BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP)–Each of the 3,052 victims of Sept. 11 have been honored by a wooden cross by the staff and residents of the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes campus in Brentwood.
Children who are TBCH residents helped paint the crosses and place them on the grounds of the children’s home. Among the sea of white crosses are 343 red crosses representing the firemen who were killed in the attacks and 60 blue crosses representing the police and port authority officers who were killed. Eight yellow crosses represent the children who were killed.
The colored crosses were placed to form a cross in the middle of a giant cross fashioned with the white crosses.
“Our children and staff wanted to find a way to send that message of hope to our community and to the families and friends of those who lost their lives,” said Ivan Raley, TBCH regional vice president of the Middle Tennessee region.
The staff was scheduled to observe a memorial prayer service led by Raley at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the memorial site. Raley served as a chaplain in New York City following the Sept. 11 attacks and led the TCBH campus to develop the memorial.
“The message of the cross that stood at Ground Zero and the cross of Jesus Christ is still the same,” Raley said. “The message is the promise of eternal life.”
The response from the community has been positive, said Mary Costner, executive assistant to the TBCH president.
“People have been pulling their cars off the road and walking through,” she said. “You just get this feeling of ‘Wow, look how many people are gone.'”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: CHILDREN’S TRIBUTE and REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS.