September can usher in wonderful moments.  Families with school-aged children are in the midst of a new school year beginning.  That often entails new teachers and new classes.  It sometimes entails a new building to navigate.  Remember the first time you got your own locker?  Or had to switch classes and travel throughout the day to different rooms?  These little things were sometimes a big deal.

In my junior year, I had one tricky transition every day.  I needed to get from Sociology to AP U.S. Government and that meant navigating across my school.  We had around 1,200 students at Wadsworth High School when I attended (now there’s 1,600 students), and our school building was rather large.  My AP U.S. Government teacher (a rather gruff but loveable football coach in a neighboring school district) would often comment as I breezed into class as the bell rang.  He would tease me, “Saved by the bell, Lorincz.”  “Cutting it close there, Lorincz.”  “Almost late today, Lorincz.”  Because I would cross the threshold of his classroom right as the bell rang.  I was always conscientious and still don’t like being late to anything. 

One September day I needed to stop by my locker and rushed through the hallways to be on time to class.  The bell rang before I even entered Mr. Shepherd’s classroom, and I was prepared for his usual teasing.  Only this time, he looked sad and just told me to take my seat.  The TV was on and my classmates were staring mostly in stunned silence at the TV screen as we watched big plumes of smoke rising from the Twin Towers in New York City.  We wondered how this could have happened?  Then we watched the second plane hit.  When the bell rang to signal the end of that class period, our AP U.S. Government teacher softly said, “This is your generation’s Kennedy Assassination.”  His words didn’t fully register then, but they certainly do now. 

This year is the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001.  With everything happening in Afghanistan, these events may be especially on all of our minds this September of all Septembers.  We may need to take some time to think about where we were and how we felt.  We can remember.  We can honor those who died.  We can pray and work for peace.  May God bless you and keep you.

Pastor Lauren

A Prayer for the Fallen, from Rev. Ann Kansfield, a UCC Minister and New York City Fire Department Chaplain:

“We pray for the fallen. They are the ones we love so dearly and miss so deeply. We have entrusted them to you and ask you to continue to embrace them in your love. We don’t really have to tell you, God, since you already know. But we’ll say it again: the ones who have died and whom we entrust to your care are some of the best people — wise, brave, compassionate, joyful, whip-smart and really humorous. They are family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. They are your beloved children. 

We also pray for the crestfallen. This day marks a time of so much sadness and grief for so many. We ask for your care and comfort for the living. Remind us again and again that you are with us and you always have been.”*


Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash