Each year, Patriot Day is observed on September 11th in the United States as the National Day of Service and Remembrance in memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As the nation commemorates this day, taking time to remember and reflect now 21 years later, we share the prayer offered by two Popes during separate visits to the site of the attacks in New York. Pope Benedict XVI prayed it during his April 20, 2008 visit to Ground Zero and Pope Francis offered it again while at the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York on September 25, 2015.
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here–
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.