(this was the Editorial that I wrote for our local newspaper on Friday)
Ten years ago, a WWII veteran sat in his darkened garage listening to the radio accounts of what was happening in NYC and Washington, DC. This reporter was there to ask him what his thoughts were and he shared, “I never thought I’d live to see the day that our shores would be under attack again. It’s like Pearl Harbor all over again – so many innocent lives lost. God help us.”
Ten years ago America was knocked to her knees by a cowardly group of terrorists. Many in this country joined together in prayers to God whether they were Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever religious orientation they were. We are a nation that has built our foundation upon a belief in a higher power and have even pledged our trust to God on our currency. If you do not believe this then pull a dollar bill out and read the words, “In God we Trust.” The Pledge of Allegiance states that we are “One Nation, Under God.”
On the eve of this tragic anniversary, the Mayor of NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has issued a somewhat controversial decision that there will be no formal prayers at this year’s tenth anniversary ceremonies. The mayor’s spokesperson has stated that rather than disagree over which religious leaders to invite, none will be invited.
I signed a petition along with 60,000 others and it was handed over to the Mayor’s office but he will not change his mind. The Mayor just won’t budge – there will be no prayer during the 911 ceremony.
You can watch the video of the deliverance of the petition on the steps of the Mayor’s office here.
This is not the time to ban prayer. It was the fiber that wove many differing affiliations together during a time when togetherness was a necessity in picking up the pieces of our broken hearts. We sought to seek comfort in a Higher Power because we felt powerless. We prayed to the God of the Universe because the world suddenly seemed lopsided. If you lost a loved one on that September morn, you knew that somewhere there were thousands and thousands of Americans praying for you that day and in the days to come. Prayer helped to heal a nation that was badly wounded.
Instead of banning prayer, the Mayor could suggest that anyone who didn’t want to pray, didn’t have to do so. There is still free will in this country and instead of catering to a select few, the Mayor should remember the foundational roots of our nation. We are One Nation Under God.
Mayor Bloomberg needs to reconsider that this is not the time for a ban on God.