September 11, 2016
911. For years, those numbers simply meant a call for help. Now they also remind us of September 11, 2001, the date of the worst terrorist attack on the United States of America and one of the deadliest days ever on American soil.
In October 2001, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution designating that every September 11th be observed as “Patriot Day.” The resolution requests that U.S. government entities and interested organizations and individuals display the flag of the United States at half staff on Patriot Day and that the people of the United States observe a moment of silence in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In 2009, a presidential proclamation declared that Patriot Day is also a “National Day of Service.” The proclamation calls on Americans to “participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with other ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services … to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Mass for today
Readings for today
Prayer at Ground Zero
(Pope Benedict XI, New York, 20 April 2008)
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here–
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
(sources: USCCB; Catholic.org)