this anniversary of unbelievable sorrow, comfort those who mourn, and guide our hearts toward healing and hope. Remind us of the love of Christ, love which leapt over cultural and ethnic boundaries to feed the hungry, seek the lost and care for the least. Make of Your children, no matter how we name You, one human family, bound together in the work of justice and peacemaking. Make us one with the Light that shines in the darkness and illumines a path toward understanding and reconciliation. Let love be our genuine call. Amen.”    Dr. Jacqueline Lewis

(Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Nappi and Tony Wadden)

Keeping the promise: we remember

 In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, The Port of Seattle Police Department sold hats to raise money for the Port Authority Police Department Benevolent Fund in New York/New Jersey. That department lost 37 officers in the attacks.  Each hat had the name of one officer who died Sept. 11. At the time, my husband was part of the POSPD canine unit; he bought a hat with the name Sirius on it. Sirius was the PAPD police dog killed at the World Trade Center. My husband also bought a hat for me.

 Here is what I wrote about my hat.

  I have a hat 

  In memory of a police officer

  I never knew.

  His body finished, fallen;

  While his spirit ascended home.

  I have a hat

  In honor of a man

  Others loved each day.

  I run my fingers

  Over the stitching

  Spelling his name.

  I weep.

  I wear the hat

  Like a guardian angel

  Object of protection.

  Memories belong to others;

  Prayers to me.

  I wear Paul's hat

  To honor those

  Still here.


  They continue…

  Waking early;

  Kissing sleepy spouses,

  Hugging drowsy children.


 Of quiet commitment

 And uncommon courage,

They slip into place.

  … The beat goes on.

 This week, we remember those who died…and their loved ones who remain.


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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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