For every year’s anniversary of 9/11/01 the Tucson Multi-Faith Alliance has held a memorial service to reflect upon the national tragedy of that fateful day. Tonight the 10th memorial service was held at St. Augustine’s Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Avenue in downtown Tucson.
Here’s tonight’s program with some of my notes of the reflections/prayers:
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon & Rabbi Jason Holtz, Temple Emanu-El – sounding of the Shofar (ram’s horn)
Davis-Monthan Color Guard (presentation of Colors)
Patricia Flores, Yoeme/Maya Nation: Ome Malintzna (Sacred Fire Woman, Mexica) – Yoeme Blessing
Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Catholic Bishop of Tucson – welcome
Reverend Raven Gaston, Catalina United Methodist Church – “Moses & the Shepherd”, from the writings of Rumi (13th-century mystic)
Reverend Allen Breckenridge, St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church, & Reverend Tom Dunham, Streams of the Desert Lutheran Church (choir) – “God We’ve Known Such Grief & Anger”
Huseyin Salim Sen, Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue – recitation of Qu’ran
Reverend Lee Milligan, Casas Adobes United Church of Christ – Prayer (“for all, to all, help us to remember”)
City of Tucson Councilmember Shirley Scott (ward 4) – reflection (“We are a country of kindness, strength, courage & resolve”)
Renu Phull, Tucson Sikh Sangat – Poem “One” by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer (“We are one color, one class, one generation, one gender, one faith, one language, one body, one family, one soul, one people, We are the Power of One, We are united, We are America”.)
Tucson Sikh Sangat – “Kirtan” (Sacred Music of the Sikhs), “Too Thakur Tum Peh Ardas” from Sukhmani Sahib, “The Lagoon of Peace” by Guru Arjan (16th Century)
Chair Ramon Valadez, Pima County Board of Supervisors (District 2) – reflection (“despite grief & pain, celebrate courage, compassion, humanity, caring & sharing, & faith”)
Reverend Kate Bradsen, Vicar, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – prayer (“thanksgiving for diversity”)
Reverend Elwood McDowell, Trinity Missionary Baptist Church – reflection (“love & hope, love your enemies”)
Nicole Best, Baha’i Community – Baha’i prayer (“unity in diversity, religion is One, friendliness, fellowship”)
Supervisor Ray Carroll, Pima County Board of Supervisors (District 4) – reflection (“for those who sacrificed their lives, a call to sainthood, and also to honor those six who died on 1/8/11″.)
Pam Simon, Community Outreach Coordinator for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – reflection (on the “similarities of 9/11/01 and 1/8/11 when the community came together, to make a better & more peaceful world”.) She was shot twice on 1/8/11 & recovered.
Streams of the Desert Lutheran Church Joy Choir – “In Memoriam” by Susan Naus Dengler and Lee Dengler
The Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas – memorial words (“think of what united us, not divided us, and the need to act now, to see where love is needed, to build peace, fight prejudice, help those in suffering.”)
“America the Beautiful” – music by Bill Kusack led by Sister Lois Paha
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon – Closing benediction & Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing – “let us be the next responders”)
Davis-Monthan Color Guard – retiring of the Colors
The Tucson Multi-Faith Alliance is a “multi-faith group dedicated to building mutual understanding and community across the boundary lines of religion, race, creed, orientation & ability. Its members commit themselves to an ongoing dialogue, and resolve to learn, teach, pray, and act together to bring an open religious & spiritual dimension to public life in Tucson.” For more info, contact Sat Bir Kaur Khalsa at 520-490-1165.
This memorial service tonight was in memory of the 2977 people who gave their lives on 9/11/01, 248 who were passengers on the four American Airlines or United Airlines planes, the others who died at the World Trade Center or at the Pentagon. I’ve attended probably every one of these memorial services and have been pleased to see these leaders from different religions (Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Baha’is, etc.) and political leaders all come together in common prayer & reflection upon such a tragedy.
Together we remember 9/11.