Friday, September 16, 2011

9/11 Part Two -- In the City

Going to the city to observe the 10th anniversary gave me closure. On Friday, I covered an event where Broadway casts gathered to sing "New York, New York." It was nice to see the flag flying in Times Square. Operatic Daniel Rodrigues sang a rousing rendition of "God Bless America."
Bebe Neuwirth and Brian Stokes mitchell leads casts of Broadway shows in a rousing rendition of New York New York.
Ben Vereen and some of New York's firefighters.
Daniel Rodrigues, who sang "God Bless America."

On Saturday, I participated in the Hand-in-Hand event, where thousands of people joined hands around the waterfront at Battery Park to remember those lost. I joined hands with a woman who had been working on wall Street 10 years ago and who had a front row seat to witness the planes striking the Twin Towers. The visions of people jumping to their deaths will haunt her forever. Looking out at the Statue of Liberty, we were able to share our grief and join hands for those who no longer can.

Sunday, I joined crowds at Ground Zero while the official ceremonies took place. Pedestrian traffic was limited by barricades, and I was stopped for the presidential motorcades. I attended service at Trinity Wall Street, where the message was "Remember to Love," given by The Rev. Dr. James Herbert Cooper. Cooper, who had been pastoring in Florida during the attacks, shared a personal story about families there who were touched by the tragedy. One family lost a daughter in the towers and her remains still have not been recovered. Her mother told Cooper she was glad when Cooper was named rector of Trinity Wall Street, because she believes her daughters ashes rest in the church yard.
The choir perfomed a very stirring renditon of "Amazing Grace." Isn't this hymn just perfect for every occasion, perhaps because of the simple truth of its message? When I left the service, the reading of the names was just concluding. The buildings going up at the site rise up from the pit and challenge us to look to the heavens, whence cometh our help.

The world has changed a lot in the last 10 years. God remains the same.
-- Lauren Yarger

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light ( and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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