The following is Bishop Matthew H. Clark’s reflections on the
anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy:
Two years ago, we shook with grief and horror at the terrorist
attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and our nation’s capital. On
this second anniversary, I pray, and ask others to pray, for the
comfort of those who lost loved ones, for the comfort of a nation whose
daily sense of security is forever changed, for the comfort of a world
in seemingly perpetual conflict.
We must never forget Sept. 11. We must never forget not just because
of the innumerable dreams shattered and incomprehensible number of
lives lost, but because the day now must become a tragic but crucial
reminder of all the hard work still to be done by those who seek an end
to human hatred and division.
Now, and always, we must pray that people everywhere will look not
toward their differences, but toward the similarity of dreams and
ideals and the world they wish for their children.
We must pray that our servicemen and women come home soon, free of
violence and war and the dangers of policing so many parts of the
And, never forgetting the enormity of the Sept. 11 tragedy
worldwide, we must also pray that each one of us — in our own spheres
of influence — can find the resolve and the resources to end the
everyday tragedies in our community: poverty, street violence, abuse of
the most vulnerable, addiction, economic injustice and the unmet needs
of the disadvantaged, the elderly and the infirm.
Last year, on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy, Pope
John Paul II said, “Freedom and peace can only come from truth and
justice. Only on these values is it possible to build a life worthy of
human beings. Without them there is only ruin and destruction.”
Let us then pray and work for this truth and justice always — in
our homes, our communities and in our world. And let’s pray for truth
and justice together, by whatever name we beseech our God, all eyes
toward our shared longing for peace.