Tuesday, September 11, 2007


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O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; that, when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope; in favor with thee our God; and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [The Book of Common Prayer, page 490]

From Wikipedia: According to the 9/11 Commission, between 16,400 and 18,800 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks. Only 14 people escaped from the impact zone of the South Tower after it was hit, and only four people from floors above it. They escaped via Stairwell A, the only stairwell which had been left intact after impact. No one was able to escape from above the impact zone in the North Tower after it was hit, as all stairwells and elevator shafts on those floors were destroyed. After the collapse of the towers, only 20 survivors who were in or below the towers escaped from the debris, including 15 rescue workers. The last survivor was pulled from the rubble 27 hours after the collapse of the towers. 6,291 people were reported to have been treated in area hospitals for injuries related to the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

To see an amazing collection of photos from TIME Magazine, click here.

Here is a bit of history from a sermon I gave on September 11, 2004:

History is replete with turning points. For the Moslem Turks of the Ottoman empire, the most decisive turning point came in 1683. The heretofore conquering Islamic armies of the Sultan were met, held, and thrown back at the gates of Vienna, Austria. The leader of Poland’s Christian army, John Sobieki, sent a letter of victory to Pope Innocent XI in which he wrote, similar to Julius Caesar, “I came, I saw, God conquered.”

Historians would note that the Ottoman empire never recovered from that defeat. From then on, the world stage was set. It was nearly assured that Western Christian powers would dominate the world stage forever undermining Moslem domination through Europe. For Eastern historians, and especially more enthusiastic religious devotees, the moment was remembered as a humiliation for Islam, and a prelude to more humiliations later on. The date was September 11, 1683.

If anyone had doubts about the Battle of Vienna, those were erased at the Battle of Zenta. The Moslems had made a last ditch effort to destroy Christian civilization in the old Byzantine empire. Fourteen years to the day, on September 11, 1697, Prince Eugene of Savoy killed 20,000 Turks, seized the Ottoman treasury, and took captive 10 of the Sultan’s wives. By treaty, the Ottomans were forced to cede Croatia, Hungary, Transylvania, and Slavonia to Austria.

As you know, it was unrest in this part of the world that later blossomed into “the Great War,” or as we now know it, World War I. A number of territories in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East changed hands through the war. And following that conflict, it was on September 11, 1922 the British mandate came into force in Palestine over and against unrelenting opposition from Arabs, who declared it a day of morning.

In 1998, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the 11th of September as an annual International Day of Peace, dedicated “to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among nations and peoples.” And in 2001, on a cool Tuesday morning, the 11th of September, the United States was conclusively drawn into a conflict she did not begin and, very likely, will not see finished.

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