Issuu on Google+

VOL. 67 – NO. 1192 SEPTEMBER E-mail: 2002 Archbishop Offers Memorials at Ground Zero for Sept. 11 Victims HOLY EPARCHIAL SYNOD Issues Sept. 11 Encyclical THE HOLY AND EPARCHIAL SYNOD OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA To the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Day and Afternoon Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, s the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we address you in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord as we approach the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It is through the power of the Life-giving Cross and the glorious Resurrection that we offer words of comfort and strength on this day of memorial, recognizing the deep pain that surfaces as we mark the passage of one year. The arrival of this date evokes a myriad of painful thoughts, emotions, and images. Across our nation and throughout the world, people from all religions, races, and creeds remember the lives of those lost in the senseless and cowardly acts of terrorism that took place on American soil one year ago. As the Body of Christ and the Holy Archdiocese of America, we offer our prayers for the souls of all those innocently killed and for their families who continue to mourn their loss. We ask that on Sunday, September 8, a one-year memorial service be conducted in all our parishes throughout our country at the end of the Divine Liturgy. Let us offer prayers for the eternal memory and blessed repose of the souls of the victims of the barbaric attack of September 11 and of those who heroically fell in the line of duty attempting to help these victims. As an Archdiocese and as a nation, we have closely experienced the devastation caused by the terrorist acts of September 11. The anguish left in their wake has been particularly felt among our own Greek Orthodox community in America. We have lost parishioners, family members, and one of our historic parishes, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was next to the Twin Towers. We take solace knowing that we have grieved not as individuals hopelessly scattered across America, but as a family united in the Body of Christ. We have lived and breathed the words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote “that the members [of the body] should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). In recalling the tragedy of September 11, we recognize our human impulse to feel anger towards the perpetrators who senselessly took the lives of thousands of innocent people. Yet, we are also mindful A GOA photo Archbishop Demetrios stands in silence next to the mourning family members of Greek-Orthodox victims in front of the “Circle of Honor” C ommemoration of the event that has haunted the world for the past year, the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, attracted tens of thousands at Ground Zero, including Archbishop Demetrios . byJim Golding His Eminence joined hundreds of surviving family members of the 2,801 WTC victims, and many public figures, other religious leaders and dignitaries in the official commemoration under tight security. They proceeded down a long steel ramp to the “circle of honor” in the middle of the mammoth pit where the Twin Towers once stood. The thousands of people who attended began assembling in the very early hours of Wednesday morning around the perimeter of the 16-acre site in the Financial District of Manhattan. They included more than 2,000 police and firefighters representing cities and towns from all regions of the U.S. and abroad who came to honor their fallen brothers killed in the towers’ collapse. MEMORIAL SERVICES HELD IN PARISHES NATIONWIDE (See related coverage on pgs. 2, 32) Among them were 325 British police from England, Wales and Scotland, sheriff’s deputies from Ventura County, Calif.; police from Westhampton Beach, N.Y., the Chicago and Los Angeles police and fire departments, police from a place called El Monte and firefighters from somewhere called Sloatsburg, and a search Archbishop’s Encyclicals u 6, 11 Archdiocese News u 2-3, 6-7, 9, 32 Challenge u 29 Classifieds u 28 Contemporary Issues u 8 Diocese News u 30, 31 Ecumenical Patriarchate u 4-5 Family Care u 12 Financial Statements u 23 Greek Section u 15- 19 HC/HC Report u 13 Holy Scripture Readings u 7 In Memoriam u 26 Interfaith Marriage u 20 IOCC News u 21 Letters u 10 Opinions u 10 Parish Profile u 25 People u 25 Voice of Philoptochos u 27 dog from an organization called the Texas Task Force, to name a few. The ceremonies began with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. But soon afterward a strong gust of wind arose, the advance of Tropical Storm Gustav, which brought a sense of deja vu to spectators, as large dust clouds that penetrated eyes and mouths as if to remind them of that horrific day when the world witnessed the billowing clouds of dust and smoke that arose with the violent fall of the towers. For nearly 2½ hours the names of the WTC victims were read by several public figures, beginning with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro, among others. The recitation of names was interrupted at several places for readings of the Gettysburg Address by New York Gov. George Pataki, part of the Declaration of Independence by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, and statements from victims’ family members. Midway through the morning event, Archbishop Demetrios read the memorial prayer service. As he completed chanting “May their memory be eternal” (Eonia e mnimi) at 10:29 a.m. (the time when the second tower col- u page 2 u page 9

Orthodox Observer - September 2002

Related publications