On Saturday, September 12, Holy Trinity Parish in Elmira Heights, NY solemnly commemorated the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, with a Service of Prayer and Blessing for First Responders.

Elmira Heights Firefighters and Police Officers joined parishioners in the church for the prayer service and a message of gratitude from the parish Rector, Father David Cowan, who remarked that our local first responders are remembered in the parish’s prayers during every Divine Liturgy. After the service, Father David, Deacon Michael Karney, and many altar servers and singers led the whole congregation outside, blessing the vehicles, equipment and officers with Holy Water.

The festivities concluded with the “return” of the Annual Parish Picnic, a time of fellowship sorely missed since 2019 because of the pandemic. A wonderful barbecue lunch was served to the first responder personnel, who enjoyed warm hospitality and thankful words offered by parishioners. Some of the guests shared what an emotional and uplifting experience it was for the parish to welcome them, “perfect strangers”, inside – to remember the fallen of September 11, 2001, and to show appreciation for their service.

(Submitted by Archpriest David Cowan)

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