Note: I wrote this prayer on the first anniversary of 9/11, posted it again on the 10th anniversary, and yet again on the 20th anniversary. The sentiments are still current, and I offer it again this year.
Eternal God, / Source and Creator of Life; / From the depths we have called to you / and we call to you again for courage, strength, and wisdom on this anniversary of our nation’s tragedy.
Grant us courage to confront our enemies. / Comfort those who stand alone without spouse, parent, brother, sister, or friend. / Open our hearts to them and to the children orphaned. / Enable us to love more deeply all children who suffer. / Accept with mercy our prayers of healing on behalf of the families of the victims / and on behalf of the first responders who became ill at Ground Zero and who eventually died as a consequence.
Despite the horror and tragedy of 9/11, / our country remains a shelter of peace, / a symbol of freedom / a beacon light of compassion and justice / to the downtrodden and oppressed of the world.
Strengthen the hands of our people to defend this country, our constitutional democracy / and our common values of freedom and justice. / Inspire our leaders and diplomats / to act wisely and to pursue peace everywhere in the world.
May we teach our children to learn and to think, / to consider and to reason, / to be courageous in thought and in deed, / and to nurture hearts of wisdom / that they may do battle against fear, hatred and bigotry / using weapons of the spirit and loving hearts.
We offer our prayers / on behalf of our country and government, our President and judiciary, / our officials and institutions, / our soldiers and citizens, / upon all who faithfully toil for the good of our country, / to preserve democracy in our land, / to advocate for civility between adversaries, / and to treat every human being as infinitely worthy and dignified / by virtue of being created b’Tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image.
Bestow upon us all the blessings of peace, / and may we live to see the day / when swords will be converted into plowshares / and nations will not learn war anymore. / Amen!