Over 100 people came to the Lehighton Park Amphitheater on a hot and humid Wednesday evening for a September 11th Service of Remembrance sponsored by LIFE Lehighton Interfaith Fellowship.
"I was living in New York at the time. I went through it. It's definitely something that stays with me," said Rose Marie Austin of Lehighton. "I think it's important for Americans to remember and pray for peace in the world so that something like that never happens again."
"It's so important for everyone to remember all of those innocent people who lost their lives on that terrible day," added Ed Kroboth of Lehighton.
Following the singing of the national anthem by Paul VanOsten of Peoples Evangelical Congregational Church, Shirley Stamm of First Presbyterian Church welcomed everyone and offered the opening prayer.
Directed by Robert Fatzinger of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, the choir for the service was made up of singers from various churches from throughout the Lehighton area.
Scripture readers included William Lester of First Presbyterian Church and Austin of SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church.
"Like a hot branding iron upon the flesh, the events of September 11th have been seared into our memories into our hearts and souls leaving a scar that will forever remind us of that tragic day," said Rev. Anthony Pagotto, pastor of Dinkey Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, during his keynote address.
"But rather than those scars being a harsh reminder of evil, hate, and violence, I pray those scars may be transformed into symbols of endurance, character, and hope."
With the mantra "Let us not forget," Barry Shupp of Zion United Church of Christ reverently tolled the bell for those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 the World Trade Center and Flights 11 and 175; the Pentagon and Flight 77; Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Flight 93; the War on Terror; and the first responders.
Rev. Kenneth Ogden, pastor of People's Evangelical Congregational Church, led the Litany from "9/11." Written by Gabe Huck, with music by Gregg Smith, it was commissioned by Saint Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in New York City.
Rev. Michael McGowan, pastor of Ben Salem United Church of Christ offered the benediction.
The planning committee for the September 11th Service of Remembrance consisted of Austin; Robert Fatzinger of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church; Mary Fay Levendusky of All Saints Episcopal Church; Shirley Radler of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church; and Stamm.
Special acknowledgments were extended to the Borough of Lehighton; Lehighton American Legion Post 314; Boy Scout Troop 82 for its assistance throughout the service; Kenneth Leffler of Zion United Church of Christ; Beverly Mills of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church; and Kitty Bartholomew.
"It's important to never forget those who died in that senseless, cowardly attack," said Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig.