State Capitol ceremony will mark Sept. 11 anniversary

by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter
The 10-year anniversary of 9/11 will be observed at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday, Sept. 11, in a two-hour public ceremony crafted by the Minnesota Council of Churches.
Sponsors look to “Minnesotans Standing Together” as a ceremony of remembering, healing and hope.
Gail Anderson, Minnesota Council of Churches, explained that the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in which 3,000 people died would “raise a lot of emotions.” And the event will be a chance for Minnesotans to come together and further heal, she said.
“I hope for something more at this event,” said Bishop Peter Rogness, head of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, speaking at a Capitol press conference Monday, Aug. 29.
Rogness looks to the event as a testament of American religious tolerance as people from many different faiths — bound by basic themes running through all religions — come together to remember. Rogness styled the event “a teaching moment.”
Although organized by the religious community, “Minnesotans Standing Together” is not meant to be wholly a religious gathering.
A variety of political leaders, including Gov. Mark Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson and others are expected to attend. Dayton and a few others will deliver speeches.
Live music performances will highlight the event — music ranging from hip hop to the music by American composer Aaron Copland played by a 20-piece string orchestra.
Larger than life puppets, operated by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, will be featured as well as the Holly’s Stage Dance youth dance company from Lakeville. Many other events, including poetry readings, will take place.