Tragedy, Prayer, Memorial?

I got the recent honor of praying, in response to a certain 10-year-anniversary, at North Park’s 9/11 collegelife service and, the following Thursday, the Interfaith Service.

In response to all that, I cannot help but wonder why it is we pray to remember on the anniversary of a terrorist attack like 9/11, but we don’t pray even a word in response to today’s anniversary of a massacre of a similar magnitude. Maybe because it happened abroad, and we aren’t afraid of that ever happening to us. Then again, neither do we pray in response to a natural disaster on our own turf that wasn’t primarily a natural disaster but the revealing of structural racism and with a death toll similar to 9/11.

(I wrote another post about the anniversary of Katrina, but it never got past the draft stage. If you ask nicely, maybe I can e-mail it to you.)

Here’s the point I’m chewing on: we do not pray on these anniversaries because we would rather like to forget them.

But we do pray on the anniversary of 9/11 because we would rather like to remember, so we find the emotional rationale to afford overblown security measures and military responses, and find solace in the delusion that God has granted us a right to what we treasure so dear and lost so violently ten years ago.

(There is a comment section below, and it isn’t for praise.)

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Tragedy, Prayer, Memorial?

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