'Love is the ultimate force': Roselle church hosts Sept. 11 memorial ceremony

  • Rev. Zaki L. Zaki prays with Roselle Police and others gathered for a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday.

    Rev. Zaki L. Zaki prays with Roselle Police and others gathered for a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • People wearing masks are reflected in the glass of the vestibule where organist Karen Mazza plays during a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday.

    People wearing masks are reflected in the glass of the vestibule where organist Karen Mazza plays during a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Roselle Police officers are in front of people gathered for a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday.

    Roselle Police officers are in front of people gathered for a memorial observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Roselle United Methodist Church Friday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/11/2020 3:10 PM

Pause. Reflect. Honor.

That was the purpose of a brief service held Friday afternoon outside Roselle United Methodist Church in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the Rev. Zaki L. Zaki, senior pastor.

 

Zaki talked about being called to ground zero in New York City to serve with other pastors from around the country after the attacks, which destroyed the twin 110-story towers at the World Trade Center.

"I remember to this day the message on a billboard near the site. It said 'Fear is not the ultimate force in the world today, love is.' It was very overwhelming," he told the gathering of 18 residents and seven police officers on the Roselle church's lawn. "We wept together."

While maintaining social distancing guidelines, community members gathered on the church's front lawn to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died on that fateful day 19 years ago.

They prayed for the officers who were in attendance. They prayed for the victims' surviving families. They prayed for communities both locally and globally. They prayed for the protection of first responders.

They prayed for peace.

Zaki said he hoped attendees walked away with a key message: Though fear may be at work among them, "love is the ultimate force."

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