It was a merciless crime, one that has not been forgotten more than a decade later. Its reality has seared holes through the hearts of most Americans, so many of whom lost loved ones in the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., and on that open acreage of a Pennsylvania meadow where heroic passengers foiled a planned fourth assault.
It was nothing less than a heinous act of premeditated murder and one that has altered the course of not just a nation, but a world, and all people whose principal cause remains life, liberty and love.
For those planning to attend Wednesday’s 12th annual Cry Out America observation, it will begin at 11:50 a.m. in downtown Cleveland. Its duration will be one hour, a tiny slice in life but a lifetime in memory.
It is billed a Christian event, yet we believe it is so very much more. It is a gathering for all people, all denominations and every faith. It is intended for those who share a common bond, one anchored in tolerance and welcomed appreciation for all that is right, all that is good and all who cherish the value of diversity.
We believe too that it is a fitting occasion for any who have lost faith, those who question their own beliefs and all who wish to meld with other cultures and different values.
Cry Out America is Christian-based, its powerful message is founded upon Biblical principals and its call to worship is lined in spiritual fundamentals. But all are welcome, especially those who cling to hopes of a better world, a higher calling and a mindset that cradles the ideals of a global humanitarianism.
Cry Out America is about people and a common need to believe in the sanctity, and the purity, of the human heart.
Cry Out America is about compassion — a love of life and a loving remembrance of those who died and those who gave their lives in gallant acts to save others on that tragic day when skies were darkened by the clouds of hate and the debris of intolerance.
Cry Out America is a dream of brighter days and softer nights, and a plea for morning dawns whose beauty is matched only by the calm of an evening dusk.
Cry Out America cries out for all that is good, any who are righteous and everyone who longs for a safer time.
Cry Out America reflects on the fears of a day gone by, but points to the promise of a passage into new horizons.
We defer to the soulful message of a poem whose reprint is now a 9/11 tradition at the Cleveland Daily Banner. It was written 12 years ago by Cleveland Bishop William R. Nunnery, an aging man of faith and one of great wisdom whose “Elegy to 9/11” once earned the penned “thank you” of former first lady Laura Bush.
The poem will be republished in its entirety in Wednesday’s edition as part of our annual remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001, and it will serve as our ongoing prayer for the families whose lives were changed forever. But for today, we pay tribute to the close of that inspiring message as written by Bishop Nunnery.
“Since our nation is a God-fearing one,
“We pray that our leaders won’t forget what He has done.
“Much time has passed now and we all must remember,
“That terrible day the eleventh of September.
“Also, the companions of those who lost their lives,
“That God will give them comfort as they struggle to survive.
“And that He be with them as they continue on their way,
“So they can join their loved ones on that great and final day.”
Perhaps it is the poem’s final three words that point to the urgency in our lives, a time when most seek a cause, an era when many cling to something in which to believe.
Simply, the poet writes, “Let us pray.”