Remembering September 11, 2001

Today, we are invited to remember the truly tragic events of September 11, 2001. In preparation for the day, I was sharing with Constantine last evening that we were in Suites A1 & C1 at 114 North Sunrise as we had yet to move to our present site. Individuals quietly and reverently visited the office to watch the news on our little tv and or sat prayerfully in our chapel attempting to process and grieve the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as the plane crash in Shanksville. There was little to share besides common disbelief, quiet tears or a warm embrace. Our human frailties were most evident which naturally and thankfully led many back to God and to their places of worship.

To paraphrase the Funeral Rite, death displaced everything on that September day. The loss of nearly 3,000 lives remains unfathomable. Death did not discriminate – innocent men, women, children as well as heroic rescue workers, firefighters, police officers…died. And, in the days that would follow, military families would experience endless deployments; some families received their loved ones with physical, emotional or spiritual injuries, while other families received their loved ones with honors for the sacrifices they made in the service of our country.

Although 18 years have passed, we must continue to remember. We remember by reflecting upon, and if we are able, visiting each of these sites which became hollowed ground, most notably Ground Zero. We remember by pausing and grieving as Americans and as Orthodox Christians for those lives that were lost on 9/11 as well as in the years that would follow, asking God to grant them rest where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing but life everlasting. We remember by pausing and humbly asking that the Holy Spirit embrace and comfort all those who lost family members or friends as well as those who were affected throughout our great land, knowing full well that Christ suffered, was buried and rose on the Third Day; He trampled upon death by His death! We remember, pausing and boldly beseeching God that such acts of violence and hatred be removed from the face of the earth; that His peace, His mercy and His love all of which are so freely given to each of us in the Person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, instead reign forever. And, we remember, pausing and affirming that no matter what wars may continue to be fought upon the earth, our greatest battle is against the fallen principalities, which demands attentiveness, sobriety, discipline, humility and Grace.

Tonight, as a parish, we will remember, pausing and praying the Akathist to the Lord at 6pm. If you are unable to join us in these formal prayers, I would then ask that you please close your evening with prayer, remembering those who lives were taken on September 11, 2001.

May our Lord, through the intercessions of the Venerable Ephrosynos whose memory we keep today continue to grant us every good gift unto salvation.

Most Resp.,
+fr. Chirstopher