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9/11 remembrances, reflections and cheeseburgers

9/11 remembrances, reflections and cheeseburgers

There’s no shortage of services planned and being held this weekend in observance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Of special note are those being held at Trinity Wall Street and St. Paul’s Chapel because they both became an intimate participant in the events of the day and the still on going recovery efforts.

Trinity has posted numerous online resources for people who won’t be in lower Manhattan this weekend. There are video diaries, poetry readings, webcast worship services and a number of essays. All of those are linked here.

In the midst of all the observances though, there’s been a number of people reporting that they are feeling what might be called “anniversary fatigue”. With such a great deal of introspection happening, and attempts to find the larger meaning of that day’s attacks, people who’s emotions are still raw are reacting by withdrawal.

Elizabeth Kaeton in a blog post titled “9/11 Cheeseburgers of Hope” puts it as well, if not better, than anyone I’ve seen online so far:

She recounts her own experience doing ministry at “ground zero” during the height of the recovery efforts, caring for the firefighters and dealing with their overwhelming emotions and hers. She reflects on what has happened in the United States in the past decade, on our politics and the way we’re becoming more polarized than ever.

And then she says:

I think I’m going to have to sit in some silence on Sunday. I’m going to think about some of the things I learned that night in lower Manhattan ten years ago.

I’m going to think about those moments of revelation and miracles and epiphanies that happened in the midst of ashes and melted boots and piles of shoes and socks, and cheeseburgers without cheese and wondering about atonement and absolution and feeling completely incompetent and being present anyway and laughter and tears as the purest and perhaps only form of prayer in front of a burning, smoking pit and how God was in the midst of it all, even if we didn’t know it at the time.

I don’t need images of burning towers to help me remember. I don’t need smartly worded essays or beautifully done videos.

I think what I need more than anything is some quiet and some candles and some music I don’t need a hymnal for and a community of folks who just want to pray.

Do read the whole essay.


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Elizabeth Kaeton

Thanks, Nicholas. I’m deeply honored.

Eric Funston

I’ll be preaching tomorrow in a parish of the Church of Ireland. I’ve posted the sermon I’ll be preaching on my blog at — I intend to spend at least part of the day in prayer for reconciliation and peace – the best way to remember those who perished on that day and since.

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