Author Topic: Plus 14  (Read 2013 times)

Eileen Smith

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Plus 14
« on: September 11, 2015, 09:03:33 AM »
We remember and pray for all those who lost their lives on 9/11 in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.  May they rest safely in God's love.  Be with the families and friends who lost loved ones and with all who still carry the pain of that day in their heart.  May our Lord Jesus lead us into pathways of peace.  In Jesus name.  Amen

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 09:22:38 AM »
Amen.

For anyone interested, I published an article in For the Life of the World, July 2002, Vol 6 Number 3. It begins on page 11. The title is "Where is God? Reflections of a Lutheran Chaplain on September 11".

http://www.ctsfw.edu/page.aspx?pid=806

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 10:46:35 PM »
From Bishop BASIL, Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese:


Quote
O Lord our God, Who art Thyself, the Hope of the hopeless, the Help of the helpless, the Savior of the storm-tossed, the Haven of the voyager, the Physician of the sick; be all things to our land which fourteen years ago on this date was devastated by the cowardly and hateful acts of false martyrs; who imitated wicked Herod in his slaughter of the 14,000 innocents.

To those who lost loved ones, grant the comfort thou didst impart to Mary and Martha before Thou didst raise their brother Lazarus from the dead, and care for them as Thou didst care for Thy Mother from the Cross, putting her in the care of the Apostle John.

To the survivors, grant healing in every sense, as thou didst strengthen and heal the confessors. To those related to and aiding the survivors and the families of the fallen, grant the strength and compassion Thou didst instill in Thine adopted father Joseph, who was Thy guardian in Thine earthly youth.

To those who died, grant remission of their every sin in Thy great compassion; both to those who like the wise servant and the wise virgins, constantly prepared themselves to enter the heavenly banquet at any hour; as well as those who emulated the Rich Fool, preferring to enjoy earthly pursuits and ignore heavenly ones.

To us, grant the knowledge that while the devil still manipulates our Divinely-given free will to his own ends in this world, his power is fleeting and ultimately void, as Thou hast already crushed his dominion. And as for those who hate us, speak to their hearts as St. Procla sought to speak to her husband Pontius Pilate concerning Thee, and as Thou didst speak to Pharoah concerning the Hebrews, and so soften the hearts of those who seek our destruction.

Spare, O Lord, those who protect us, the law enforcement agents and the first responders, from despondency, disillusionment, and all things which would undermine their righteous calling to protect us in the manner of our Guardian Angels, and care for us in the manner of the Good Samaritan.

All this we ask of Thee our All-powerful and All-loving Savior, giving glory to Thee together with Thine unorginate Father and Thine all-holy and good and life-giving and Comforting Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen
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Charles Austin

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 04:50:15 AM »
From John Hockenberry on NPR, "Why I'm done with the 9/11 ritual" It is worth thinking about. His commentary....
I don't look at the calendar any more this time of year. I dread this day. But not because of anything that might happen. It’s the ritual of 9/11 that I am through with.
   I was actually done with the whole 9/11 thing sometime between the famous and politically disastrous "Mission Accomplished" moment from George W. Bush after the Iraq invasion, and the empty announcement by Barack Obama that this feeble terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, had been killed by Navy SEALs in Pakistan.
   I'm done with the whole heroes thing. Aren't we over this? There’s the American tragedy story and the talk of America as the preeminent victim of terrorism — America isn't even close to being the most victimized nation by terrorism.  If anything, we are more of a victim of our own domestic terrorism than from any foreign enemies, even though it’s easy and convenient to fear them more than kids with guns who wander into churches to kill.
   I cannot deny people's grief who lost loved ones that day. The people who were in the towers — I cannot deny the tragedy of those who couldn't make it out.
   But I think the 9/11-ization of American life has been a kind of poison for all of us. We had our moment when the whole world was with us after 9/11, and we squandered it. 
   We spent trillions on two wars that turned a battlefield into a killing field for ISIS and gave us a refugee tidal wave from Syria and Iraq. And another battlefield in Afghanistan was turned into a fragile puppet government that rules over the biggest opium crop in the history of the world. Some of that Afghan heroin finds its way into our cities where it kills and destroys lives much more easily than flying planes into towers.
   I'm just done with 9/11. If you don't agree, or if you think I'm being disrespectful, I'm sorry, and I don't begrudge other's feelings about this. But I can't help feeling a little cheated by the whole thing.
   I can't get over this remark George W. Bush made back in 2003, trying to explain how 9/11 had changed America: “It was very difficult to link a terrorist network and Saddam Hussein to American soil. As a matter of fact, it's very difficult to link any attack on the American soil, because prior to September 11, we were confident that two oceans could protect us from harm.”
   We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on defense and it was the oceans that were protecting us? That was it? That was why no fancy fighter jets defended our airspace on September 11? We bought the F16s for show, or to bomb and strafe other people?
    The oceans were for us. Great plan.
    One of my teenage daughters came to me last night. She was worried that I, as a somewhat public person, might get in trouble if she posted this statement on Facebook: “I grieve for the thousands of innocents who died on 9/11, if I can also grieve for the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians who died in Iraq after 2003.”
I paused. “Don't worry about me,” I said. “If that's your experience and how you feel, go for it.”
    By the way, her first memory as a child on her first day of preschool was seeing a plane hit the towers and asking her mother, who saw nothing, “Why would a plane do that?”
    Now 14 years later, we are still working on that question from an innocent little girl.
    -0-


Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe.
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Eileen Smith

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 08:20:23 AM »
I found the piece from NPR interesting - but I'm not quite in agreement.  Having been "there" that day - knowing people who died, going to funerals when there was only a piece of bone to bury, we need to step out of the normal flow of things and take a day to remember.  In a commentary posted yesterday, Stephen Bouman, who was bishop of MNYS on 9/11, quoted Kathleen O'Connor:  “To honor pain is not an invitation to solipsism, narcissism or egocentric foolishness. To honor pain means to see it, acknowledge its power, and to enter it as fully and squarely as we can, perhaps in a long spiritual process. To do so is ultimately empowering and enables genuine love, action for others, and true worshipfulness.”

It is fitting to take time from this day and remember.  I'll stop my remarks at this point.  It's a tough day and the politicization of the aftermath in the NRP piece was, for me, offensive - whether one agrees with his analysis or not. 

 

Eileen Smith

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2015, 08:22:33 AM »
Bishop Stephen Bouman posted this on Facebook.   As that puts it in the public arena, I'm reposting herein:

From Ground Zero: A firefighter was trying to be unemotional when he reported that they had hit a “hot spot”—the bodies of eight firefighters had been recovered Thursday afternoon and Friday morning . . . perhaps the most poignant and sad was the construction worker curled up in a fetal position on a cot, totally inaccessible to any human touch, clutching a stuffed animal, and a photo of his sister. She had been a hostess at Windows on the World. Her body has not been found. Her brother, the back hoe operator, keeps looking for her. As I passed by I saw that he was quietly sobbing.

The attacks 14 years ago unleashed a a changed world. ISIS, Syrians stuck in Hungary, the changed and charged landscape in our own country about immigrants and refugees, two wars and counting...

The 9-11 events have been commodified, politicized, used to make various points. Today I want to remember those that were actually there, on a field in Schenksville, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon, the burning towers downtown New York. First responders, eyes haunted, asking for prayer or just a squeeze on the arm...the funeral season as bagpipes wailed again and again through the streets of Queens as one fire fighter after another were remembered...knots of uniformed airline workers remembering their crews after a memorial at one of our churches near LaGuardia...bankers and insurance workers remembering their colleagues from Canter Fitzgerald and Marsch McClennan, including the president of Trinity in Brooklyn. They have names and loved ones. Lars Qualben. Vinnie Morello. Their names are being read at Ground Zero as I write this, for the fourteenth time.

I don't want to remember it again. I don't want to ever forget it. I'm as stuck as all of us are. And of course there is nothing particularly "special" about these attacks in a world of ground zeros every day. I have wept in New Orleans, the site of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the West Bank, and on and on. But I am viscerally connected to this one and still haunted by people waiting in the narthex in the ensuing years, waiting to tell me what they saw, what they lost, how they are stuck.

No politics for me today. No wise conclusions, No piety. Still stuck. So I offer this remembrance for all of us who face tragedy and must continue to heal by telling our stories, even if thee is no easy resolution.

So,I'm remembering being with a group of local ecumenical leaders at the national headquarters of the Episcopal Church in the United States to welcome an international ecumenical delegation, “A Living Letter of Compassion to U.S. Churches.” I was pleased to meet Bishop Samuel Azariah of the Church of Pakistan; Dr. Septemmy Lakawa of Indone- sia; Jean Zaru of the Society of Friends in Palestine; and Bishop Mvume Dandala of the Methodist Church, South Africa among others. Their lands know insecurity, violence, and tragedy and they shared many of their stories. Their presence was crucial.

Kathleen O’Connor said: “To honor pain is not an invitation to solipsism, narcissism or egocentric foolishness. To honor pain means to see it, acknowledge its power, and to enter it as fully and squarely as we can, perhaps in a long spiritual process. To do so is ultimately empowering and enables genuine love, action for others, and true worshipfulness.”
When the conversation with our visitors from the World Council of Churches turned political I learned how lam- entations enables genuine love. I became agitated. I did not want to hear why people hated America or what could pos- sibly justify this mass murder in our city. Not yet. It seemed that these visitors, the “narrator” of Lamentations, were still observing our sorrow in the third person mode, passing judgment, not really seeing us. I was still lamenting. When it was my turn to speak I said something like this: “We are just so sad right now. We can still smell our brothers and sisters in the rubble downtown. We are not ready for lectures. Please, just sit down with us and share this time when our faces are in the dust. My head tells me you are probably right and we have a lot to learn and we need a better global politics. My heart is not ready.”
I rose to leave. One of the delegation of visitors, Bishop Mandala of South Africa, asked me to wait. He allowed my lamentations to enable genuine love. This dear, wise man said something like this: “In our culture when tragedy happens we don’t all visit at once. We come a few at a time so that each time the person in sorrow has to answer the door and tell the story again of what happened and shed the tears. As the story is told again and again healing can begin. We will keep knocking on the door. We will not leave you alone in your grief.”

I leave with this wonderful quote from Peter de Vries in “The Blood of the Lamb”:
“the recognition of how long, how very long, is the mourners’ bench upon which we sit, arms linked in undeluded friendship - all of us, brief links ourselves, in the eternal pity.”

Stephen

Charles Austin

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2015, 08:26:01 AM »
I was "there", too, Eileen; and have the deepest regard for those involved; but I agree with Hockenberry that we (the U.S., our leaders and our people) have woefully misused those terrible events; and that even the focus on "remembering" the victims draws attention away from the ways we have erred, both in philosophy and action, in the last 14 years.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe.
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John_Hannah

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2015, 08:47:33 AM »
I find it very disappointing that our political polarization has deeply infected our religious expressions for some time now. Now it marches into our national 9/11 memorial. Lord have mercy.

Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 09:15:02 AM by John_Hannah »
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Terry W Culler

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2015, 08:58:51 AM »
I was "there", too, Eileen; and have the deepest regard for those involved; but I agree with Hockenberry that we (the U.S., our leaders and our people) have woefully misused those terrible events; and that even the focus on "remembering" the victims draws attention away from the ways we have erred, both in philosophy and action, in the last 14 years.

And you wonder why much of America finds the Northeast perspective on the world so puzzling
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 09:37:52 AM »
The Hockenberry article begins with a complete misunderstanding of the "Mission Accomplished" phrase and goes downhill from there.
Don Kirchner

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FrPeters

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2015, 09:50:05 AM »
The mind tends to forget that there was a time when no scanners or security personnel watched over the airport, when a couple of ounces of water in a bottle did not cause fear, when we believed that the threat of terrorism was by and large another world problem, and when the next war would be fought over neatly carved out boundaries.  An age of innocence that many in America now only recall from a history textbook.  Maybe somethings need forgetting but not the heroism of ordinary people who fought and died to save as many as could be saved from destruction, not the nation united against those who threaten us no matter how divided we might be politically, and not the lives of our soldiers given and those wounded in pursuit of a more secure world (no matter how unstable the Middle East still is).  Hockenberry got it all wrong and he has allowed his politics to shade his memory and perspective on 9-11 more than those who tear up at the Star Spangled Banner and stare with shock at the images of destruction vowing never again...
Fr Larry Peters
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Team Hesse

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2015, 09:53:41 AM »
I was "there", too, Eileen; and have the deepest regard for those involved; but I agree with Hockenberry that we (the U.S., our leaders and our people) have woefully misused those terrible events; and that even the focus on "remembering" the victims draws attention away from the ways we have erred, both in philosophy and action, in the last 14 years.


What "should" the response have been? Oddly enough I also don't believe our country is behaving very well in the world.... Probably for very different reasons then you would cite but at this stage some of this "what if" gaming by armchair quarterbacks is only so much crying in our beer, isn't it? The world is going on in the ways it is going on and "no one plows a straight furrow by looking back." I can wish we were living the Jeffersonian/Washingtonian vision of a nation of citizen farmers not entangled in the affairs of the world except in trying our best to feed them but, realistically that horse left the barn around 100 years ago when Wilson cast the vision of America leading the way into the future by becoming involved in a "war to end all wars." Wilsonian idealism has been the rule in our polity ever since in various policy adventures under various names (the New deal, the Great Society, making the world safe for democracy, the War on Poverty, the Space Race, etal), only the latest of which has been the "war on terror." George H W Bush, who I believe is arguably the best President in a long time, was ridiculed because he had no such overriding "vision" of America's role in the world. Would that we had more like him and less of this utopian idealism which believes the world would be so much better if "they were just more like us."


Lou

Dave Likeness

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2015, 10:45:12 AM »
The 9/11 remembrance for the past 14 years has been a time
to remember those 3,000 people who lost their lives due to a
terrorist attack.  Many of them were simply going to work that
day and did not know their life would be taken from them.

Unfortunately, many pundits have used this occasion to advance
a particular political agenda.  As Americans reflect on the lives
lost that day, it is not a time to discuss foreign policy or presidential
politics.  Instead we need to show solidarity with those who lost
their  loved ones to a terrible tragedy.

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 11:17:52 AM »
September 11 was my Baptismal anniversary before 2001 and remains so.

What changed about that anniversary fourteen years ago was a deep awareness of how being joined to the death and Resurrection of Christ joins us to the sufferings of His Body throughout the world.

That was compounded by the fact that a few days after the horrific events I received a letter dated September 11 stating that I had received Life Membership in the International Conference of Police Chaplains.   My Life Member number is 60--at that time, it was precisely equal to sum of the 32 known dead of the NYNJ Port Authority Police and the 28 known dead of the NYCPD.

For the next dozen years I would celebrate the Holy Eucharist on the 11th of September, with laminated cards bearing the names of the fallen from those agencies on the holy table.

Things have changed.   Yesterday the sky was a deep azure over southern Pennsylvania, the very same shade as 14 years ago.   As I placed my US and PA flags outside I was inspired to write this:

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 Shenksville, 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.



In my former life, God had often blessed me with an ability to fit new words to an existing melody, allowing for strong congregational singing of liturgical texts.   I am profoundly thankful to discover, on my Baptismal anniversary, that that gift has not departed.
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Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

Charles Austin

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Re: Plus 14
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2015, 01:09:21 PM »
I think we have a desperate need as a nation to "feel good" about ourselves, because it is clear economically and politically and socially that we are not the big guy in the room any more. So we over-praise those among us who do good, minimize the bad things we do in the world, pump up our sense of being victimized, and generally try to salve our insecurities.
We can indeed play a helpful, even noble role in the world and always show signs of doing that; but sometimes we step back from the good we could do.
And the 9/11 response was, even to those who idolize the president of that time, thoroughly upgescrewed. Most things we did just fed the hatred on the other side and made them hate us more.
My simple solution? Haven't got one.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe.
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