United Methodist Bishops remember victims of September 11
Changed forever on that day was not only the future of the United States but also the course of global relations throughout the world as we witnessed unprecedented pain, anger, frustration and utmost sadness.
That day 20 years ago, the world watched in horror as more than 3,000 lives were lost through the acts of terrorism in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C.
That day 20 years ago also led to wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. Those wars against terrorism caused thousands of more lives to be lost.
Those events inextricably bound members of The United Methodist Church in working together to comfort the families that lost loved ones and offering care for those who were severely harmed in that tragedy.
The United Methodist Church has continued to provide care, comfort, and hope and as the United States marks the 20th anniversary of this tragedy.
“As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, our hearts continue to ache for all those who lost loved ones and whose hearts were broken on that day,” said Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.
“May God’s peace be with the entire world as we remember and give thanks for the lives of so many lost on that day and the days that followed. We thank God for all of the responders and for their families who grieve still this day,” she said.
In a video reflection, Bishop Tom Bickerton, who serves the New York Area, talked about the plane that went down in Shanksville near where he calls home and, how three years later, he would become the bishop of Western Pennsylvania and then of New York.
“On this 20th anniversary of a terrible day in the history of our region, let us pause to pray a prayer of intercession for hurts that linger, a prayer of thanksgiving for acts of heroism that need never to be forgotten, a prayer of gratitude for the holy mystery of life, and a prayer of resolve that we will never let evil supplant the gift of that which is good,” said Bishop Bickerton, who is also the COB president-designate.
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling, who serves the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware conferences, noted: “On the days following 9/11, we came together as communities and as a nation to declare that we were strong, resilient and, at our core, a people of love. We didn’t focus on nationality or hue or tongue; we didn’t stop to examine documents or affiliations or genders; we simply looked one another in the eye and connected on a visceral level.”
Bishop Easterling pointed out that after the ill-fated war borne of that day came to an end, “we have the opportunity to come full circle, welcoming refugees from Afghanistan into our communities, our churches and perhaps even our homes. May we offer this selfless love to them in the same spirit.”
Bishop Laurie Haller, who serves Iowa Area and the Dakotas Conference urged Christians to “continue the work of peace and reconciliation as we remember and honor those whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001.”
Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications - Council of Bishops