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Warner, NH 9-11 Commemoration: Invocation and Remarks
Winter 2017-2018

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INVOCATION & REMARKS
Reverend J. J. Bodine, Warner, NH


Invocation

O God, whom we know by many names, or none, be with us in this place as we seek to give expression to our sense of loss, of shattered foundations, as well as to our pride in those who stood by their posts in a time of trial. May our words and deeds here speak volumes of our partnership with all who continue to strive towards the end of peace and dignity for the entire human community. Amen.


Remarks

I bring you greetings from the members and friends of the United Church of Warner, many of whom are present, and all of whom join us in remembering, in grieving and in honoring those who have died, whose lives have been interrupted or whose efforts to serve in the midst of confusion and fear we now recall with gratitude. We join today vast numbers of our fellow citizens who seek to share grief, to offer honor and to hope out of the wreckage of a year ago.

A part of us still must wrestle to make some sense of a senseless horror. Healing may yet come, even to the rawest of wounds; hope may yet emerge from the most hopeless of situations - but only when faced, when remembering maintains the connection to the shattered body. Let us not seek to heal too lightly, lest in time the loss be minimized and the true heroism of emergency and police personnel as well as volunteers from many quarters be forgotten. Let us not be too quick to insist that good comes out of evil-lest we forget that it remains evil. Above all, let us not seek too quickly that "normalcy" for which we all yearn lest we mistake apathy for closure and assume that we are done with it.

Words are, after all, but fragile vessels with which to carry the immensity of what we have been through and will continue to go through in the memory and the aftermath of the valley of death's shadow and reality we call 9/11. So it is more than appropriate to remember and honor those whose actions embody the best of which we are capable. By whatever faith we live, we gather as those bound in community, and as part of a wider community of democracy, duty and dedication to those ideals which have made of us a great nation. Thank you.

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