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Clergy had place at Sept. 11 ceremony
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Let’s think back to 10 years ago. Let’s remember how we, as a country, felt immediately after the 9/11 attacks on America.
Angry, hurt, scared, unsafe — just a few of the emotions running through most of us after we saw the Twin Towers collapse and the Pentagon attacked.
But if we really think back, many of us found comfort in our maker, in our God.
As we were glued to our televisions, watching tragic image after tragic image flicker across the screen, we saw politicians asking us to pray. For every failed attempt to find a survivor in the rubble, we saw city officials asking us to pray. For every tear that was shed, we saw clergy members asking us to pray.
During the weeks right after 9/11, we, as a country, once again said, “In God we trust,” and we prayed. We prayed for the victims. We prayed for the families. We prayed for our leaders. We prayed for our country. In short, we prayed.
We remember that solemn day, Sept. 11, 2001, and appropriately, this 10th anniversary does fall on the day of our Lord.
But guess what — when the ceremony is held today in New York City, there won’t be any prayers. You see, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has decided that the ceremony should not include speeches by any clergy members.
I don’t know, but I don’t think an order like that would have gone over too well 10 years ago today.
According to reports, the mayor doesn’t want to take away from the ceremony’s focus on the victims and their families.
But somehow the mayor himself is scheduled to speak — and also the governor, president, other city officials and other politicians.
Between all of these noble speakers, there also will be several moments of silence for inward reflection. Goodness, goodness, how far we have fallen.
This omission of prayer is a tragedy. According to a recent ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll, 83 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. That leads me to believe that a lot of people who will attend today’s ceremony claim to be Christians.
Let me break that word down for you in case you don’t know what Christian means. It means that these people recognize themselves as people who “adhere to Christianity based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Now I will be the first to admit that not all Americans are Christians. But the point is, despite our shortcomings, we mostly still look at America as one nation under God. The Sept. 11 attacks taught us at least that much.
Folks, what took place 10 years ago in New York City was a travesty. It also is a travesty that God is not being recognized through clergy members’ speeches at today’s ceremony.
Going by the aforementioned statistics, it is safe to say that many of the families of the 2,996 victims that died Sept. 11, 2001 did a lot of praying after the tragedy.
Today, as we remember the 9/11 victims, we need to honor them by praying for their families. We also need to pray that our country turns back toward God so that He will bless us.

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