Church holds 9/11 ceremony
Appeal Staff Writer
American flags led up the sidewalk to the front door of Capital Baptist Church on Tuesday. Inside, a picture of Saddam Hussein, an explosion and George W. Bush was taped to a display case.
The two men were holding phones to their ears, and the image of Hussein had a caption beside it.
“Can you hear me now?” it said.
The church, 4555 S. Edmonds Drive, hosted a ceremony called “Patriot Day: Remembering 9/11.” It’s slogan is “The Church that Cares.”
“The only agenda tonight is remembrance,” said church pastor Lary Rothchild in a speech to about 50 people. “It’s not about politics. It’s not about political platforms. This is about remembrance.
“It’s not about fixing blame,” he said. “This is just a pastor speaking his heart.”
The ceremony, about two hours long, also included speeches from law enforcement, patriotic songs from the church choir and a 9/11 video tribute.
Lee Elliott, ceremony coordinator and church choir director, said in an interview that the country needs to remember the terrorist attacks more often, as it did when it “came together as a nation under God” for several months after the attacks.
He said people who ignore what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and don’t think another attack like it could happen again are wrong.
“Extremists have been wanting to destroy our lives, Western (civilization) life, forever – since the Muslim religion came around,” Elliott said. “They want everyone to convert to them.”
“They’re after us,” he said. “They’re after the freedom of press, the freedom of religion, the freedom of choice.”
“To some of us,” he added, “it (9/11) was an attack on our heritage and our country for what we believe in.”
During the ceremony, Elliott led the choir in songs he said helped express his beliefs, which included “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “In God We Trust,” “God Bless America” and, as his solo, “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly.”
In his speech, the pastor said remembering 9/11 means, in part, remembering a time when honesty, citizenship, decency, courage, tolerance, freedom, morals and public service were common in America.
“Remembering 9/11,” Rothchild said, “is to remember a time when right was right and wrong was wrong and there was zero tolerance for treason regardless of … the contrived justification.”
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.