Christians remember. That’s what we do. We remember the ancient stories from generations long past. We remember parting seas, burning bushes, manna from heaven. We remember the promise given to Mary, the assurance given to Joseph, and the child who became the man who changed everything. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. We remember all the old, old stories. They are the building blocks of what we believe and who we are. We can never forget.
As we approach the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, we remember both the heroic and the tragic dimensions of this event. We remember the unflinching sacrifice of firefighters, police officers, and paramedics who put their lives on the line in order to save others. That is, of course, what first-responders do. They respond to those in need. They remember us and value our lives in a crucial, frightening moment, and, on this anniversary, we remember and value them in return. We will remember the thousands of innocent people who went to work on that perfect September morning and never came home. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. The loss of their lives is unspeakable.
In the midst of a persistent, worldwide pandemic, we are called to remember the unflinching sacrifice of paramedics, nurses, doctors, and hospital workers who have kept so many alive at great risk to themselves. As we remember and honor the more than 650,000 deaths in the United States due to COVID-19, there is a feeling of fragility and impermanence in our lives. The loss is unspeakable.
Like you, I feel the frustration and the growing exhaustion of the pandemic. Like you, I feel this should all be over by now. This weekend we will remember.
This Saturday, September 11, at 11 am, we will hold a service of solemn remembrance. The service will be available for you to attend in person (with mask) or online. And on Sunday, September 12, at the 9 am, 11 am, and 5 pm services, we will again remember 9/11 and also all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. We will honor those in the medical profession who work tirelessly to care for and to heal others.
In Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the apostle wrote, “For I am certain that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We will remember that truth.
I invite you to join in these remembrances as our community of faith does what Christians do best. We remember.
The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe