MOMENT OF SILENCE: a scheduled time of prayer or contemplation

moment of silence

For some it may be a time of prayer.  For others it is simply a respectful moment in time when all becomes quiet and the ability to remember becomes real.   It doesn’t really matter what definition you bring to it.   It is meant to be a time when individuals become a community in respecting the sacrifice of those who have died or been injured.

Throughout the nation today (and maybe even the world) people are stopping what they are doing to remember the sacrifices made on September 11, 2001.  On that beautiful Fall day in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, thousands of Americans were killed in a terrorist attack which numbed the world. And thousands more were injured, their wounds serving as a daily reminder of the horrible events of that day.  It is not a day or a time which will soon fade into history without being acknowledged.

In attempts to honor and recognize all sorts of traditions, the Moment of Silence is enacted and respected.   Athletes doff their caps and bow their heads.   Military units salute and dip their flags.   School children try not to wiggle or squirm.   Business men and women and homeless people who wander the streets stand next to each other.  Clergy and politicians refrain from waxing eloquent.

There is something both sacred and profane about the Moment of Silence.   It reminds us that in the “silence of our hearts” words need not be spoken to articulate our grief, pride, and resolve.  But it also serves as a reminder that we live in a world in which horrible things happen which shock us back into the reality of evil.


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