Author Topic: September 11 - redux  (Read 7586 times)

John Mundinger

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September 11 - redux
« on: September 08, 2016, 10:30:05 PM »
Perhaps our remembrance of 9/11 should be as much about confession of our nation's sins as it is a memorial to those Americans who lost their lives on that day.  In response to that tragedy, many more innocents died as a consequence of military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Those lives were no less valuable than the Americans who died in the attacks on our soil.  The grief experienced by the survivors who lost family is no less than that experienced by 9/11 family members.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Charles Austin

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 03:44:10 AM »
Amen.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

Eileen Smith

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 08:30:58 AM »
Open laptop; shut laptop - several times, yet still feel compelled to write.  I simply loathe making 9/11 into a political football.

Can we just, once, not politicize a tragic event in the history of our country.  Yes, perhaps this country has things to confess and yet that sounds a bit sanctimonious.  What is "this country?"  It's the people.  We all have sin to confess.  As does every person of every country in the world.  What was done on that day needs to be confessed before God. We cannot take the blame for demented men who would hijack a plane and fly into a building. 

It is healthy to look at what we've done around the world where consequences were not what we'd hoped for - as can be seen on another thread concerning Putin/Russia/the former Soviet states. That we also do much good is probably for another thread.   But on this day - this time of year - when we are carried back to the day of these tragic attacks can we simply remember those who went to work, or to school, or rushed in to save others only to lose their life and leave it there, saving the politicization of 9/11 for another time and place. 

My job in the days and months following was to tell stories.  I met with members of our synod who suffered loss and told their stories in synod publications.  One of those stories was about Erika and her infant daughter and toddler son.  Erika called me six months after the date at 6 a.m. and said, "They found a piece of Michael's bone, we're going to have a funeral."  Another story was of Dan Nigro, elevated to Chief of Department on the spot when Chief Peter Ganci was killed.  Dan, a member of one of our MNYS congregations, had at least one funeral to attend every day between December and April.   He was at these funerals in an official role and often spoke.  I'm sure there are pastors on this Forum who have presided over 300 funerals in their ministry - but think about doing that every day for five months.  There were still funerals after April, simply not every day.

Can one imagine what it was like to work in a trading room on 9/11?  I was buying cash and my turret went down when immediately there came the clanging of a news story - plane flew into World Trade Center.  Each year after that day, traders observed the moments of silence.  Can one imagine what it is like in a trading room where shouting is normal to have complete silence - no phones - people crying over lost colleagues? 

Can you imagine what it is like to be a chaplain who gave care and counsel to firefighters and police? Can one imagine a chaplain called up to duty once we went to war and cared for soldiers returning?  One of our MNYS pastors was called up and did just that, being with returning soldiers,men and women trying to find their way back into their families, the jobs. 

Today will be spent with a friend whose so died.  They never found him.  It took months before she would even consider a memorial.  It doesn't get easier for her. 

I probably could go on, but won't.  Except to say, please - let us have a time to remember.  As I'm writing this, I just received an email from a former colleague.  All she wrote was, "Ei, always think of you...why doesn't it get any easier."

   


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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 08:36:00 AM »
Open laptop; shut laptop - several times, yet still feel compelled to write.  I simply loathe making 9/11 into a political football.

Can we just, once, not politicize a tragic event in the history of our country.  Yes, perhaps this country has things to confess and yet that sounds a bit sanctimonious.  What is "this country?"  It's the people.  We all have sin to confess.  As does every person of every country in the world.  What was done on that day needs to be confessed before God. We cannot take the blame for demented men who would hijack a plane and fly into a building. 

It is healthy to look at what we've done around the world where consequences were not what we'd hoped for - as can be seen on another thread concerning Putin/Russia/the former Soviet states. That we also do much good is probably for another thread.   But on this day - this time of year - when we are carried back to the day of these tragic attacks can we simply remember those who went to work, or to school, or rushed in to save others only to lose their life and leave it there, saving the politicization of 9/11 for another time and place. 

My job in the days and months following was to tell stories.  I met with members of our synod who suffered loss and told their stories in synod publications.  One of those stories was about Erika and her infant daughter and toddler son.  Erika called me six months after the date at 6 a.m. and said, "They found a piece of Michael's bone, we're going to have a funeral."  Another story was of Dan Nigro, elevated to Chief of Department on the spot when Chief Peter Ganci was killed.  Dan, a member of one of our MNYS congregations, had at least one funeral to attend every day between December and April.   He was at these funerals in an official role and often spoke.  I'm sure there are pastors on this Forum who have presided over 300 funerals in their ministry - but think about doing that every day for five months.  There were still funerals after April, simply not every day.

Can one imagine what it was like to work in a trading room on 9/11?  I was buying cash and my turret went down when immediately there came the clanging of a news story - plane flew into World Trade Center.  Each year after that day, traders observed the moments of silence.  Can one imagine what it is like in a trading room where shouting is normal to have complete silence - no phones - people crying over lost colleagues? 

Can you imagine what it is like to be a chaplain who gave care and counsel to firefighters and police? Can one imagine a chaplain called up to duty once we went to war and cared for soldiers returning?  One of our MNYS pastors was called up and did just that, being with returning soldiers,men and women trying to find their way back into their families, the jobs. 

Today will be spent with a friend whose so died.  They never found him.  It took months before she would even consider a memorial.  It doesn't get easier for her. 

I probably could go on, but won't.  Except to say, please - let us have a time to remember.  As I'm writing this, I just received an email from a former colleague.  All she wrote was, "Ei, always think of you...why doesn't it get any easier."

 
Thanks Eileen...


38 years ago today Debbie and I were married. That is where my thoughts are today. I have much to be thankful for....I have much to confess. But today I am thankful.


Lou

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: September 12 and later
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 08:41:06 AM »
I have changed the title of the thread to avoid confusion.

As Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time for everything.

The 15th anniversary of September 11 is a time to let others reflect and even grieve. I think of Dave Benke and Eileen Smith who walked the streets of New York on and after that day in 2001. I think of the untold number of family members, friends and co-workers who live daily with the reminder of an empty place at the table.

Perhaps September 12 and later is the better time to discuss our nation's sins like the abortion holocaust or the destruction of marriage. Feel free to do so - I doubt that I will join in.

Meanwhile, some will daily ask the Lord to continue to heal the pain of September 11, 2001. A political discussion does nothing to allow us on this forum to listen to their stories and reach out with shared love.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 08:45:50 AM »
Open laptop; shut laptop - several times, yet still feel compelled to write.  I simply loathe making 9/11 into a political football.

Can we just, once, not politicize a tragic event in the history of our country.  Yes, perhaps this country has things to confess and yet that sounds a bit sanctimonious.  What is "this country?"  It's the people.  We all have sin to confess.  As does every person of every country in the world.  What was done on that day needs to be confessed before God. We cannot take the blame for demented men who would hijack a plane and fly into a building. 

It is healthy to look at what we've done around the world where consequences were not what we'd hoped for - as can be seen on another thread concerning Putin/Russia/the former Soviet states. That we also do much good is probably for another thread.   But on this day - this time of year - when we are carried back to the day of these tragic attacks can we simply remember those who went to work, or to school, or rushed in to save others only to lose their life and leave it there, saving the politicization of 9/11 for another time and place. 

My job in the days and months following was to tell stories.  I met with members of our synod who suffered loss and told their stories in synod publications.  One of those stories was about Erika and her infant daughter and toddler son.  Erika called me six months after the date at 6 a.m. and said, "They found a piece of Michael's bone, we're going to have a funeral."  Another story was of Dan Nigro, elevated to Chief of Department on the spot when Chief Peter Ganci was killed.  Dan, a member of one of our MNYS congregations, had at least one funeral to attend every day between December and April.   He was at these funerals in an official role and often spoke.  I'm sure there are pastors on this Forum who have presided over 300 funerals in their ministry - but think about doing that every day for five months.  There were still funerals after April, simply not every day.

Can one imagine what it was like to work in a trading room on 9/11?  I was buying cash and my turret went down when immediately there came the clanging of a news story - plane flew into World Trade Center.  Each year after that day, traders observed the moments of silence.  Can one imagine what it is like in a trading room where shouting is normal to have complete silence - no phones - people crying over lost colleagues? 

Can you imagine what it is like to be a chaplain who gave care and counsel to firefighters and police? Can one imagine a chaplain called up to duty once we went to war and cared for soldiers returning?  One of our MNYS pastors was called up and did just that, being with returning soldiers,men and women trying to find their way back into their families, the jobs. 

Today will be spent with a friend whose so died.  They never found him.  It took months before she would even consider a memorial.  It doesn't get easier for her. 

I probably could go on, but won't.  Except to say, please - let us have a time to remember.  As I'm writing this, I just received an email from a former colleague.  All she wrote was, "Ei, always think of you...why doesn't it get any easier."

Amen.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

David Garner

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 08:51:29 AM »
Open laptop; shut laptop - several times, yet still feel compelled to write.  I simply loathe making 9/11 into a political football.

Can we just, once, not politicize a tragic event in the history of our country.  Yes, perhaps this country has things to confess and yet that sounds a bit sanctimonious.  What is "this country?"  It's the people.  We all have sin to confess.  As does every person of every country in the world.  What was done on that day needs to be confessed before God. We cannot take the blame for demented men who would hijack a plane and fly into a building. 

It is healthy to look at what we've done around the world where consequences were not what we'd hoped for - as can be seen on another thread concerning Putin/Russia/the former Soviet states. That we also do much good is probably for another thread.   But on this day - this time of year - when we are carried back to the day of these tragic attacks can we simply remember those who went to work, or to school, or rushed in to save others only to lose their life and leave it there, saving the politicization of 9/11 for another time and place. 

My job in the days and months following was to tell stories.  I met with members of our synod who suffered loss and told their stories in synod publications.  One of those stories was about Erika and her infant daughter and toddler son.  Erika called me six months after the date at 6 a.m. and said, "They found a piece of Michael's bone, we're going to have a funeral."  Another story was of Dan Nigro, elevated to Chief of Department on the spot when Chief Peter Ganci was killed.  Dan, a member of one of our MNYS congregations, had at least one funeral to attend every day between December and April.   He was at these funerals in an official role and often spoke.  I'm sure there are pastors on this Forum who have presided over 300 funerals in their ministry - but think about doing that every day for five months.  There were still funerals after April, simply not every day.

Can one imagine what it was like to work in a trading room on 9/11?  I was buying cash and my turret went down when immediately there came the clanging of a news story - plane flew into World Trade Center.  Each year after that day, traders observed the moments of silence.  Can one imagine what it is like in a trading room where shouting is normal to have complete silence - no phones - people crying over lost colleagues? 

Can you imagine what it is like to be a chaplain who gave care and counsel to firefighters and police? Can one imagine a chaplain called up to duty once we went to war and cared for soldiers returning?  One of our MNYS pastors was called up and did just that, being with returning soldiers,men and women trying to find their way back into their families, the jobs. 

Today will be spent with a friend whose so died.  They never found him.  It took months before she would even consider a memorial.  It doesn't get easier for her. 

I probably could go on, but won't.  Except to say, please - let us have a time to remember.  As I'm writing this, I just received an email from a former colleague.  All she wrote was, "Ei, always think of you...why doesn't it get any easier."

 

Indeed.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

peter_speckhard

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 09:18:10 AM »
Maybe the time confess your sins about the Iraq war would be the anniversary of the vote to authorize it or the anniversary of the first shot fired or bomb dropped.

John Mundinger

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 09:27:29 AM »
Open laptop; shut laptop - several times, yet still feel compelled to write.  I simply loathe making 9/11 into a political football.

In all honesty, Eileen, that is sort of how I felt when I read Ch. Gard's post.  9/11 was politicized in this country the moment the first twin tower fell and those politics were used to perpetuate the same kind of evil that was wrought upon us.  Certainly it is appropriate for us to remember the tragedy and to hold those who were most affected in our prayers.  But, we also use such remembrances as opportunities to forget that we also are sinners and fool ourselves into thinking that, when we cause tragedy, we somehow are doing good. 

I understand and appreciate that we we have honored the fallen in the responses to 9/11 that you and Dr. Benke described.  However, our response to 9/11 was not limited to those kinds of activities.  And, I can't forget that politics was use to generate a greater response that failed to honor the fallen because it only perpetuated more tragedy.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 09:37:50 AM by John Mundinger »
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 09:29:50 AM »
Maybe the time confess your sins about the Iraq war would be the anniversary of the vote to authorize it or the anniversary of the first shot fired or bomb dropped.

Baptism is a daily washing and regeneration.  Confession, likewise, should be a daily occurrence.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 11:23:46 AM »
Perhaps our remembrance of 9/11 should be as much about confession of our nation's sins as it is a memorial to those Americans who lost their lives on that day.  In response to that tragedy, many more innocents died as a consequence of military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Those lives were no less valuable than the Americans who died in the attacks on our soil.  The grief experienced by the survivors who lost family is no less than that experienced by 9/11 family members.

So, do you bear responsibility for the sin of military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Mundinger?
Don Kirchner

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 11:28:49 AM »
I thought about this when I read Amy-Jill Levine's chapter on "Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son" in Short Stories by Jesus. After comments about the impossibility of a sheep or coin repenting or confessing, she writes: "If any blame is to be assigned in the first two parables, then, the shepherd and the woman are at fault, for they 'lost,' respectively, the sheep and the coin. Were the parables called 'The Shepherd Who Lost His Sheep' and 'The Woman Who Lost Her coin,' we might be closer to an earlier meaning.Ö this [the third] parable might be renamed 'The Father Who Lost His Son(s)'" (p. 29).


Her direct application is: "Will we take responsibility for the losing and what effort will we make to find it - or him or her - again?" (p. 41)


Will the church take responsibility for its loss of influence in the world and its loss of membership or do we just blame those "sinners" who have abandoned the flock of the church or the purse of the coins? Another interesting comment from Levine: "If there are ninety-nine folks in the neighborhood who have nothing to repent for, we really are in the land of fantasy rather than reality" (p. 37).


Can we ask the same thing of our nation and our loss of status around the world? Can we even ask, "What have we done to cause some people to have such hatred towards us?"
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 12:16:13 PM »
Remembering the fallen and the grieving from 9/11 is a lot like attending a funeral.  There may be other issues connected with the deceased or their families or the community in which they lived.  But the funeral is not the place to discuss it.  Maybe later at the diner down the street. Another day.  Another place.
Pastor Don Engebretson
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 12:19:04 PM »
Remembering the fallen and the grieving from 9/11 is a lot like attending a funeral.  There may be other issues connected with the deceased or their families or the community in which they lived.  But the funeral is not the place to discuss it.  Maybe later at the diner down the street. Another day.  Another place.

Indeed.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

gan ainm

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Re: September 11 - redux
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2016, 12:21:48 PM »
I thought about this when I read Amy-Jill Levine's chapter on "Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son" in Short Stories by Jesus. After comments about the impossibility of a sheep or coin repenting or confessing, she writes: "If any blame is to be assigned in the first two parables, then, the shepherd and the woman are at fault, for they 'lost,' respectively, the sheep and the coin. Were the parables called 'The Shepherd Who Lost His Sheep' and 'The Woman Who Lost Her coin,' we might be closer to an earlier meaning.Ö this [the third] parable might be renamed 'The Father Who Lost His Son(s)'" (p. 29).


Her direct application is: "Will we take responsibility for the losing and what effort will we make to find it - or him or her - again?" (p. 41)


Will the church take responsibility for its loss of influence in the world and its loss of membership or do we just blame those "sinners" who have abandoned the flock of the church or the purse of the coins? Another interesting comment from Levine: "If there are ninety-nine folks in the neighborhood who have nothing to repent for, we really are in the land of fantasy rather than reality" (p. 37).


Can we ask the same thing of our nation and our loss of status around the world? Can we even ask, "What have we done to cause some people to have such hatred towards us?"

This is beginning to sound a whole lot like an altar call with a hearty have you made a decision to believe emanating from the pulpit.