September 11th: A Day Of Mourning And Remembrance
One year ago today a tragedy befell our nation. It has had far reaching implications and affected many in various different ways. St Luke Parish through the efforts of Father Andrew Harrison was granted a piece of the World Trade Center to be used as a memorial. (See July 2002 Events) On this anniversary of the terrorist attacks, a day long memorial was planned. After much preparation by parishioners and local authorities, the day began early with people gathering awaiting the arrival of the section of the World Trade center and the service to follow.
Below we can see preparations for the upcoming event. A table set up for the dedication and blessing of the bell tower, a stand for the placement of the monument, and various pictures depicting the events of 9-11.
Blessing And Dedication Of The Bell Tower
More and more people began to gather at the building. His Grace, Bishop Job of the Diocese of the Midwest arrived and there was a service to bless the bell tower.
His Grace, blesses the bell tower with Holy Water.
During the service, an American Flag hanging on the side of the bell tower was raised revealing a plaque, permantly affixed to the side of the building. This plaque seen below dedicates the bell tower to the memory of those who perished in the 9-11 tragedy.
Procession And Arrival Of The Memorial
The memorial which is piece of one of the beams from the World Trade Center was brought to St Luke by an honor guard comprised of local firefighters and policemen. Below are a series of scenes as the memorial is placed in the church. Why a piece of the tower? (See Father Harrison’s Article in the Summer 2002 Evangelist.)
During the arrival, the bells are officially rung for the first time.
Memorial Service With Bishop Job
A memorial service was held in memory of all those who perished on 9-11. Numerous clergy were in attendance. Below we can see Bishop Job standing in front of the section of I beam from the World Trade Center and an Icon of St. Nicholas. This icon was in fact made by our own Father Harrison. It is significant of the fact that the only other building besides the World Trade Center that totally collasped was St Nicholas Church which was crushed when the World Trade Center fell on it. Relics of St. Nicholas were on the property in a safe that was never recovered. St. Nicholas Church will be rebuilt and new relics are being sent to replace those that were lost.
During the course of the day, the church was kept open for visitors with the memorial displayed in the church for all to touch, light candles, and pray. The tone was that of a modern day wake. The afternoon began with the pledge of alligence and passages from scripture chanted by our readers. Moraine Valley Community College participated as well as an organist played and sang for us. Also we were treated to a performance on the bagpipes.
Our ladies did a wonderful job serving breakfast, lunch and dinner during the day and many gathered together to express their thoughts and share their grief.
Deacon John from New Jersey came to share the day with us and lend us his expertise in the ringing of our new bells. Our heartfelt thanks go out to him. Several parishioners wished to participate including what very well may be the youngest bell ringer in history.
Evening Memorial Service
As evening approached a second memorial service has held. This was more informal than the one held earlier in the day.
Father Andrew took time to speak about the service and the tragedy.
A video was shown about the reactions of various people to the attacks.
One of our local fire fighters who went to New York to help with the rescue efforts was kind enough to relate his experiences.
Deacon John realted a story of someone he knew who gave his life to save others when the towers collapsed.
After the service people stopped one last time to pay their respects to those who perished.
It is our intention at St. Luke for this to be an annual event. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the State of New York for allowing us to have this memorial, to all those who attended to share this day with us, and to all those who worked so hard to make it possible. May God grant rest to those who perished in this terrible tragedy and may He make their memory to be eternal.
Children’s Sermon On The Birth Of The Theotokos
This month’s children’s sermon fell of the Birthday of the Virgin Mary. Father Andrew explained the feast day to the children and used a cupcake with candles as a birthday cake. He asked the children what they thought the Virgin Mary would want for Her birthday. Answers included a cake and a doll. Father Andrew said that he thought She would like to have them all at Church every week ready to learn about Jesus.
St Luke’s Receives It’s Long Overdue Facelift
Things were really moving today as the landscaping project began early this morning. Fenn Landscaping arrived and got right to work. In addition the pole for the new electric was placed. Inside the building, the ceilings were being finished off with the placement of the ceiling tiles. Below are scenes from the days work.
As the day came to an end, 95 percent of the work was complete. A small section will be done after the electric is finished being hooked up. In quite a short time, St Luke has quite a different look. Below are pictures of the finished landscaping.