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Bishop's Message - 9/11 11th Anniversary

September 11, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Eleven years ago today, I was driving to Binghamton to attend a friend's funeral when I stopped to get gas and heard that a plane (American Airlines Flt. 11) had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. Seventeen minutes later a second plane (United Flt. 175) crashed into the South Tower, raising fears that what first looked like a tragic accident was in fact part of a coordinated terrorist attack against the United States. All doubts were removed 34 minutes later when a third plane (American Airlines Flt. 77) crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth and final plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field following the heroic attempts of the passengers to retake the plane from the hijackers and prevent it from hitting its intended target of the White House or United States Capitol Building.

I never made it to my friend's funeral. I turned around and returned home to minister to my family, parish and community, not knowing what might come next. Chances are many of you remember exactly where you were as well, and what you were doing when you first heard that the Twin Towers had been hit and our nation was under attack.

On this, the 11th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, may we all remember in our prayers the 2,996 people who died that day: men, women and children; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; grandparents and family members; friends and co-workers; strangers on the street and fellow citizens; firemen, policemen, medical personnel and other first responders who gave their lives trying to help and rescue all those trapped and injured in the attack.

May we also remember and hold up in our prayers the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and the more than 2,000 people who were injured on that day, all of whom bear the scars of that heartbreaking time.

Finally, I ask that we remember and pray for all the innocent victims of war and the brave men and women in the Armed Forces who have given and sacrificed so much (thousands making the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives) in fighting the ongoing "War on Terror." May a spirit of peace and forbearance be poured out upon all nations of the world, so that we do not face a tragedy of this magnitude again.

May God's Love and Peace be with You!

+Bill

Prayers for the Victims of September 11th

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of those who died on September 11th, and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP)

Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved the spirit of faith and courage, that they may have strength to continue to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness, and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. And this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. (BCP)

O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with those injured on and in the aftermath of September 11th, that their weakness may be banished and their strength restored; and that, their health being renewed, they may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP)

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day in your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP)

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (The Prayer Attributed to St. Francis)

 

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