Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11: The Catholic Church remembers

A worker looks at makeshift
memorial at Ground Zero.
(CNS Photo/Mary Knight)
911. For years, those numbers simply meant a call for help. Now they also remind us of Sept. 11, 2001, the date of the worst terrorist attack on the United States of America and one of the deadliest days ever on American soil. To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011, the USSCB has gathered reflections and remembrances from clergy who ministered to victims and their families, and others who were impacted by the tragedy.

In October 2001, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution designating that every Sept. 11 be observed as "Patriot Day."  The resolution requests that  U.S. government entities and interested organizations and individuals display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and that the people of the United States observe a moment of silence  in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The USSCB offers updated liturgical resources for the current year's observance of Patriot Day and links to bishops' statements and other materials for reading and reflection.

In 2009, a presidential proclamation declared that  Patriot Day is also a "National Day of Service." The proclamation calls on Americans to "participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with other ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services ... to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

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