Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let Us Pray at Ground Zero, But Just Not Today

Today is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, a day of remembrance and reflection, a day to honor the survivors and the families of the victims, and America and the American Spirit

9/11 brought America together ten years ago, if only for a few days. Congress sang Kumbaya on the steps of the Capitol.

The FDNY rushed up the stairs into the fires to their deaths while civilians escaped. The police forces of New York and the Port Authority suffered heavy losses. 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics died in the collapse of the Twin Towers as did 23 New York City police and 37 Port Authority officers.

Among the early fatalities was Fr. Michael Judge, Chaplain of the Fire Department.

New York City commemorated the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 earlier today. Ground Zero is undergoing a rebirth. Most of the perpetrators have been killed or captured. President Bush promised American justice and he and President Obama delivered.

The tragedy of 9/11 made us stronger us a country. Treating terrorism as an act of war rather than a criminal act freed the United States to mount a full scale offense. Increased security, enactment of the Patriot Act, the combined actions of federal law enforcement services and intelligence agencies, the unpublicized efforts of the treasury Department to track monies, and the active intelligence operations of the NYPD, as well as some luck, have resulted in no successful external produced terrorist acts against the United States since 9/11.

9/11 and America’s response shows the growth of the American people. We demonized our enemies in the two World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. We interned American citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camp in World War II.

9/11 was different. President Bush led the way in not blaming the terrorist acts on Muslims, but on a fringe of radicals who happen to be Muslims.

But we did not pray at Ground Zero because Mayor Bloomberg said no clergy. No Catholics, or Protestants, Muslims or Jews, Hindus or Sikhs No priest, reverend, minister, pastor, rabbi, imam, mullah, pandit, guru, monk, or nun.

Mayor Bloomberg said no. He does support though an Islamic Mosque next to Ground Zero.

No fire or police either. Mayor Bloomberg said no to them too. They suffered individually and collectively for the loss of one fire fighter is felt by all, but the Mayor felt different.

The explanations make no sense. In essence the site is too small; so no room exists for the clergy, fire, or police. America is bigger than that.

The site of 9/11 can never be too small for religion, police, or fire. This is America, and they are victims. We are all victims of 9/11.

Today is a time for all of us, a day of unity.

It’s not just Mayor Bloomberg. The National Cathedral in D.C. is hosting clergy, which places it ahead of New York, but is excluding evangelicals.

9/11 was not just an attack on America. It was barbaric assault against the world and civilization, a crime against humanity. Christians were killed, as were Jews and Muslims. Presumably other religions as well, but I have seen no breakdown by religion. Religion, all religion, was under attack.

The site of Ground Zero is legally controlled by New York City, but it belongs to all Americans.

We needed to reaffirm religion today

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