I took this photograph in July 2005 from the churchyard of St Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Wall Street.
The canopy you see in the distance overhangs the memorial fence that surrounded the World Trade Centre site at that time. To the left, the Millennium Hotel, which became one of the major triage points for people who were injured on the ground when the Twin Towers were destroyed. I’m standing to the left of the Bell of Hope, hung on the first anniversary of September 11th on behalf of the people of London, a gift from them to the people of New York. And through the trees, that vast expanse of cloudless blue, in a city where any glimpse of the sky should normally be blocked out by glittering towers of glass and metal.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center, St Paul’s became a refuge for the Ground Zero recovery workers. It was a place where they could go for rest, food, shelter, and healing.
It is a decade since that early autumn morning when time stopped and the world changed. James Cooper, the rector of Trinity Wall Street, asks today only that we remember to love. So. For the Reverend James, for the people of Trinity and St Paul’s, for the people of New York, for those who still work to bring justice and peace to our society, and in memory of all who died on that day and everyone throughout the world whose life has been lost to violence or extremism, we pray.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.