MVC memorial service provides opportunity for prayer, remembrance

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Dry eyes became moist Wednesday evening as the Sept. 11 memorial service at Missouri Valley College progressed.

Focused on God and the questions "Where were you when ...?" and "Where are you now," about 400 people gathered at the Gregg-Mitchell Field to evaluate their lives and spiritual relationship.

"God knows our needs before we ask them," MVC Chaplain Tim Kiser said. "It's time to confess and receive the mercy of God."

The MVC Gospel Choir sang "Reach Out and Touch" and, asking God to strengthen Americans, Kiser led the group in prayer and rang a bell in memoriam.

Carl Gass, dean of humanics, then played "Taps" on his trumpet.

"This was a song to indicate to soldiers and let them know when it was safe to let down their guard," Gass said, explaining the symbolism of including the song in the service. "It told soldiers that the day was done and they could lay down their arms for the evening. It was time to rest."

Encouraging and comforting scriptures were read and a John Milton poem was recited by Stefani Deines, who stated that the healing process has taken many people a long time to go through. However, she reminded the crowd that the spirits of those who died during the attacks will live on.

"Their spirits will continue to be seen in the eyes of their children and in the souls of the American people," she said, adding those who died Sept. 11, 2001, will never be forgotten.

Throughout the service, Kiser read portions of the Bible, praying that those in attendance, as well as Americans as a whole, will humbly place themselves in God's care and trust him with their lives.

"Other events, their conclusions are there, already written down for us to study," he said. "But today, we are playing out history as we speak. ... Many ask, 'Where is God in all of this?' God is in the midst of this. For, you see, God doesn't destroy but God creates and it is through him that we deal with these events."

At the end of the service, a candlelight vigil provided time for individual and group prayer and a panel of pictures from the day of the attacks allowed people to have one more look and to remember what happened that fateful day one year ago in New York City and at the Pentagon.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: