September 11, 2019

Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Opening Words: 

A warm welcome to all to this annual gathering in remembrance of 9/11.  It’s hard for me to believe that it was eighteen years ago.

Closest to home, we are here to remember the 14 Princetonians lost on that day, and whose names are carved into the bronze stars in the circle in front of us.

But we are here too to remember the almost 3,000 people who died on that Tuesday.

We remember the more than 6,000 US service members who have since died in the wars that have followed.

And we remember, too, the several hundred thousand people, in this country and others, who have died as an outcome of 9/11.

So let us pray for the dead.

Let us pray for those who will miss them forever.

And let us pray for ourselves, as we endeavor to live well

       For the dead,

       For each other,

       And for whatever we know to be holy.


9/11 Service of Remembrance

Rabbi Ira Dounn, Jewish Offering

It’s been 18 years.  18 years since the 9/11 attacks which we remember here today. 

In Jewish tradition, 18 is the number that signifies life.  Today we remember the lives of those who perished.  The nearly 3000 people who were killed on that day – including those onboard the flights, the people working in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the heroic and courageous first responders, and 14 Princeton alumni.  We honor them and do what we can to make the memory of their lives into a blessing. 

18 is also the age of many first-year students here at Princeton.  May these new students – on this first day of classes and for the rest of their lives – be inspired by the heroism, genuine care for others, and selfless love that marked so much of this day and the time after it.  May they dedicate their own lives “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity” – as so many heroes and extraordinary people exemplified 18 years ago today. 

Please join me in the recitation of the mourner’s kaddish in the honor and loving memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11:





May the one who makes peace in high places make peace for us and for every living being

May we be inspired to dedicate our lives to the service of our nation and all humanity. 

And let us say, amen. 

Imam Sohaib Sultan, Muslim Offering

A Prayer for Peace

The Qur’an states that “if you kill an innocent life it is as if you have taken the life of all of humanity; and if you save an innocent life it is as if you have the saved the life of all of humanity.” On September 11, 2001 humanity died a thousand deaths. And we continue to ever since.

So, let us pray for the ushering in of peace.

O Allah, O God. You are peace, from you is peace, so grant us, O Lord, peace from above, from below, from the east and from the west. O Allah make us peace! For You are the Majestic, the Bountiful One. 

Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Christian Offering

Dear God,

18 years ago, we declared that we would ‘Never Forget.’ As we watched our lives and the world change before our very eyes, with tears and broken hearts we said we would ‘never forget.’

Yet, 18 years later, we seem to have forgotten our united grief and pain. We have forgotten that strangers, of every background and hue, offered help, support, and lifted prayers to their God. We have forgotten that we all lost, though our losses may have been different. Nevertheless, in many ways, we have all forgotten.

So, today we pray that in your divine grace and wisdom that you will teach us how to live our lives differently,

to count our days as gifts,

to value our children, all children,

to see the humanity in each person,

to strive less for power, less control, and less force.

Finally, we pray that you forgive our hatred and greed,

Undo our anxiety;

Undo our arrogance;

Make us thirst and hunger for healing and righteousness . [1]

We pray this prayer, remembering the One who came in peace, lest we forget. Amen.

[1] Matthew 5:6

Matthew C. Weiner, Ph.D., Buddhist Offering

As a way of recalling and remembering, please allow your self to breath gently, we can all breath gently together for a few moments. 

Vineet Chander, Hindu Offering

svasty astu vishvasya khalah prasidatam

dhyayantu bhutani shivam mitho dhiya

manash ca bhadram bhajatad adhokshaje

aveshyatam no matir apy ahaituki

May the entire universe be blessed with peace and hope. May everyone driven by envy and enmity become pacified and reconciled. May all living beings develop abiding concern for the welfare of others. May our own hearts and minds be filled with purity and serenity. May all these blessings flow naturally from this supreme benediction: May our attention become spontaneously absorbed in the rapture of pure love unto the one transcendent Supreme Lord.

(Bhagavata Purana, Canto 5, Chapter 18, Verse 9)