Baker’s Sept. 11 ceremony to mark year anniversary
It's just going to be a 10-minute ceremony, but Ira DeSpain wants it to be a meaningful 10 minutes.
"It's a simple 10-minute ceremony of silence, prayer and music," the Baker University campus minister said. "I want us to acknowledge that our world has changed, grieve that change, come to grips with it and live through that change."
DeSpain will be leading a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony next Wednesday in front of Osborne Chapel to mark the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place between 8:50 and 9 a.m., the approximate time the first building of the World Trade Center collapsed.
He said he thought 10 minutes was an appropriate amount of time for the simple service.
"I wanted the event to be intense and to be focused," he said. "Sometimes the intensity of the event is watered down by making it a bigger production."
The ceremony, which will not only include aspects of the Jewish and Christian prayer traditions, but Islamic prayer traditions as well, is for a time of reflection and remembrance, DeSpain said.
"It's important to think back on days of those kinds of destruction with hope and prayer that it would never happen again," he said.
The terrorist attacks, DeSpain said, marked the "death of innocence" and the U.S. is not the same country it was a year ago.
"Sept. 11 last year, from my perspective, changed the world I lived in," he said. "In some form or other, right now we are a nation at war.
"It's very easy to pretend it doesn't exist," he said. "But denying it doesn't mean it's going to go away."
DeSpain said the ceremony will be a good opportunity for people to not only remember the heroes of Sept. 11, but those victims that were "there by circumstance."
"It's important to remember those people," he said.