St. James Episcopal Church Honors 9/11 Victims with Candlelight Service

The Rev. Carol Mader directs parishioners to help out families in need both in America and internationally.

In a solemn tribute to the heroes and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, members of in Dexter held a candlelight prayer service in Monument Park on Sunday.

The Rev. Carol Mader, pastor of St. James, said the ceremony was an effort to reach out to the Dexter community to spread a message of peace.

"Evil broke out into the world in a new way for us as Americans 10 years ago. It wasn't necessarily a new evil to those who live in Europe, Asia or the Middle East, but for us, our security was shattered," Mader said. "We have not yet restored the breach that this evil broke through and healed all the wounds, but perhaps this 10th anniversary gives us the opportunity to dedicate ourselves to the visions of our great faith traditions.

"All the great faith traditions have a vision of a world without war, a world without hunger and a world that lives in peace, harmony and foregiveness. Even though we can't undo the past, we can impact the future."

Dick and Linda Smith of Chelsea, who were driving their classic hot rod through Dexter and stopped to attend the ceremony, said its hard to believe 10 years have passed since Sept. 11.

"I feel we as a country have lost some of our freedoms and some of our innocence," Dick Smith said. "I like to believe we're a little safer, but you can't take anything for granted. The terrorists are finding new ways to infiltrate our country and I just hope they don't succeed. You feel a little safer in these rural communities, but there are no guarantees."

Linda Smith said she recalls the morning of Sept. 11 as vividly as President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

"Every moment we have is precious," she said. "I don't think we should ever take our freedom for granted."

Parishioner John Oberg, who lived in Manhattan, NY. at the time of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, said seeing firefighters in his old neighborhood post photos of their fallen comrades was particularly moving.

"As I took my son around the old neighborhood this year to show him where he was born, station after station had photographs outside their building in a memorial to the fallen firefighters. It was quite moving to see," he said.

Mader said to honor the memories of the Sept. 11 victims, Americans should reach out to global communities who are suffering injustices daily.

"Children in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and even in our cities in the United States don't have enough food, shelter or health care," she said. "That is just one of the places where we can choose to extend ourselves and say 'Here I am, use me. We can choose to dedicate ourselves in this next decade to be part of the healing of creation that was broken 10 years ago."


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