Dear Friends of Public Safety Ministries,
On September 11, 2011, I attended a Metro Wide, September 11th, Tenth Anniversary Memorial Event. It was a day long gathering, concluding with a memorial service, attended by our Governor, our US Senators, our Public Safety Commissioner, numerous law enforcement, fire service and emergency medical service leaders and personnel, as well as many members of our communities. Below is the benediction I offered at the conclusion of the memorial service, ending our day’s events. The message is also the foundation of a sermon I shared two days earlier at the funeral of Chief Donald Heikkinen of Hancock Minnesota. I have learned that in this business, much of what we do is in response to tragedy and death. The words I shared reflect some of the guiding principles of Public Safety Ministries. Thanks for taking the time to remember, to never forget, all that is good.
September 11, 2011
Minnesota, Metro Wide Public Safety Memorial Service
We pray to you today, for all people. I stand here in this gathering place as a Lutheran Pastor, a product of my family, my community, my culture and my faith traditions. But again I say, we pray today for all people. You have given us universal truths that we live with in this world. There always has been and always will be the truths of love and hate, peace and conflict, celebration and suffering, faith and fear, hope and despair, happiness and anger, compassion and brutality, joy and sadness, strength and weakness. The world is filled with what is good, and what is not. As families, as communities, as cultures and as faith traditions, we often want to take ownership and take credit for all that is good in this world. And we want to place blame and ownership of all that is not good on those who are different from us. Dear God, please bless us with the wisdom to understand that we all share in all of these truths, in what is good and what is not.
We are here today to remember, to never forget. As we remember the lives that have been lost, we will experience life’s truths of pain, sadness, despair and often anger. Help us heal from those very real truths that are products of loss and death. Help us move forward in pursuit of what is good in life. Help us to remember, not how these people died, but to remember how they lived. We must remember that they did not lose their lives, but that they gave their lives, through dedication to service, to care, to bringing compassion to conflict, to being human while bringing order to chaos. These were imperfect human beings, who rose to the challenge and brought what is good in this world into circumstances created by what is not. Please bless our memories of them. And please bless us, for we are them.
Now Dear God, please bless us and nourish us, in Body, Mind and Soul, with the gift of remembrance. Let us never forget, all you have given, All That is Good.
Pastor Dan Carlson
Public Safety Ministries