9/11 Memorial 2011 on Long Island

Invocation presented by Rabbi Anchelle Perl911 event 2011 002.jpg

Last year in New York City, the Bryant Park’s normally bustling lawn, was transformed into a solemn memorial to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Midtown office workers looking for a place to soak up the sun, instead found the lawn lined with 2,753 empty chairs facing south toward the fallen towers — one to honor each person who died in the attacks.

It was almost surreal, to observe the empty chairs, standing like gravestones, row by row. You don’t realize how many people 2,753 are, until you look at the empty chairs and see it fills the entire lawn.

Nearby volunteers were collecting answers to the question, “What would you like the world to remember about 9/11?”

Today using our minds eye, let’s imagine 2753 empty chairs are placed here, in front of us, and we were able to listen to the voices of those special human beings who have chosen to return to us & take their respective seats. What would they be saying to us right now? Can you imagine? What would we be saying to them? What should we be saying to them?

image320x240.jpgFor today marks their painful anniversary. Each loss created a painful void for family, friends and the nation.

Remember how right after the tragedy, we came together as a nation. We stood as one-in our grief, in unity. Today it's a time for that recommitment. We must not falter in the defense of what we aspire to-freedom, human dignity, religious pluralism and mutual respect.

As taught to us by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we must continue to turn tragedy into triumph, and ashes into rebuilding. We cannot allow those who would destroy us to be successful, by being paralyzed by our sorrow. Let each one of us find ways to add in positive acts of goodness and kindness, of charity and prayer.

We commemorate 9/11 filled with sadness, but also with purpose, with tears, but also with optimism and joy. This is the only fitting memorial we can create for the thousands of lives shattered and lost.

Today our enemies have reminded us—in the most devastating manner—that all we have is each other and our shared desire to live in peace. We must stand together in a united front to protect our world.

Again let us unite through acts of goodness and kindness towards each other. May we merit that the coming year bring world peace and redemption. 

                                                                                                  G‑d Bless America!!