We remember those who died at their own hand after they returned, suffering from guilt, shame, depression, a loss of meaning and purpose, a sense of being alone.
But reflecting back we also remember your light that was able to pierce our darkness, as we reflected on your promises, and as we saw your love in the sacrifice of first responders and the kindness of strangers.
May we as a nation remember what makes us strong–our commitment to freedom, to justice, and to equality for all.
May we remember our ancestors who came here in hope, invited by a torch held high in New York harbor, calling them to a land where with the promise that race, religion, color and culture were not to be dividers.
May our nation continue to lift that light of hope to all the world.
And may we, reflecting on that day seventeen years ago, and the years since, commit ourselves to reflecting that light to all around us.
In words attributed to a combat veteran from eight hundred years ago, we pray —
Lord make us instruments of your peace
Where there is hatred let us sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that we may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life