10 years

I heard so many people say in recent days that they did not want to read or hear anything else about 9/11.

It’s understandable. The media saturation point was reached days before the actual anniversary, it seemed.

And yet, so much of what took place Sunday was truly moving.

I didn’t work yesterday, but I went with my wife and kids to Westchester County’s anniversary program at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla. It took place under “The Rising” memorial.

I’ve been to the Dam many times, especially when my boys were of “playground age.” So it was kind of eerie to hear the quiet when we arrived, even 20 minutes or so before the ceremony.

You could hear individual crickets in the trees despite hundreds of people waiting.

The ceremony was just right. Not too long. Respectful. Focused on the 123 county residents who were lost.

Several relatives of the victims, including a few young kids who were babies on 9/11, read the names of the victims. At that point, I think, the whole 9/11 commotion finally made sense to my kids.

Rob Astorino and Ken Jenkins offered tasteful and insightful comments on the day. There was some talk of the evil that we witnessed on 9/11 and, really, who could disagree.

The Rev. Adolphus Lacy, pastor of Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Peekskill, said a prayer. We all held hands and sang Amazing Grace. Then we went home to think some more about something we haven’t been able to get off of our minds for ten solid years.

How to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11

We are days away from the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the media coverage is swelling each day.

I didn’t think that I would want to read tons of remembrances, analyses and essays. After all, what is left to say? But I can’t stop reading the stuff.

New York magazine’s “Encyclopedia of 9/11” — available on-line — is particularly good.

The religion world is, of course, quite focused on the anniversary. On my desk at the moment I have Christianity Today (“The Gospel at Ground Zero: The horrors of 9/11 were not unlike those of Good Friday”) and Guideposts (“9/11 Survivors: Journeys of Faith”).

I’m also looking at a new book — “Life is Too Short: Stories of Transformation and Renewal After 9/11″ — by Wendy Stark Healy, former communications director for Lutheran Disaster Response of New York.

On Sunday, I contributed a profile of Dr. Mahjabeen Hassan, a Westchester plastic surgeon and a Muslim who has spent the last decade talking to people and groups about Islam.

What else? The AP’s fine religion writer Rachel Zoll interviewed Cardinal Egan about his experiences on 9/11. The article has gotten a lot of play. You can read it here.

Tomorrow night (Sept. 8), the Upper Room, a group of progressive Catholics from the New Rochelle area, will hold an “evening of prayer” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Province Center Chapel, 1338 North Ave. in New Ro.

On Sunday, Archbishop Dolan will celebrate a Memorial Mass at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He will then celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Church, across from Ground Zero, at 12:30 p.m.

Also on Sunday, there will be an interfaith memorial service at Lyon Park in Port Chester at 4 p.m. It’s at Putnam Avenue and King Street.

Also on Sunday, Unity Made Visible, a 7-year-old interfaith group based in Bedford Hills, will hold a program of “music and uplifting messages.” It will be from 4 to 5:30 at Fox Lane H.S. Coordinator Paul Storfer said: “For too long, we have witnessed 9/11 being used as a rallying cry for those who preach divisiveness and intolerance. On the upcoming 10th anniversary of this tragedy, we at Unity Made Visible want to take this day back and turn it into an opportunity for unity, compassion, education, and understanding.”

It’s hard to understand why Mayor Bloomberg chose to exclude clergy-led prayers from the main commemoration on Sunday morning. Apparently, there will be spiritual readings and moments of silence. But why not include a priest, minister and rabbi — and maybe an imam?

One observer, Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center who researches religious liberty, told AP that Bloomberg may have wanted to avoid the question of inviting a Muslim representative.

While some national voices have spoken out against Bloomberg’s decision, New York’s religious leaders haven’t had much to say. In fact, Archbishop Dolan told NY1 that he spoke with Bloomberg about it and was okay with the way things are going.