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Mayor Bloomberg Include Prayer on 9/11

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On Sunday, September 11, 2011, America will pause to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the most horrific terrorist attack our nation has ever seen. We will remember those who lost their lives, celebrate the heroism of those who risked their lives to save others that day, and pray for the families who are still dealing with the horror of 9/11 to this day.

Mayor Bloomberg's decision to exclude clergy of any faith and prayer from the 9/11 memorial is now drawing considerable criticism. As Jordan told you last week, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has called on Mayor Bloomberg in include prayer on the anniversary of 9/11.

It is critical that we take a stand in defense of prayer at this event. Public prayer does not cause a constitutional crisis.

As I wrote in my recent article for the USA Today:

Even the Supreme Court acknowledges our religious heritage. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor put it this way: "It is unsurprising that a nation founded by religious refugees and dedicated to religious freedom should find references to divinity in its symbols, songs, mottoes, and oaths."

Not only is it deeply rooted in the history and tradition of America to publicly pray at important times as a nation, it is particularly appropriate for this solemn occasion. As I discussed in my recent interview on the Sean Hannity radio program, the first recorded fatality of 9/11 was a Catholic firefighter chaplain who was praying with and for victims of this tragedy when the World Trade Center collapsed.

What could be a more appropriate way to honor the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow citizens that day, than with prayer? That is why the ACLJ is preparing to send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg urging him to permit prayer at the 9/11 anniversary memorial service. I encourage you to join the thousands of Americans who have already taken a stand, and sign the letter to Permit Prayer at the 9/11 Anniversary today.

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