A rally and prayer ceremony called "The Foundation Stands" was held last week on a plaza alongside HUD's Kansas/Missouri State Office headquarters. Organized by HUD staff, it gave HUD employees and other building tenants an opportunity to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks, honor the Flag, and join in prayer for our nation and her leaders.
The event was scheduled over the lunch hour on Wednesday, September 19th. Employees gathered outside the HUD KS/MO State Office's building – at their local Oklahoma City Memorial – to sing, pray, and share their personal feelings about the September 11th terrorist attacks on America. The American Flag blew gently in the wind, reminding all the participants how our nation stands proud and tall and steadfast.
The crowd sang patriotic and spiritual songs, with HUD employee Vettra Williams lifting her voice and leading the group in "Amazing Grace," "My Country 'Tis of Thee (America),' "America the Beautiful," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Chaplin John Kreidler from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, North Central Regional Office, spoke at the event and others in the crowd also stood up to share their personal feelings about the attacks and what it meant to them.
A common theme of those who spoke was humility, and some spoke from their hearts of the need to seek and trust God. Many speakers reflected on the strength of our nation and likened the events of September 11th to and attack on symbols of our nation. They concluded that the terrorists may have attacked the superstructure, but they cannot destroy the foundation. It is the foundation of a nation built on faith and freedom and the spirit of the American People – and The Foundation Stands!
At the end of the ceremony, a suggestion was made for everyone to come together in a circle of prayer. The circle was a symbolic ending for this home-grown rally, and allowed all who sang, or prayed, or spoke – or just watched and listened to the event – to leave with a better understanding that they were all "one" as Americans.