Religious Leaders Mourn Victims And Laud Rescuers

"My thoughts turn in gratitude to the police, firefighters and volunteers who are reaching out to save lives and to help the injured, and those in mourning try to put their lives back together," said Rabbi Goldwasser. So many police and firefighters have risked and even lost their own lives try to save others. Who knows how many hopes and dreams were destroyed? My heart goes out to all of the people who have suffered the loss of loved ones," the rabbi added.
Rev. Joseph M. Hoffman, pastor of the Church of St. Bartholomew in Elmhurst, who said evil came from the misuse of human freedom, called for a reduction in violence in the U.S.
"Evil persons decided to make violent choices," he said. "The consequences of violence is simply more of the same.
"We must learn from this in order to work at reducing violence in our own society, our own homes and families, as well as try to reduce violent forms of entertainment."
The Rev. Msgr. Anthony F. Sherman, pastor of the St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church, pointed out, "There is a keen awareness of our solidarity with all other people in this moment of crisis. The prayer is intense for those who died, those who are missing, and those engaged in the live-saving endeavor."
But the pastor cautioned:
"We also intently pray that our hearts not be overtaken by the spirit of vengeance that characterizes so much of the world today.
"It is precisely this spirit of vengeance that has touched our shores, and to embark down the path of vengeance can only lead us to destruction."
Rev. Marcello J. Latona, pastor of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Whitestone, said: "As a people who from the beginning of our country have had a constantly changing face, we have met the enemy and we will not succumb. The people of America who…sought refuge on our shores, will not allow tyranny and oppression to take charge."
The pastor added, "The people of New York and all over the country have truly pulled together." But he also warned, "A hideous shadow threatens us, the shadow of people who discriminate, blame the innocent and take a vigilante attitude to satisfy their own frustrations."
Rev. Latona asked that the countrys priorities not be "hampered by self interest, but that our priorities will be for those in need of consolation, assistance, support and hope."
He asked that "we continue to put our differences aside and live the ideals on which our founders based our country."
Rabbi Jacob Nasirov of Congregation Anshei Shalom, Jamaica Estates, said, "If we dont work to stop terrorism now, there is no way of knowing what nightmare may lie in our future." He urged the support of the President.
"It is through this great loss we must realize that the roots of all terrorism must be stopped by any measures," the rabbi said.
Irving Mendelson, president of Congregation Beth Israel in Richmond Hill, said he hoped the deaths of the victims "inspire us to unite with other nations to establish world righteousness and good will and thus make this a better and happier world for all."
He concluded: "May the sacrifices and suffering of the American people teach us the need for harmony and good will and help us remove prejudice and hatred between man and man, between people and people."

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