September 11, 2011


This morning the Austin Fire Department held their annual 9/11 Ceremony at the Buford Tower near our building. About 100 people attended. Members of the Austin Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps played during the ceremony. Congressman Lloyd Doggett spoke, along with Austin City Council member, Mike Martinez. Both praised the ongoing work of the local fire departments in battling the recent wildfires here.


Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr and members of her department read the names of the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11, followed by the names of Austin firefighters and retirees who died during the past year. 

This afternoon Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) sponsored a memorial service at First Baptist Church on Trinity Street. Several hundred people attended. The theme, “A Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Strangers,” comes from a Victor Hugo quote: “Great perils have this beauty; that they bring to light the brotherhood of strangers.”
Clergy from Christian, Jewish, Islam. Muslim, and Hindu traditions participated in the readings and reflections. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell also spoke. The First Baptist Choir sang Prayer of St. Francis and musician Grant Hudson performed Into the Fire, which was written by Bruce Springsteen after 9/11.
Our bulletins contained an insert sheet with a unique list of names of those who died on 9/11. At three times during the service, each of us simultaneously read five names from our sheet aloud.
The memorial service ended with a prayer to “carry the peace and the unity of this moment forward in our hearts and in our hopes.”

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