Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Centenary Chaplain Betsy Eaves Addresses Service of Reflection on the Morning of Sept. 11, 2002

SHREVEPORT, LA -- The Rev. Betsy Eaves, chaplain of Centenary College of Louisiana, led a Service of Reflection at 7:30 a.m. today (9-11-02) in Centenary's Crumley Gardens as the campus community began a day-long commemoration of the terroist attacks on the United States one year ago.

The text of her remarks follows:

"September 11, 2001 began as an ordinary day.  Ordinary was short-lived.  As the events of the morning unfolded, most of the world stood frozen in shock and disbelief.  Our responses that day ranged from frustration to fear, from anxiety to anger.  We prayed.  We cried.  We called our children.  We called our parents.  We called our lovers.  We hung out flags. We went to church…some of us for the first time.
"For a moment, the world shared the deep pain of devastating human suffering and mourned the loss of innocent life. There were so many questions.  Why?  Who were these people?  Why do they hate us?  Where is Afghanistan?  What is Islam?  Who is Osama bin Laden?  What are the reasons for this?  Could we have prevented it?  Could it happen again?

"Today, as we reflect upon the events of a year ago, there is much to contemplate.  And just as our responses were different in the days that followed 9/11, so our responses are different today.  The questions that began to be raised then, have not all had easy answers.  And there are now new questions without easy answers.

"As we remember, it is my hope that we will be prayerful, that we will be contemplative, that we will be thoughtful and that we will continue to struggle as a human family for the answers to difficult questions.

"Many of us will surely be reminded today of how grateful we are for the privilege of living in a free land.  Let us also count the cost and responsibility of our freedom.

"We will certainly be mindful of the victims of the attacks.  Let us also be mindful of the thousands of people whose lives continue to be impacted by the events of that day.  The suffering of this world did not begin on Sept. 11, 2001, but perhaps its notoriety caused the world to share in such suffering and may open a door for the world to search together for a road toward healing.
"It is my hope that we will each look into our own hearts and to our God for those ways that we can reduce suffering, those places where we can bring light into the dark corners of bitterness and hatred, of ignorance and intolerance.

"As you go forth into this day, listen as the bells toll, hear the sounds of patriotism and faith.  Seek within yourself and with your God to continue to find answers to the difficult issues facing our world.

"Remember also the hopeful stories, the stories of kindness and the stories of uncommon courage.  Remember the strength of a nation.  Remember the efforts to bridge cultural, religious and national divisions.  Remember your faith.

"May we all remember.

"May we also learn and grow.

"And may we together seek a world in which the horror of Sept 11 is never again repeated anytime, anyplace, to any people.

"Crumley Gardens is designated today as a place of reflection.  You are invited to use it as you wish to reflect.

"Let us always Remember."

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