September 9, 2021 - 11:32 AM

A Message from the Dean, in Remembrance of 9/11

By The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine Remembers 9/11

The Cathedral will observe the 20th anniversary of September 11th in multiple ways

Wednesday, September 8:

  • The New York Blood Center will hold a life-saving blood drive inside the Cathedral in remembrance of the victims and survivors of the tragedy of 9/11. The NYBC will be distributing a commemorative pin to all donors.

Saturday, September 11:

  • The Cathedral will be open from 8:30AM until 5:00PM for reflection, prayer and meditation.
  • Cathedral bells will toll at 8:46AM, the time the first of the two planes hurtled into the World Trade Center.
  • Permanently on view in the Alcove of St. James is the monumental sculpture, September 11: A Memorial by artist, Meredith Bergmann. While sculpting, Bergmann was influenced by images ranging from St. Sebastian pierced by arrows to St. Francis receiving the stigmata because of "the way the two buildings were pierced and the way the city and the country experienced a dark epiphany.”

Sunday, September 12:

  • The Cathedral resumes regular in-person Sunday worship at 10:30am.
  • The Cathedral will welcome congregants and visitors for its first in-person Sunday Service in almost two years. The 10:30AM Eucharist will include prayers for victims of 9/11.
  • The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III, Dean of the Cathedral will preach and The Reverend Canon Patrick Malloy, Sub-Dean, will preside.

Twenty years ago, on September 11, 2001, a rupture of violence and devastation disrupted much of what Americans believed about ourselves, our safety, and the world around us. 2,977 people were murdered that day. Many of us had previously been insulated from the shock and horror of war, which once more arose as the United States launched offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bloodshed that followed 9/11 over the past twenty years has roiled countries, destroyed lives, upended governments, and forced thousands of women, men, and children upon dangerous journeys in search of political refuge. The past eighteen months have been a time of great pain and loss, as people in New York City and all around the world grapple with the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, there are great differences between the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus and that enacted by the terrorists who launched the 9/11 attacks. In seeking a way forward in this time of despair and death, the Cathedral’s path has been one of support for life—a helping hand for all who need it; a place of refuge for those in peril; a call to action; a surfeit of love. The pandemic threatens us all, and only by remaining strong in our love and aid for one another can we overcome its danger.

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, we invite everyone to join with us in support for our communities here in the city and elsewhere. While we cannot change the past, we can do all we can to uplift and provide aid to our neighbors today, particularly those most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dean recently addressed the Cathedral community in a brief on-line statement that included the following excerpt: “Jesus says love is expressed in three ways: love of God, love of self and love of neighbor.” On this weekend of remembrance and hope, the Cathedral welcomes all to express their love.

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