UOC of the USA: Remembering the Tragedy of September 11, 2001

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Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA addressed the 18th anniversary of the Tragedy of September 11, 2001. Bishops join in the commemoration of the victims of the Tragedy. They also invite people to pray for those in military uniform who defend the world against terrorism daily.

“For us, spiritual fathers of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States, as well as for many Americans and people around the world, September 11 will always be a day that represents the humankind from both the worst and the best of its sides; a day when many suffered senseless violence, tragedy and indescribable loss; a day when we all witnessed heroism, generosity and compassion - the best traits of the humanity,” the address says. Its full text is provided below.

Фото Reutersmedia

Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA:

"Prayerfully remembering the Tragedy of September 11, 2001..."

Dearly beloved clergy and faithful entrusted to our pastoral care:

CHRIST IS AMONG US!

September 11, 2001… Eighteen years ago, American Airlines flight 11 crashed into Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.  By the end of that day 2,996 people from more than 90 countries lost their lives in an act of unspeakable violence.

Eighteen years after the still almost incomprehensible terrorist attack upon our nation on 9/11/01 the emotion and horror still weigh heavily upon each and every citizen of our United States of America.  We still hear daily references to some aspect of a moment in history that forever changed the course of American life.  Sometimes the references relate to positive consequences of an evil act, but more often we are further offended by the negative side effects of man’s ability to hurt and destroy his fellow man.

The diverse nationalities of the victims of 9/11 remind us that terrorism and violence are global issues that require the efforts of every individual to defeat it. As children of God and citizens of this planet we must stand firm in our resolve to fight against any kind of violence with the message of love, hope and belief in the Divine Call to sanctity of life and protection of it. We must cease to be the participants of the culture of “twisted norms” of the modern society, such as sexual anarchy, personal excess, political hatreds, intellectual dishonesty, and perverted freedoms that we’ve systematically created over the period of time. We must live courageously and speak honestly about the issues of “gun control” in our country and the protection of human life. When we build our advertising and political campaigns on consumer selfishness and greed, and when money becomes the universal measure of value, how can we be surprised when our sense of community erodes? When we glorify and multiply guns, why are we shocked when kids use them?

Eighteen years ago, in the wake of devastating acts of terrorism, brave firefighters, police officers, and ordinary citizens heroically risked their lives to save others. Their dedication and sacrifice inspired all of us around the world to come together in a remarkable spirit of unity and compassion, because of the common threads of humanity that bind us. We shall keep that spirit alive through voluntary community service – service that honors the lives we lost and the heroes who responded in our hour of need. By offering of ourselves to community service, to charity, in big and small ways, we derive strength from tragedy, and hope from despair.

In the next few days we join with people across the globe in remembering the victims of 9/11. Those who were lost will never be forgotten. We continue to pray for guidance, wisdom, and protection for the men and women in uniform who fight each day to guard the world against terrorism, and we pray for the unity of our nation and the world in times of peril and peace.

For us, your spiritual fathers of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, and for many Americans and people around the world, 9/11 will always be a day that represents humanity at its worst, and humanity at its best; a day when many people experienced senseless violence and tragic, unspeakable loss, but when all of us witnessed the heroism, the generosity, and the compassion that represents the utmost of human good.

By coming together in our parish communities and holding Memorial Prayer services to honor those who lost and who gave their lives 18 years ago, we renew our strength to move forward in the face of both old and new challenges, and we come together to invigorate the values that have defined our country and our people; values we share with the people of this planet.

We offer the first prayer we shared with you eighteen years ago as a guide for your personal prayer:  "Lord God, Lover of Mankind, bless our God-protected nation, the United States of America, and forgive those who hate and wrong us. Do good to those who do good and grant all our people safety, health, salvation and eternal life. Visit those who continue to suffer from the terrorist attack upon our nation and heal them. Guide those in our armed forces; in our fire, police and rescue services and in our government. Upon those who have asked us, unworthy though we are, to pray for them, have mercy. 

Remember our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have fallen asleep in the Lord under the most horrific of circumstances and grant them rest where the light of Your Face shines in a place where there is no more pain, nor sorrow, nor suffering.  May their memory be eternal before Your Throne.

Remember us, O Lord, your humble, sinful and unworthy servants and enlighten our minds with the light of Your Knowledge and guide us in the way of your Commandments, through the prayers of our Most-Pure Lady, the Birth-Giver of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Your Saints, for You are blessed to the ages of ages.  Amen." 

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each of you as we pass through this commemoration and all it brings to mind.  You are in our continued prayers.

+ Antony, Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA

+ Jeremiah, Archbishop of the UOC Eparchy of South America
+ Daniel, Archbishop of the UOC of the USA

Меморіал на честь Трагедії 11 вересня на місці однієї з веж-близнюків

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