ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: mariemeyer on September 11, 2018, 11:57:35 AM

Title: 9/11
Post by: mariemeyer on September 11, 2018, 11:57:35 AM
Yesterday Bill and I made our first visit to the 9/11 Memorial and the Museum where pictures of the day and artifacts are on display. At the time the horrific events took place our focus was on the families who lost loved ones.  Yesterday's visit directed us to the heroism of persons in the buildings who gave their life helping others escape and on the first responders who selflessly rushed in to rescue people.   

Many thoughts came to mind as Bill and I silently drove home. The first was a deep sense of appreciation for our nation and  how her people came together on that day. Until reading the personal stories of how men and women on the the scene gave of themselves I did not fully grasp the reality what happened that day in NYC, Washington DC and PA.  Listening to voice of passengers on the planes, persons in the building and families trying to connect with loved ones was deeply moving.  I would encourage anyone who plans a trip to NYC to include the 9/11 Museum on you list of places to visit.

I would be remiss if I did not express a word of thanks and appreciation for David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.  He spoke the prayer of many Christians asking God to be with the families of those who lost loved one and to give our country wisdom and strength in responding to the tragedy.

Marie Meyer

Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 11, 2018, 01:05:08 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 11, 2018, 03:41:36 PM
I think that day marked the end of an era of world history. Basically from the dropping of the first atomic bomb until 9/11 there was a sense of a new type of warfare, a polarized world with localized skirmishes on various fronts, but the threat of annihilation keeping them somewhat contained. When the Soviets lost the Cold War, there was a sort of a "what next" sense of things that lasted a decade. There have even been articles lately reminding everyone of the "end of history" thesis was that widely popular in the 1990's. I think 9/11 introduced the next thing in history, and people are still struggling to adjust to the new dynamic. Amid all the anger and hurt and patriotism and heroism, there was also a deep sense of existential confusion and numbness, as though the world had changed but it was hard to say how exactly.

Nearly every church, it seemed, saw an explosion of attendance at the end of 2001 into 2002, but starting soon thereafter attendance started dropping off precipitously and has never really stopped falling in terms of nationwide trends for established denominations.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Dave Likeness on September 11, 2018, 03:56:11 PM
The 9/11 attacks in 2001 brought a new dimension to the lives of Americans.
Previously, we thought the enemy would be known as a foreign nation like Japan
with their attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  However, 9/11 brought a new word into
our vocabulary: Terrorism.  Our nation had been attacked by an Islamic Terrorist
group called al-Qaeda.

No longer could America simply defend itself against a foreign nation, now we had
to figure out who the terrorists were and where they came from. It is much more
difficult to defend against a terrorist group which strikes without warning.  9/11
changed many things in our nation and one of these was airport security checks
for passengers. Nobody could be trusted so everyone must be subjected to
a security search before boarding a plane

Another change for our nation was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security
President George W. Bush decided that this would be a helpful response to keep the borders
of America safe.  The Secretary of Homeland Security became a White House Cabinet position.

Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Charles Austin on September 11, 2018, 04:46:12 PM
Pastor Kirchner:
Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

I comment:
Heavens! How soon the thread burns!
Pastor Kirchner, (and the other two I expect will soon comment), the effect of that day and the following days on the LCMS ain't worth a drop of spider spit. Much more was at stake than anything - repeat anything! - stuck in the craw of a certain wing of the LCMS.
Millions more of us were glad and grateful to God, grateful to every Lutheran, every Christian who did the right thing in those days, including Bishop/DP Benke, Bishop Bouman, Lutheran Disaster Relief and our other friends who were on the site, witnessing in word, work and prayer.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Weedon on September 11, 2018, 05:38:45 PM
Remembering...Has it really been that long? This year, it falls on a Tuesday again. The attacks were on a Tuesday. The congregations of Trinity and St. Paul's gathered at St. Paul's on Wednesday evening for a brief service of prayer. Pr. Gross spoke and reminded us who it is who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy and that it was to destroy the devil's works that the Son of God appeared among us. Then I spoke briefly and led some prayers. Here are my brief words:

We're gathered tonight, people loved by God, in the spirit of Job. Our minds shrink from the staggering numbers of those who are dead; as well as from the horrible way so many of them died. Our hearts go out to the families who are now as torn apart and devastated as any of the buildings we saw in New York or Washington - families where a mother's voice will never be heard again or a father's face never seen or a child's hand never touched again. In the face of such terrible wreckage of human lives and the unimaginable tidal wave of human sorrow, we can only ask Job to move over for a bit so that we might sit with him for a while in the dust and ashes and learn from him to turn to God in worship, because there really is nowhere else to turn.

Today is not the time to theologize about good and evil in the world. It is too soon for such. Today is the time for us to get on our knees and pray. And to do so knowing that the One to whom we pray is no stranger to the terrible things that humans do to each other, to know that He to whom we pray became One with us in our tears and in our sorrows. He knows what it is to weep at death. He has felt in His own body the irrational hatred of those who think they serve God by dishing out violence and destruction. What a comfort that in our prayers tonight, we pray to the Crucified One. And above all to the Risen One.

For Job would go on to confess "I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth and that after my skin has been destroyed nevertheless in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and not another. How my heart yearns within me."

Our prayers rise tonight to Him who walked among us as the man of sorrows, who is acquainted with our grief, and who died to conquer and destroy death's power over his people forever. We pray tonight before the God who will make the ashes live again.

Prayer -

Hear us, dear heavenly Father, as we join our prayers to those of your children throughout the world in the face of the terrible events of yesterday.

For all the children who have lost parents, let us pray to the Lord. R.
For all the parents who have lost children, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all the husbands who have lost their wives, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all the wives who have lost their husbands, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For all whose lives have been shattered and whose hopes and dreams have been destroyed, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For the families of those brave souls who responded to others' needs only to lose their own lives, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For the firefighters and policemen, the doctors, nurses and EMTs and all those who participate in the relief effort, let us pray to the Lord, R.
For any who are still alive in the rubble, that aid may be brought to them speedily and that they not lose heart, let us pray to the Lord, R.

(Crosspost from my blog)
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Dave Likeness on September 11, 2018, 05:52:13 PM
Marie Meyer correctly lists the 9/11 Museum as a place to visit in New York City. However, there are other
interesting and historic places to visit:

The Statue of Liberty....a wonderful gift from France
Central Park....this is the playground of NYC
The Empire State Building...place where King Kong held Fay Wray
Metropolitan Museum of Art... some of the greatest art pieces in the world
Broadway and the Theater District...attend a play on the big time stage
Rockefeller Center...one name says it all
Times Square...New Year's Eve celebration site
St. Patrick's Cathedral...tremendous Gothic architecture
Yankee Stadium....the majestic cathedral of the New York Yankees
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Charles Austin on September 11, 2018, 06:22:21 PM
To this list, Mr. Likeness, I will add:
Greenwich Village
SOHO
And any number of terrific neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, places where people of incredibly diverse natures make their homes, schools, workplaces, churches and lives.
What about Staten Island? (I hear you say)
Frankly, I hardly know it, except as one end of a great ferry ride from lower Manhattan and the location of Wagner College, an ELCA school.
   As for 9/11: from the newsroom of The Record, across the river in Hackensack, NJ, I watched the second plane hit the tower. I was deployed to LaGuardia airport, but didn't make it across the George Washington Bridge before it was closed and spent the day on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, later at night in Weehawkin as boats from Manhattan brought people home and sent rescue workers over. It was a Record photographer, Tom Franklin, who took the iconic picture of the firemen raising the flag.
We got out an "Extra," that day, only the second time in my news career that happened. The first was the day of the Kennedy assassination. I barely remember the two weeks that followed, full of long, difficult days.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: peterm on September 11, 2018, 06:34:01 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

I STORNGLY disagree with this statement, but since I'm ELCA feel free to ignore my opinion.  I was serving a parish in Albany on the day in question, and felt at the time, and still today that his presence was a tremendous witness not only for the LCMS but the entire community in response to and event that should , IMO, transcend concerns about "fellowshipping."  I and my parishioners who heard them appreciated both his words and his presence. 
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 11, 2018, 06:41:16 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

Do we really want to refight that battle?


Could I have done a better job in responding to the events of that awful day?  I'd like to think I would, but then I have great confidence in my ability as a pastor to rise to an occasion.  And in addition to that, any plan that I could draw up, any words that I could compose to respond to the occasion would have the advantage of distance from the event in time and space, and leisure to contemplate at length the best way to respond to the several and conflicting needs and imperatives present.  Unfortunately, in situations like that distance, physical and emotional, and leisure to work through conflicting mandates, and even the opportunity to pass the burden off to someone more qualified were not available.  Often times the man on the spot has to make the call.


I am reminded of the movie Sully: Miracle on the Hudson recounting the successful ditching of U. S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after losing both engines in a bird strike.  In the movie (which was probably less than accurate as to the nature of the actual hearing) at the investigation flight simulations were presented that suggested that the crash could have been prevented if Capt. Sullenberger had immediately diverted back to LaGuardia or to Teterboro in New Jersey.  What those simulations did not take into account was the time it took for Sullenberger to assess the situation.  The pilots in the simulation knew what was going to happen and could respond immediately, unrealistic.  The actual investigation was apparently much less hostile and the simulations less favorable to the possibility of a safe landing.


But the point is that plotting possible reactions later that would have been better, are often unrealistic.  The man on the spot responds.  Any response to that tragedy had to be timely and not only truly represent our Lord and Savior, but also bring His Gospel to people in crisis.  To stand mute, or to say, "Get back to us at our place later for what we can say," doesn't always cut it.


Everyone who died that day and in the aftermath (and some are dying yet as a result of that attack) had one thing in common, they were all God's children whom He dearly loved.  (That includes those who hijacked the planes and gave not only their lives for their misguided cause but the lives of several thousand others.)  That some were Muslim who died, atheists, Buddhist, or a vast array of various Christians does not change that.  There was also a community to help hold together.  How easy it would have been, and in far too many cases was, to split into warring camps of blame and recrimination.  A word of peace amidst the chaos was needed.


Could it have been handled better by Pr. Benke and all others who responded to that day?  Most likely, especially if they had been given at least several weeks or months to put things together.  Didn't have that luxury.


It is good for us to think about those days and consider better ways to respond.  But clubbing each other over the head for how they acted or how their critics reacted seems pointless.


We must be faithful to our Good Shepherd, how we do that is not always obvious, not even always in retrospect.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 11, 2018, 06:52:47 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.


Unfortunately, you're right. the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial; however, the nation could not have done without out - especially, other Lutherans.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 11, 2018, 07:04:11 PM
I'll also comment that those who were and are critical of Pr. Benke's presence and words were also attempting to be faithful to our Lord and safeguard a clear presentation of God's truth and the Gospel of our Savior.  We may disagree with their concerns or the way that they have been presented, and certainly they and Pr. Benke are not above criticism, but we need to recognize the issues involved.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Eileen Smith on September 11, 2018, 07:07:55 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

Do we really want to refight that battle?


Could I have done a better job in responding to the events of that awful day?  I'd like to think I would, but then I have great confidence in my ability as a pastor to rise to an occasion.  And in addition to that, any plan that I could draw up, any words that I could compose to respond to the occasion would have the advantage of distance from the event in time and space, and leisure to contemplate at length the best way to respond to the several and conflicting needs and imperatives present.  Unfortunately, in situations like that distance, physical and emotional, and leisure to work through conflicting mandates, and even the opportunity to pass the burden off to someone more qualified were not available.  Often times the man on the spot has to make the call.


I am reminded of the movie Sully: Miracle on the Hudson recounting the successful ditching of U. S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after losing both engines in a bird strike.  In the movie (which was probably less than accurate as to the nature of the actual hearing) at the investigation flight simulations were presented that suggested that the crash could have been prevented if Capt. Sullenberger had immediately diverted back to LaGuardia or to Teterboro in New Jersey.  What those simulations did not take into account was the time it took for Sullenberger to assess the situation.  The pilots in the simulation knew what was going to happen and could respond immediately, unrealistic.  The actual investigation was apparently much less hostile and the simulations less favorable to the possibility of a safe landing.


But the point is that plotting possible reactions later that would have been better, are often unrealistic.  The man on the spot responds.  Any response to that tragedy had to be timely and not only truly represent our Lord and Savior, but also bring His Gospel to people in crisis.  To stand mute, or to say, "Get back to us at our place later for what we can say," doesn't always cut it.


Everyone who died that day and in the aftermath (and some are dying yet as a result of that attack) had one thing in common, they were all God's children whom He dearly loved.  (That includes those who hijacked the planes and gave not only their lives for their misguided cause but the lives of several thousand others.)  That some were Muslim who died, atheists, Buddhist, or a vast array of various Christians does not change that.  There was also a community to help hold together.  How easy it would have been, and in far too many cases was, to split into warring camps of blame and recrimination.  A word of peace amidst the chaos was needed.


Could it have been handled better by Pr. Benke and all others who responded to that day?  Most likely, especially if they had been given at least several weeks or months to put things together.  Didn't have that luxury.


It is good for us to think about those days and consider better ways to respond.  But clubbing each other over the head for how they acted or how their critics reacted seems pointless.


We must be faithful to our Good Shepherd, how we do that is not always obvious, not even always in retrospect.

Often times the man on the spot has to make the call.

It is hard to explain that day if one was not in NY, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania.  I italicize 'that day' as it wasn't merely a day.  It was months and even years.   Each year on 9/11 newscasters speak of the bright blue sky.  I remember only darkness and thousands of people trying to get home crossing bridges on foot all against the backdrop of a huge fire.  It was too much for us to comprehend.  I suppose somewhere down deep we knew that many people died but hope didn't die.  We went with signs to Ground Zero with our neighbor in search of her husband - the father of her four young children.  At a inter-religious service in town a woman carried a sign with a photo of her brother.  No one asked if her brother died - we asked if he was missing and that was the word we used for months until hair or bone fragments confirmed the fear. that mingled with hope.  It was months of funerals of firefighters where the funeral homes were filled with widows and children of other firefighters.  Dan Nigro, then (and now) commissioner of the NY Fire Dept. attended at least one funeral a day from November through March.  (Dan is a member of one of our Queens congregations.)  It was months of firehouses were draped in black.  Probably for more than a year we brought flowers and candles to firehouses.    I would drop by on Saturdays with baked goods and conversation -- or silence.  Often it was silence.  The men had the most awful haunted look.  I won't even continue with the toll it took on the financial community.  All this to say it was not one day but months of unchartered territory.  One did what one had to do to help others move through these days.  All those in ministry prayed to God for guidance, trusting in God for direction and for strength.   And all those who offered ministry during that time carry their own scars of that day
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on September 11, 2018, 07:33:07 PM
In late April I was privileged to meet Archbishop Demetrios and to present him with this Kontakion for the fallen of 9-11-01 which I wrote four years ago this day.

Kontakion in Tone 8
(to the special melody 'To thee the Champion Leader')


Ye faithful witnesses, heroes who gave their last measure of love
In Shanksville, Arlington, and in Manhattan
At the Trade Center, ye joined the holy relics
Of Saint Nicholas and Saint Sava the sanctified
In a cloud that showed forth your last devotion
By your example we sing:
O Lord Jesus, be our comfort and strength.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Weedon on September 11, 2018, 07:41:38 PM
Thank you, Eileen.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on September 11, 2018, 08:13:17 PM
To this list, Mr. Likeness, I will add:

That would be "Pastor Likeness." 

spt+
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Rob Morris on September 11, 2018, 08:27:06 PM
I would prefer that Pr. Benke, on this day of all days, not feel the need to speak to this topic.

I would prefer not to speak to it myself - I have parishioners who lost loved ones on that day.

I think instead we would all do well to ponder these words from Bo Giertz, no slacker or loosey-goosey on the confessional front...

[The servant of the Word] shall of course bring [the lost] back. He shall always seek again to get within earshot of those who have fallen away from the Word. Many times it is like Israel’s banished men, men who were driven away from the Word… should these banished be led back, then they must be sought. The pastor must be their friend and their confidant, their servant and their helper, who, with all his being, shows that he loves them and that their well-being lays heavy on his heart.

He shall bind the wounded. He who binds up must often go to the wounded, bend down over him, take him just as he is. It is not enough to sit in his comfortable place and declare himself prepared to bind up he who presents himself to be bound up. The servant of the Word must go out on the roads and paths, search and seek to be a Christ to his neighbor.

He shall strengthen the weak. He shall not place demands of genuineness, nor demand that everything should be just as he wishes it would be. He may count on just that weakness that must be found in the scattered and wounded. He shall not demand strength where there isn’t any. He may count on it that there is no knowledge here, no confessionalism, no perseverance, no good church customs. He may speak as to children, have patience as with those who are sick, for all he shall be all, so that in all circumstances he shall save some. …

The Word demands all of the man. It shall have control over all of you, over your proclamation, and over your life. May it live in your preaching so that it becomes a gathering, healing, and strengthening Word. May it live in all of your being so that you yourself become a gatherer who seeks the lost, brings back the scattered, binds up the wounded, and strengthens the weak. Amen.


(from Then Fell the Lord’s Fire, Magdeburg, 2012, emphasis mine)
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: John_Hannah on September 11, 2018, 08:58:59 PM
I would prefer that Pr. Benke, on this day of all days, not feel the need to speak to this topic.

I would prefer not to speak to it myself - I have parishioners who lost loved ones on that day.

I think instead we would all do well to ponder these words from Bo Giertz, no slacker or loosey-goosey on the confessional front...

[The servant of the Word] shall of course bring [the lost] back. He shall always seek again to get within earshot of those who have fallen away from the Word. Many times it is like Israel’s banished men, men who were driven away from the Word… should these banished be led back, then they must be sought. The pastor must be their friend and their confidant, their servant and their helper, who, with all his being, shows that he loves them and that their well-being lays heavy on his heart.

He shall bind the wounded. He who binds up must often go to the wounded, bend down over him, take him just as he is. It is not enough to sit in his comfortable place and declare himself prepared to bind up he who presents himself to be bound up. The servant of the Word must go out on the roads and paths, search and seek to be a Christ to his neighbor.

He shall strengthen the weak. He shall not place demands of genuineness, nor demand that everything should be just as he wishes it would be. He may count on just that weakness that must be found in the scattered and wounded. He shall not demand strength where there isn’t any. He may count on it that there is no knowledge here, no confessionalism, no perseverance, no good church customs. He may speak as to children, have patience as with those who are sick, for all he shall be all, so that in all circumstances he shall save some. …

The Word demands all of the man. It shall have control over all of you, over your proclamation, and over your life. May it live in your preaching so that it becomes a gathering, healing, and strengthening Word. May it live in all of your being so that you yourself become a gatherer who seeks the lost, brings back the scattered, binds up the wounded, and strengthens the weak. Amen.


(from Then Fell the Lord’s Fire, Magdeburg, 2012, emphasis mine)

AMEN


Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 11, 2018, 09:14:38 PM
Keep in mind that Mrs. Meyer brought up the issue. I responded that it caused an unfortunate situation in the LCMS. Nothing more. I don't think that any reasonable person would disagree, that it did cause extensive turmoil in the LCMS.

In fact, some years ago, I told one quite public objector to Benke's actions, after a decade, to put the baggage down. And  I publicly defended Pr. Morris' actions after their tragedy from the very night it took place, to vicious attacks and even causing offense to at least one on this board.

 But others now see the need to line up and defend Dave's actions. From what? So, who is churning the issue, i.e., burning the thread?
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: James_Gale on September 11, 2018, 09:50:13 PM
I always remember Peggy Noonan's powerful column regarding that day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS could have done without David Benke's presence at the prayer memorial following 9/11.

Do we really want to refight that battle?


Could I have done a better job in responding to the events of that awful day?  I'd like to think I would, but then I have great confidence in my ability as a pastor to rise to an occasion.  And in addition to that, any plan that I could draw up, any words that I could compose to respond to the occasion would have the advantage of distance from the event in time and space, and leisure to contemplate at length the best way to respond to the several and conflicting needs and imperatives present.  Unfortunately, in situations like that distance, physical and emotional, and leisure to work through conflicting mandates, and even the opportunity to pass the burden off to someone more qualified were not available.  Often times the man on the spot has to make the call.


I am reminded of the movie Sully: Miracle on the Hudson recounting the successful ditching of U. S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after losing both engines in a bird strike.  In the movie (which was probably less than accurate as to the nature of the actual hearing) at the investigation flight simulations were presented that suggested that the crash could have been prevented if Capt. Sullenberger had immediately diverted back to LaGuardia or to Teterboro in New Jersey.  What those simulations did not take into account was the time it took for Sullenberger to assess the situation.  The pilots in the simulation knew what was going to happen and could respond immediately, unrealistic.  The actual investigation was apparently much less hostile and the simulations less favorable to the possibility of a safe landing.


But the point is that plotting possible reactions later that would have been better, are often unrealistic.  The man on the spot responds.  Any response to that tragedy had to be timely and not only truly represent our Lord and Savior, but also bring His Gospel to people in crisis.  To stand mute, or to say, "Get back to us at our place later for what we can say," doesn't always cut it.


Everyone who died that day and in the aftermath (and some are dying yet as a result of that attack) had one thing in common, they were all God's children whom He dearly loved.  (That includes those who hijacked the planes and gave not only their lives for their misguided cause but the lives of several thousand others.)  That some were Muslim who died, atheists, Buddhist, or a vast array of various Christians does not change that.  There was also a community to help hold together.  How easy it would have been, and in far too many cases was, to split into warring camps of blame and recrimination.  A word of peace amidst the chaos was needed.


Could it have been handled better by Pr. Benke and all others who responded to that day?  Most likely, especially if they had been given at least several weeks or months to put things together.  Didn't have that luxury.


It is good for us to think about those days and consider better ways to respond.  But clubbing each other over the head for how they acted or how their critics reacted seems pointless.


We must be faithful to our Good Shepherd, how we do that is not always obvious, not even always in retrospect.

Often times the man on the spot has to make the call.

It is hard to explain that day if one was not in NY, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania.  I italicize 'that day' as it wasn't merely a day.  It was months and even years.   Each year on 9/11 newscasters speak of the bright blue sky.  I remember only darkness and thousands of people trying to get home crossing bridges on foot all against the backdrop of a huge fire.  It was too much for us to comprehend.  I suppose somewhere down deep we knew that many people died but hope didn't die.  We went with signs to Ground Zero with our neighbor in search of her husband - the father of her four young children.  At a inter-religious service in town a woman carried a sign with a photo of her brother.  No one asked if her brother died - we asked if he was missing and that was the word we used for months until hair or bone fragments confirmed the fear. that mingled with hope.  It was months of funerals of firefighters where the funeral homes were filled with widows and children of other firefighters.  Dan Nigro, then (and now) commissioner of the NY Fire Dept. attended at least one funeral a day from November through March.  (Dan is a member of one of our Queens congregations.)  It was months of firehouses were draped in black.  Probably for more than a year we brought flowers and candles to firehouses.    I would drop by on Saturdays with baked goods and conversation -- or silence.  Often it was silence.  The men had the most awful haunted look.  I won't even continue with the toll it took on the financial community.  All this to say it was not one day but months of unchartered territory.  One did what one had to do to help others move through these days.  All those in ministry prayed to God for guidance, trusting in God for direction and for strength.   And all those who offered ministry during that time carry their own scars of that day.


Amen.  (I lived in NYC at the time and you certainly speak for me.)
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Charles Austin on September 12, 2018, 12:03:06 AM
There were numerous memorial services, many of them interfaith, as New Jersey Muslims wanted to make it clear that they did not support this brand of Islam.
And I remember, a couple of days after, being in the parking lot of a suburban train station with some cops as they took down license numbers of cars Which had not been picked up since the attack. It was another means of identifying possible victims.
Title: Re: 9/11
Post by: Dave Benke on September 12, 2018, 08:58:09 AM
Good morning!  Yesterday was a busy day for me, with many sharing their reflections and experiences connecting to the events of September 11 in New York City.  A Lutheran from New Jersey told how he evacuated co-workers on the 48th floor of the North Tower early on.  Even though the word through facility loudspeakers was to stay in the building, he and many others headed down the stairs.  He said the strong smell of jet fuel was his sensory guide in determining to get out. 

On September 19, when national and local Lutheran leaders were guided by the FBI Chaplain through lower Manhattan and the Pile, crime scene tape segregating evidence was in abundance.  At the corner of Park Place and Church Street we passed one of the engines from the plane of hijacked United Flight 175 as it lay cordoned off by yellow tape next to a building.  Separated from the plane, the engine had crashed onto the roof of the building, and down to the pavement.

The top floors of that building were the offices of Lutheran Social Services of New York.  The engine struck the roof above the office of the CEO.  All those connected to LSSNY, employees and  children and families in foster care who were there for visits with social workers, fled on foot.  Many of them ran together for refuge to the sanctuary of St. John's Lutheran Church in Greenwich Village, where they were sheltered until means of egress from lower Manhattan could be determined.

A year later, I was the interim CEO of Lutheran Social Services, having taken office on September 1, 2002.  My office was in the same building on the same floor in the same space beneath the spot where the engine struck and bounced to the pavement.  On September 10, 2002, several hundred LSSNY employees gathered in prayer and song and remembrance at St. John's Lutheran Church, our place of refuge, our shelter in the storm.  My administrative assistant, a soloist in the choir at Riverside Church, sang "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired."  And we were given by God's grace strength for our journey back to hope as individuals and as an agency of service.

The tenth anniversary was for many of us a tough year; somehow that observance brought everything back with stark clarity.  I wrote this then, thinking of those foster children running toward the church in the Village, and it applies now:

It's Been a Long Time

September 11, 2001 -  Ten Years

Except whenever a plane flies in low on
the horizon, any horizon

Except whenever the lower Manhattan skyline
comes into view from any angle

Except whenever the sun dapples on skyscraper
windows as on some September morn

Except whenever bagpipes play

Except whenever sirens sound

Except when certain corners are turned and a
route once taken rushes back from memory

Except when someone wanders off from a group
head down while others are celebrating

Except whenever someone asks,
“Where were you?”

Except whenever someone sings “My Lord,
What a Morning” or “Jesus Loves Me”

Except whenever floodlights beam upward
into the black night

Except when friends from then meet and share
a glance, a shrug, a shake of the head

Then ... It all returns ... Instantaneously
Now here ... With nowhere to go

But through and through and through
To the boundary-stitch where
Bone and marrow
Soul and spirit meet

Like the piercing fiery bullet it always is

Imploding smoke-horror smash-searing
open ...

The heart of hearts of all of us

And we re-member all of it ... At once


Then, Dear Lord,

Just as on that day,
“We flee for refuge
To Thine infinite mercy
Seeking and imploring Thy grace”…..

And in the Body and Blood of Christ
received
These days

Just as in those days

Remembrance of Sacrifice

Presence of Love in the absence of life

We ingest the only Restorer
Of Hope
In us
For us
With us
Whom death cannot destroy

Thanks be to God

Dave Benke