Knights Declare Sept. 11 a 'World Day of Prayer for Peace'
The Knights of Columbus called on all people of faith to observe Sept.11, 2006, as a "World Day of Prayer for Peace." The Knights began observance of a World Day of Prayer for Peace in 2004 with a resolution passed at the Order’s annual convention.
A full page ad in the New York Times on September 11 brought a simple message to more than a million people with the words: "September 11th: A day to pray for peace and those working to achieve it."
"As we pray for peace on Sept. 11, we not only honor the memory of those who were killed that day five years ago, but also in a special way all the brave men and women of the military who have sacrificed so much, even their very lives, to bring about true peace rooted in justice," said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson "Faced with a situation in the Middle East where peace seems ever more elusive, now more than ever we must 'implore from God the precious gift of peace' as Pope Benedict has encouraged all believers to do."
The Knights of Columbus was one of the first organizations to provide financial assistance to the families of the fallen emergency personnel. Within two days of the attacks in 2001, the Knights began providing checks of $3,000 – for immediate needs – to family members of emergency workers who lost their lives in the attacks, regardless of their religious affiliation. Ultimately more than $1.49 million was disbursed – with a minimum of red tape – to wives and children of police, fire and other emergency workers. Recipients would later receive a second check for more than $500.
The Knights has marked each subsequent anniversary of 9/11 with special events. In 2002, a memorial Mass was held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. to honor and pray for those killed. In 2003, a September 11 exhibit was unveiled at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. And since 2004, the Knights of Columbus has called on its members and all people of faith to recognize the day as the "World Day of Prayer for Peace."