Today marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York City, Shanksville, PA, and Arlington, VA.
The day—and indeed the weekend ahead—remains one of particular prayer and reflection. Surely there is much upon which we might reflect and about which we might pray — the ongoing conflicts and sorrows being experienced across the globe, especially the tens of thousands of migrants from the Middle East now suffering as they seek new homes and opportunities in Europe and beyond; discerning appropriate responses despite the ever-changing political landscape; the suffering of countless Christians in so many corners of our world; the challenge to maintain focus on “our true home,” the Kingdom of God, wondrously in our midst yet all-too-often overshadowed by this fallen world; and ultimately, the need to acknowledge that great gift of repentance, the very heart of the Gospel, to which all mankind has been called to embrace in faith and love.
On this day and throughout the coming weekend, let us pray for those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, as well as for their families and friends who continue to mourn the loss of those with whom, just one day earlier, they had walked and talked; for those who so selflessly reached out to victims and survivors alike on that tragic day; for those brave first responders—fire fighters and physicians, police and military personnel and officials, clergy and counselors and coworkers—who risked their “all” to bring comfort and hope to friend and stranger alike; and for everyone still struggling to “make sense” of that which, by nature, is senseless.
Let us especially remember our brothers and sisters in Christ, asking the One Who is our very Life and Resurrection to grant them eternal rest with the saints, that “they may shine like the stars of heaven” in the Kingdom of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—the very Kingdom to which we all aspire.
Orthodox Christians known to have perished on September 11, 2001
“With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy departed servants, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting!”
Anastasios (Ernest) Alikakos
Lieutenant Peter (Panagiotis) Brennan
Peter Constantine Moutos
James Nicholas Papageorge
Anthony (Tony) Savas
Prokopios (Paul) Zois