Saturday, September 10, 2011

Prayers for the Dead, and for the Living

You know you've seen it on Facebook:

Due to "lack of room", NYC Police & Port Authority Police Officers & FDNY Firefighters are not "invited" to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at Ground Zero. Funny - they weren't invited on that day in 2001, either - they just "showed up" and became heroes. Please re-post if you think they belong there MORE than the politicians who ARE invited.

According to Snopes, the self-appointed arbiters of Truth on the Internet, this is true, along with the report that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has banned all clergy from the memorial ceremony.  A Bloomberg spokesperson has stated that this tenth anniversary ceremony is for the victim's family members.

What I would like to know is how does the Mayor's office define victims?

Now, as to the clergy issue ... heck, we all know what that's about.  No Muslim Imams to draw the undiluted fury of the American people.  I've got a better idea.  Let a representative of all groups appear, including atheists and agnostics, Wiccans and Scientologists.  Let New Age stand next to the fire-and-brimstone Christian fundamentalists.  Let an Orthodox rabbi stand next to a Reform rabbi.  Ha ha.  Seriously, I think an appearance by clergy is important, because on that terrible day, we all turned to some Greater Power.  Let them all stand there and be silent.

And the politicians?  Get rid of all of them except for the current mayor.  I'd get rid of him too, but someone has to wave the baton.

To conclude this rather depressing mini-post, there is one particular ritual that is observed in Israel on Yom HaShoah that I would like to see made part of any memorial ceremony on September 11:

At 10:00 am on Yom HaShoah, sirens are sounded throughout Israel for two minutes. During this time, people cease from action and stand at attention; cars stop, even on the highways; and the whole country comes to a standstill as people pay silent tribute to the dead.

I do not know how much of the televised ceremonies I will be able to tolerate, but tomorrow morning at 8:46, I will silently recite the Mourner's Kaddish for the dead and a Misheberach for the survivors, including the first responders who gave their hearts and health, because contrary to the warped thinking of political hacks, they are all victims of the September 11 attacks.

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