Service focuses on healing nation

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Lincoln Countians joined people across the country to pray forhealing Tuesday following terrorist attacks in Washington D.C. andNew York.

Citizens and courthouse employees packed the government complexlobby for a prayer service at noon.

“If there was ever a time when in this country when we need theLord, it is today,” said Tillmon Bishop, chancery clerk.

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If Tuesday’s attack wasn’t the worst in U.S. history, it was inthe top two with Pearl Harbor,” Bishop said.

“We need to pray for all the people up there,” Bishop said.

Others at the courthouse expressed their thoughts of shock andhorror at Tuesday’s attacks. They also recalled other tragedies inthe U.S.

“I’m just appalled. It’s so sad,” said Shirley Harris, ofBrookhaven. “It brings back a lot of memories.”

Harris mentioned the federal building bombing in Oklahoma Cityseveral years ago. She said she got “cold chills” thinking abouthow some could inflict such tragedies with no respect for humanlife.

“It makes you say, ‘What is this world coming to,'” Harrissaid.

Elsewhere in Brookhaven, Exchange Club members put out U.S.flags on Brookway Boulevard and lowered to half-staff its largeflag at the West Cherokee Street and boulevard intersection. Manyother flags around town were lowered and several homes also put theflags out in support of tragedy victims.

Some church doors were open for those who wanted to come in ontheir own to pray and for quickly-called prayer services. Otherservices were planned for Wednesday, the traditional prayerservices night for many churches.

Bishop expressed faith that the many prayers going up from thecourthouse and elsewhere would be answered.

“Sometimes we feel like our prayers are feeble and weak,” Bishopsaid. “But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears andnot the one who speaks, all prayers make a difference.”

At Brookhaven Academy, the attacks were discussed duringTuesday’s mid-morning assembly with junior high and high schoolstudents. A prayer service was held for victim and the country’sleaders.

“We also talked about freedom and responsibility,” said BAHeadmaster Dan Boyce.

Boyce said he met with upper elementary students while highschool principal Ray Ishee met with those students. Boyce said thehigh school students understandably had a better grasp while theelementary students were more inquisitive.

“Overall, I think the students handled it very well,” Boycesaid.

County and city school officials monitored the situationclosely, superintendents said.

“I know each school was keeping up with the news, they hadtelevisions in the libraries and were aware of what was happening,”said Lincoln County School Superintendent Perry Miller.

In Brookhaven, Superintendent Sam Bounds said school leaders ingrades K through 6th handled the attacks in a low key manner whileseventh and eighth grade students were allowed to watch some of thenews through their Channel One television service. Because ofconstruction, high school students were unable to do that, but theywere aware of the situation, Bounds said.

Bounds said students were allowed to ask questions about whatwas going on, but school officials did not make any announcementsof the attack.

Parents were allowed to pick up their children and not have itcount as an absence, but there was no move to close schools. Boundssaid schools had a few calls and a small number of parents pickedtheir children up.

Bounds complimented teachers and students on their handling ofTuesday’s incident.

“I feel like they handled it in a very mature manner, as well asany of us can handle it in a situation like this,” Bounds said.