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911 Memorial Prayer

The following is the invocation I offered at Oyster Bay's 9-11 memorial ceremony organized by Senator Carl Marcellino.

In this age of terror the ordinary and everyday can become terrifying. Going to work. Traveling on a plane. Walking through Times Square can instill fear rather than offer the revelry for which it should only be known. This of course is the very goal of the terrorists who are bent on murder and destruction.

Those we mourn on this day were murdered not on battlefields in far away places but here in our city when sitting at their desks or walking to their offices or running to save their fellow Americans. They set out on that day with ordinary intentions and everyday concerns. And so fourteen years later the ordinary and everyday remain fraught with terror.

We have therefore but two responses. They are both located in the heart. They are both to be discovered in faith.

First, we remember. Our tears are a reminder of our loves. Our cries are a testimony to the values we continue to hold in our hearts. When we remember and mourn we give life to the memories of those we lost.

And second, we must forever summon the courage to continue with the everyday. Terrorism is defeated in our hearts. Fear can be banished by faith. Terror can be exiled by a strengthened heart and renewed spirit.

I pray. May the memories of those we mourn continue to live on in our hearts. And may we find the courage to march forward with hearts filled with faith and with love.

I rely on the words of Rebbe Nachman.
Kol ha-olam kulo gesher tzar maod, v’ha-ikar lo l’fached klal.  The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the essence is never to be afraid.

And we say, Amen.