9/11 Memorial Ceremony & Ritual of Lighting
Posted on 09/12/2016
To strengthen our commitment to be people of hope and peace, the Bishop Ahr High School community gathered together on Sunday September 11th at 2 p.m. and Monday September 12th during homeroom to commemorate the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.

Approximately thirty people gathered at the Bishop Ahr Memorial Garden on Sunday, Sept 11th for the Memorial Prayer Service.  Those attending were reminded that as Christians, as Americans, we need to draw upon our faith to make this anniversary a time to remember, a time to deepen our commitment to discipleship, and a time to strengthen our active participation in efforts to build a more just and peaceful world.

Each prayer service was led by Father Keith Cervine, Sister Cynthia Marie and Deacon Rich Lutomski.  The service consisted of songs, prayers and a call to work for peace, justice and unity. During the service, the groups prayed that they might respond boldly to the Holy Spirit’s call to act together to end violence and racism.

At Sunday’s service, an American Flag was presented to Sister Donna by Master Sergeant Gary Pacciano of the United States Army.  Music was provided by Mr. TJ Reilly.  Senior Courtney McQuade played a reflective “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.  Taking part in the ritual of lighting was Mr. Nicholas Tonzola, moderator of the In Harms Way Club, current members and alumni of the BGA In Harms Way Club, Nick Tonzola Jr., and Sister Cynthia’s family members.    
On September 12th, members of the Student Council participated in the Ritual of Lighting.  Music was provided by Mr. Joseph Cullinan and members of the BGA chorus.  Senior Courtney McQuade played a reflective “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.

At both services, special mention was made of the three St. Thomas Aquinas/Bishop Ahr Alumni who died in the attacks on 9/11/01 – Mark Carney ’78, Patrick Dunn ’80 and Colleen Meehan ’93.  A bell was rung for each of the four places that were attacked on September 11th.  
The plaque at the base of the WTC beam is engraved with the following words:  On the morning of September 11, 2001 more than 3,000 people from over 50 nations were killed in the terrorist attacks on the WTC in NYC, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.  The beam before you was one of many that supported the Twin Towers at the WTC in NYC.  The structure was destroyed but not the spirit it represented.  Today we stand before this beam, we stand tall, we stand proud, and we will always stand one nation under God.

Article by Sr. Cynthia Babyak