Despite New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the importance of including prayer at the official event at Ground Zero, the fact is that prayer and Scripture played an integral part of this solemn and sacred remembrance – and for that we are grateful.
As you know, nearly 40,000 Americans stood with us in signing a letter to Mayor Bloomberg supporting prayer and urging him to reverse his ban on prayer permitting religious leaders to take part. He did not rescind his ban, but that did not stop prayer for taking place.
In his remarks at Ground Zero, President Obama read Psalm 46. Former President George W. Bush, who presided over the U.S. reaction to the 9/11 attacks, read from a letter written by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 to a mother who lost five sons during the Civil War. Lincoln ended the letter saying, “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” And former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani read from Ecclesiastes.
President Obama, former President Bush, and former Mayor Giuliani – understood the importance of including prayer in their remarks – prayer for those who are still suffering from the nation’s worst terrorist attack – prayer for our nation.
Too bad Mayor Bloomberg didn’t get it.