Baha'i News -- Clergy join Rowland in tribute to 9-11

Clergy join Rowland in tribute to 9-11

Register Staff
September 12, 2002

HARTFORD — Clergy from nine different faiths joined Gov. John G. Rowland Wednesday in calling upon the people of Connecticut to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11 in a spirit of compassion, caring, kindness, tolerance and hope.

"The greatest tribute that we can make to the people we remember today is to keep finding meaning in hope and love and in our faith," Rowland told about 900 people who gathered for an inter-religious memorial service at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hartford.

Rowland concluded his remarks with a poem he received in a letter from Denise Scott, wife of Randy Scott, one of the thousands who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The last line of the poem read: "For if you always think of me, I will never have gone."

"We will never forget you, Randy, we will never forget our loved ones," Rowland said.

The General Assembly marked the anniversary with a memorial service on the lawn of the state Capitol Wednesday morning. The names of the 149 victims who had lived in Connecticut were read, a solitary bagpiper played, and a replica of the Liberty Bell was rung to mark the moment when the hijacked jetliners struck each of the World Trade Center's twin towers.

State House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, called the first anniversary of the attacks a time "for tears, for prayer, for remembrance and to recognize the American spirit."

"This day will always be marked by sadness, but America will never forget the horror or the heroes of Sept. 11," Speaker of the House Moira K. Lyons, D-Stamford, added.

"Perhaps we lost our innocence on Sept. 11, but we didn't lose our values, our souls," Sullivan said.

David Lenihan of Marlborough, whose brother Joseph of Greenwich died in the New York attack, attended the ceremony with his mother, wife and son. Lenihan praised the ceremony and said that he and his family are determined to move on in the spirit of his brother, who had a special zest for life.

"I was glad to see that it was a very reverent and solemn affair, and I agree with about everything that was said," Lenihan said.

Two weeping beech trees were planted on the state Capitol lawn as a permanent memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attack.

The inter-religious prayer service was attended by state leaders of the Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Jainist and Bahai faiths.

Reza Mansoor, representing the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford, cautioned Americans to remember that "there is absolutely no connection between a religion and the devious actions of a misguided follower." He condemned the Sept. 11th attacks as "one of the most heinous and barbaric of acts."

Nirmal Singh, past president of the Connecticut Sikh Association and Sikh Gurdwara of Southington, also urged that Connecticut residents "not forget those who became victims of misplaced rage" following the terrorist attacks.


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