On Friday 10th September 2021, pupils congregated in Chapel for the memorial sermon of the 9/11 attacks, 20 years on. School Chaplain, Rev. Canon Brynn Bayman, delivered the following poignant sermon, which remembers all those who were involved in the harrowing events of the day itself, as well as those who have been involved in the subsequent Afghanistan wars.
By: Rev. Canon Brynn Bayman, School Chaplain
It was a sunny Tuesday in a boarding school in Berkshire. I had dashed home to get changed to coach my U15 rugby team. We had had one training session the Thursday before, but we were all buzzing and gearing up for the new term.
While changing, I was watching the midday news and happened to notice what looked like a plane flying into a building in New York. The presenters were aghast…confused, terrified and speechless. But I had a job to do and the U15 team were waiting… little did I realize in that hour that we trained, on Tuesday 11 Sep 2001…the world would change forever.
Today, we mark the 20th anniversary of that day. A day that took place before nearly every one of you in this chapel were even born. But a day that we remember today in chapel because even though this chapel is your chapel, it is also a place to honour others and remember and pray for those who have gone before.
As we enjoy the freedoms of Framlingham College, let us remember that:
- On the 11.9.2001… some 3000 people lost their lives as three planes crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, including over 400 firefighters. You may even know a person that was involved in that fateful day. Today we remember them.
- It was also because of that day that the USA and many other countries including the UK have been at war with these terrorists for 20 years. A war that cost the lives of over 50,000 civilians and 454 of our soldiers. Today we remember them and their bravery. And because of their bravery and sacrifice, we continue to enjoy our freedom and security from terrorism.
- Today, we also hold in our prayers the many citizens of Afghanistan, those who have had to flee for their lives and those left behind. Those who have suddenly started to fear for their lives and lost their freedoms – as woman, as free thinkers, as Christians.
But as we pray, as we remember… we take hold of God’s promise of Shalom. Shalom is that Hebrew word that we often interpret as peace. But it is a word that means so much more than that. It describes a place of personal wellbeing….”be still and know that I am God’. It is a word that represents harmony in a community, a family, a nation. Today, we pray for that shalom.
Pray for Afghanistan and America
O God of mercy and of peace,
We hold before you the peoples of Afghanistan.
Be living bread to those who are hungry each day
Be healing and wholeness to those who have no access to health care.
Be their true home to all who have been displaced.
Be open arms of loving acceptance to those who fear because of their gender, ethnicity, religious or political views
Be peace to those engaged in armed conflict and those who live within its shadow.
We hold too, the Nation of America as they remember 9.11 – 20 years ago.
Be a source of comfort to those affected.
Be a source of support to the families in the UK who lost loved ones in the conflict.
Strengthen our hearts to step out in solidarity with your suffering people and
Hold us all in your unfailing love.
We pray for the coming of your shalom in our land.