Remembrance events help victims’ families and friends begin the healing process and promote recovery within the broader community. With this in mind, Voices of September 11th has organized interfaith services at Saint Paul’s Chapel and at Saint Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. The services are open to families, friends, responders and survivors. They include homilies from religious leaders, remarks from community leaders, healing music, and a candle-lighting service. The interfaith services serve to give comfort to those who are grieving, and also to provide an opportunity for members of the community to come together. This experience has been particularly meaningful for members of the 9/11 community. Although they may be scattered across the United States and even the world, members of the 9/11 community tell us that spending time with others who have experienced a similar loss is very important to them.
The Annual Luncheon brings together members of the 9/11 community who share a common bond of loss and resilience. In the days, months and years after 9/11, family members have come together to remember their loved ones lost on 9/11, to learn why our country was vulnerable to the attacks, and to advocate for change. Among the speakers was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who told the attendees, “Many of you turned your grief into a commitment on behalf of those you lost and on behalf of the nation that mourned with you.”
The luncheon program also includes a candle-lighting ceremony, an annual remembrance ritual that is both moving and healing. Musical performances by metropolitan area choirs provide an inspirational and reverent tone for this special event.