It is now 11 years since the terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York and this has become an important day of remembering and prayer for many of us. The images of the plane flying into the towers is indelibly seared on our minds. The heroism of firefighters and police lives forever with us and so it should. It is important to remember these events and establish memorials that draw us back.
This morning however, as I thought about this I could not help but think of the many who have lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks around the world since that time. Many others have had to flee the civil conflict that the aftermath this attack created in their countries. And still others flee violence and unrest created by other conflicts.
This link has a powerful interactive map that shows the changing face of terrorism since 1970.
In the midst I find my heart longing for peace. War has been the halmark of the first decade of the 21st century and it doesn’t look as though this second decade will be any different. Most of us have trouble even imagining a world without war and I sometimes wonder if we even pray for that possibility.
So this morning as we remember the attacks 11 years ago, may we pray for peace and the in breaking of God’s kingdom into the many conflicted and troubled places of our world. The following prayer is adapted from one I wrote last year for 9/11.
May we remember with love and compassion this day.
May we grieve with those who still mourn,
And share memories with those who cannot forget.
May we draw strength from those who bravely responded,
And gave their lives to save others.
May we stand with strangers who became neighbours,
And give thanks for their generosity and hospitality.
May we remember all who have lost loved ones to terrorism and violence,
And be filled not with a call to war but with a longing for peace.
May we seek for understanding and reconciling,
And not turn from your kingdom ways.
Above all God may we remember your faithfulness,
And learn to trust in your unfailing love.