UAOC AMERICAN HIERARCHS' LETTER OF REMEMBRANCE
OF THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
of North & South America
September 11, 2002
To Our Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ & People of Good Will Everywhere:
This day will forever be marked in our memories as one in which every belief, every moral responsibility, each principle and standard by which the civilized world lives was challenged. The sheer barbarism with which the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 were carried out, left us all with utter amazement at how human life can be so ultimately disregarded and violated.
Our values may have been challenged indeed, but the subsequent heroic efforts of so many proved that our spirit and our faith was not and cannot be broken.
No doubt, we will each spend this day in personal reflection, using the opportunity to deal, in our individual ways, with the memories and sentiments that this sobering anniversary places before us.
In our own way, as your shepherds and pastors, our minds return to the memories of those weeks following that catastrophic day, when God granted us the opportunity to serve, along with so many others at that time, in our nation's recovery efforts at Ground 0. Certainly, the images of those weeks are at the same time horrific and encouraging.
They are horrific because of the tremendous loss of human life and ensuing destruction of families and loved ones. But, through the great mercy of our God, they are filled with encouragement that speaks of the goodness and vitality of the human spirit.
While there is certainly evil in our world, epitomized by the heartless acts of the terrorists, there are also so many good, caring and loving individuals who do not hesitate to go beyond themselves, to promote the healing, consolation and best interests of others. It is this spirit, the spirit of America and of good people everywhere, from all walks of life, of which we can be grateful and proud.
The World Trade Center Site, the Pentagon and the Field in Pennsylvania are now hallowed ground, made sacred not only by the blessing of God bestowed there through his priests, but also by the lingering presence of those resting there, who loved and were loved by others.
Within the dust that remains at Ground 0, lies the key to regeneration - a resurrection of the human spirit, for which those who perished on 9-11 offered the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Their sacrifice has not been in vain, but rather, will guarantee that freedom and justice, liberty and goodness will endure, just as the mercy of our God endures forever.
As we remember those lost and honor those who displayed such bravery one year ago, let each of us make a firm commitment to ensure that our own lives reflect the values which we praise among the so many heroes of September 11.
With the assurance of our prayers and remembrances, we ask you to continue to pray for us, that we may faithfully serve in the spirit that exemplifies true followers of Christ.
God is With Us,
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