Cherokee County citizens gathered for a countywide patriotic service recently to remember the thousands of lives who were lost and touched by recent terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The half-hour service, held on the Cherokee County Courthouse lawn, included a time of prayer, song and reflection.
Cherokee County Commission Chairman Phillip Jordan read a proclamation, which was signed by the mayors and council members of all municipalities in Cherokee County designating Monday, Sept. 17, as a day of prayer in Cherokee County.
“These brutal acts caused death and injury to thousands of innocent American citizens,” said Jordan. “I believe the heart of every true American has been touched by the senseless taking of innocent lives. Never in my life have I witnessed our great nation come together as we have in the last seven days. Last Tuesday morning, just like you and I, those who lost their lives were going about their normal routine. Throughout the days that have followed the death and injury of so many of our fellow citizens our nation and our communities have united in prayer for those who died or were harmed. Just as we rely on prayer for strength and renewal in private life, so should we turn to it in times of crisis in our public life and for our country.”
Jordan then presented the proclamation, which urged citizens to join together in prayer throughout Cherokee County.
“Let us join together in factories and on farms, in homes and in offices, in places of work and places of worship,” said Jordan as he read the proclamation. “Let us call upon Almighty God to provide comfort and peace to the families and friends of those who lost their lives last Tuesday, not only for the victims who died or were injured as a direct result of these acts, but also for the families and friends of the law enforcement officers, firemen, emergency medical responders and volunteers who lost their lives in an attempt to help their fellow man. Let us pray for families and friends of those who are missing. Let us pray for a healing touch for those who were injured. Let us pray for the families and friends of those who are missing. Let us pray for our nation for strength to overcome such a tragedy, for guidance and wisdom and courage for our leaders in confronting the days that lie ahead. Let us pray that every nation in the world may see and know that no matter how many times you wound us or how many times you knock us down, by the Grace of our Almighty God, these United States of America will get up again.”
Dr. Mark Green, pastor of Exie Congregational Holiness Church, then led in prayer, giving thanks for the many blessings that we have in this country and remembering the many who lost their lives or were injured as a result of this latest tragedy. Dr. Green, in his prayer, asked for guidance for the leaders of this country as they deal with this situation.
He also prayed for patience and understanding.
“Lord we know we have many questions in our minds and in our hearts,” said Dr. Green. “But Your Word teaches us that Your ways are so much higher than our ways and your thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts that we simply beseech your holy name today and ask you to give divine mercy and divine justice. And Father, as the frost covers the earth on a cold, winter morning, we ask that Your mercy and Your grace would be shed upon America.”
Rev. Steve Baccus, pastor of Cedar Bluff United Methodist Church, shared a prayer and a few words from the late President of the United States Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address “as he came to dedicate a cemetery and “re-dedicate a nation” on the values upon which it was founded.” Some of the passages were as follows:
“Almighty merciful and loving God, in Your sight, nations rise and fall and pass through times of peril. Now when our land is troubled, be near to judge and to save. Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
“May our leaders be led by Your Wisdom, may they search Your Will and see it clearly. If we have turned from Your ways, reverse our ways and help us to repent. Give us Your Light and Your Truth and let them be our guide. Lord in your mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
“We give thanks to You oh God that those who died in Christ live and reign with You forever. As a great cloud of witnesses, they surround us with their blessings and offer You hymns of praise and thanksgiving. They are live forever more Lord in your mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
And now, oh God, we ask that You be with us always. Help us to seek Your face, bless us and help us to fight a good fight of faith. Let us be dedicated to the great task before us that we here highly resolve that those who have died shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
As part of the program, Alana Allen, music consultant for the Cherokee County School System, sang two patriotic tunes, God Bless The U.S.A. and God Bless America