A different sort of 9/11 prayer.
The eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States came and went. We watched on TV as they listed the names at ground zero and we saw video clips and heard commentary.
Sunday – 9/13 – it was the Feast of the Holy Cross. During the Der Voghormia prayer when I usually ask for and receive prayer requests from the congregation, I wanted to remember the victims of 9/11 in my announcements but I was moved to say more:
Join me today with your prayers, especially on this anniversary of 9/11, and remember all of those who lost their lives that day and their families and friends who were left behind. And even more, remember the countless lives that were lost as a result of that day, in the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan. Remember all our soldiers and their families as they sacrifice for the ideals that we hold so dear to our heart, and especially remember two of our members Razmig (USNavy) and Leah (USAirforce) who valiantly serve to defend the freedoms we enjoy. But more than anything else let us pray for peace – the lasting peace that comes from God, so that we may see the day when wars will be obsolete and no one will ever again pick up a weapon in anger or hatred.
I haven’t been this moved in quite a while. As I turned back to the holy altar, with chalice in hand, I was picturing the faces of our children Razmig and Leah, and for a moment I could actually visualize peace. It was a strange sensation, but very real. We talk of peace as an ideal and attaining it sounds far-fetched, but for that moment it occurred to me that it is the only dream worth dreaming here in this lifetime.
Last night – got an email from Razmig:
“… but I know that without God or the Armenian church I would have never been able to survive these hardships. I tell my family and friends all time, to not pray for me but to pray for the politicians to stop creating war around the world for their personal greed. Pray for the drug lords to stop making a type of business that kills kids. Pray for the radical Muslims that terrorize innocent people all over the world, because they believe that they will go to paradise. Pray for all those evil people, for they know not what they do. Also, pray for the soldiers and sailors out in Iraq and Afghanistan… for they have it worse than us.
By the way, I know that you are thinking if you can read what I said above to the congregation, and I have no problem with that, actually it would be good if they hear this.”
You’re right Razmig. I do want to share it and so here it is. A prayer request along with an extra prayer for peace.