Monday, September 11, 2023

That morning we all had different agendas, different plans for the day.  It was to be a typical day in Immigration Court, then a meeting in Trenton, and then a return to the office.  Only one courtroom had a window and it faced New York City. Looking through the window, we gasped as we saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Then less than 15 minutes later, the second plane came in.


From our distance, we could only imagine the horror on the streets across the river. There was just a dreadful sense of calm panic as the building was evacuated. We were told to walk down the eleven floors; no one ran, pushing others.  But alarm and panic spread as schools, not just in Newark were closed and children sent home.


Was it like this in Honolulu when Pearl was attacked? Or was it more like the scene of panic when Frank Sinatra looks into the harbor? Memory can hold us together as a Nation or it can drive us apart. The answer lies in our response to our collective memory of 9-11 and beyond.


Prayer for the Day
The sky was so blue that September morning, O Lord,
    A day we remember but sometimes struggle to forget;
Executives and kitchen help joined in death that day,
    As they had never been together in life.
We pray for a new memory remembering the abandoned, the poor,
   And those for whom all hope seems gone.  
In the name of the One who calls us to justice and peace,
    Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.


Thoughts for the Day


When Americans lend a hand to one another, nothing is impossible.  We’re not about what happened on 9/11.  We’re about what happened on 9/12
     - Jeff Parness, 0-11 survivor, founder of New York Says Thank You


True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.    
     -  Clarence Darrow, lawyer for the underdog (1857-1938)


Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you I take refuge;
   In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge until the destroying storms pass by.
I cry to you, God Most High, to you to fulfill your purpose in me.
   Send from heaven and save me, pouring shame on those who trample on me.
       Send forth your steadfast love and faithfulness.
    Psalm 57: 1-3