NEW YORK — Along the hallowed plaza of the National September 11 Memorial Wednesday, preparation work for the service to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, continued in earnest as memories and emotions abounded among workers and tourists alike.
"When it first happened, I was too young to understand what was going on in the world. But as I got older, I started to understand that it was a terrorist attack," said Robert Peacock, 26, of Glendale, Queens, who was busy cleaning a portion of the bronze panel bearing the names of the dead around one of the memorial pools on the Memorial Plaza in downtown New York City on Wednesday.
For the last four days, Peacock and his colleagues from FCC Fabrication have been working to get the panels gleaming. As he cleaned name after name, he said the gravity of what happened here has hit him hard at times. more >>
Author's note: I wrote the following article on the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, as a remembrance of what I experienced. Mine was nothing compared to those who died on that day, to their loved ones, or to those who survived. But what happened on that day was not merely personal, it was national. It was also theological. What happened on that day raised profound questions about God, suffering, and the purpose of evil in the world—issues I explore in my eBook: A 911 for 9/11: Finding Answers to the Evil of September 11, 2001.
On a beautiful New England morning I was driving from Boston to Rhode Island to visit a client. The morning air was crisp and fresh. The sun had just enough warmth to keep the chill at bay. The sky was a stunning hue of blue. It was one of those days that made you wish you worked outside.
That is how the morning of September 11, 2001, began. It ended in ugliness and rubble - and 3,000 of our fellow citizens dead. more >>
The organization September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has launched a campaign against Islamophobia through a new bus ad promoting religious tolerance and interfaith unity in New York City. This comes just after a recent poll conducted by the Arab American Institute shows that Americans have an increasingly negative attitude toward Muslims in the United States.
"We wanted to make a clear statement that our 9/11 family members do not want to promote fear and hatred in our names," said Peaceful Tomorrows Project Director Terry Greene, whose brother died aboard United Flight 93, to HuffPost. "We believe that unity and interfaith tolerance are the path forward to a more peaceful tomorrow."
Much of America is preparing for the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with hundreds of prayer rallies and memorial services planned for this week.
Cities across the nation are planning prayer services for Thursday, Sept. 11 in remembrance of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that same day in 2001. In Greenville, South Carolina, concerned Christians will join together at the Peace Center plaza for a prayer rally that will focus on American families, the world and the future, according to organizers. The rally will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. and is nondenominational and nonpartisan, reported GreenvilleOnline.
Moreover, a candlelight prayer service in observance of Sept. 11, 2001 will be hosted by the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart Church in Klamath Falls, Oregon on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Other cities planning memorial services include Galveston, Texas; Burlington, New Jersey; and Staten Island, New York, among countless others. Check your local newspaper listing for more services near you. Habitat for Humanity is also using the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as a day to build interfaith understanding as Jews, Muslims and Christians have committed to an Interfaith Journey that begins this Thursday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. more >>
In the footprints of two mighty towers, at a hallowed field where heroic actions saved even more heartbreak and destruction, and outside a Pentagon wall where we have rebuilt but still remember -- in these sacred sites and in quiet corners across our country, we join together this week to remember the tragedy of thirteen Septembers ago. We stand with those who grieve as we offer some measure of comfort once more. We honor the courage and selflessness of all who responded. We reflect on the strength and grace that lift us up from the depths of our despair. Above all, we reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11 -- love, compassion, and sacrifice -- and we enshrine it forever in the heart of our Nation.
No matter how many years pass, we will never forget the innocent souls stolen on that dark day: parents, children, siblings, and spouses of every race and creed. Dusty helmets, polished badges, and soot-stained gloves serve as small symbols of those who gave everything so others might live. But the stories of all those lost and the beauty of their lives shine on in those they left behind. The sacrifice of so many has forever shaped our Nation, and we have emerged a stronger, more resilient America. We stand tall and unafraid, because no act of terror can match the character of our Union or change who we are.
Each year as our Nation mourns, our faith restores us and summons within us the sense of common purpose we rediscovered after the attacks. Prayer and humble reflection carry us forward on the path we travel together, helping mend deep wounds still sore from loss. These lasting virtues sustain us not just for one day, but every day. more >>
In the wake of the gruesome beheading of American journalist, James Wright Foley, it is important to remember that the growing threat of radical Islam is very real.
Next month will mark 13 years since the tragic terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 as well as two years since the attacks in Benghazi. Evil is real and the threat of terrorism exists.
With growing unrest in the Middle East as well as other international crises, it is imperative that we are active in our efforts to combat these threats and to send a message that America is truly exceptional. more >>