Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Remembered

On September 11, 2002, we held a dinner in Winthrop honoring our emergency personnel – police, fire, EMTs. I had the privilege of being the M.C. that evening, and on this 8th anniversary of the event that has defined our world, I would like to share with you some of the comments of that night.


Dear Lord, you know that when Winthrop dials 9-1-1, we have come to expect that a friend and neighbor will come to our aid. We have also come to take for granted the skill and dedication of these, your servants. We don’t take time often enough to realize they leave their work, their homes, their families and often their beds to minister to our needs. We don’t grasp the time they take in evenings and weekends to train and practice their skills, so that when we call, they will be ready to serve.

And we certainly don’t say “Thank You” nearly often enough.

Heavenly Father, bless these heroes in our midst. Remind us to appreciate the sacrifices they make. Bless this time of fellowship and remembrance, and bless the food we are about to enjoy, to give us the strength we need to continue to do your Will. Amen

Introduction to A Time of Remembrance

I heard a song this morning written by Tom Paxton. It’s called “The Bravest”. It’s about a man heading down the World Trade Center stairs after the planes hit. The chorus went:

Every time I try to sleep

I’m haunted by the sound

Of firemen pounding up the stairs

While we are running down.

Tonight we gather to remember and honor heroes in America. On September 11, 2001, over 300 firefighters and almost 100 law enforcement officers were killed in New York. Our honored guests tonight, as well as their families, know that they sacrifice time, energy and comfort to aid their neighbors in times of direst distress. We also know that any one of them may be called to make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. * * * * *


Heavenly Father, we now close this evening of remembrance and reflection. Tomorrow, we pick up our daily lives. As we retire, give us a safe passage home and a safe day tomorrow.

Lord, you have given us many gifts. You give us Your servants, who leave their work and their beds to respond when we are in trouble. They minister to us with skill, dedication and professionalism.

You have made a beautiful world, Lord, but for reasons only You know, there is danger of many kinds. Protect us from those dangers, we pray, and if that is not possible, may your servants arrive in time to aid and succor us in our hour of need.

Remind us, Lord, every time we hear a siren, to say a prayer for those who are in need, and those rushing to offer assistance. Remind us to pray that the emergency team will arrive in time and in safety. Inspire them, Lord, to act and react correctly.

And finally, give us a thankful heart and words to let Your servants know how much we appreciate and love them.


Today, when you see a police officer, a fireman or an emergency medical technician or paramedic, please take the time to say “Thank you.”

The cartoon is today's "One Big Happy".