9/11 Floating Lanterns Buddhist/Interfaith Remembrance Ceremony

Photo sent to author from Rev. Nakagaki (origin and date unknown)

At 6 – 9pm at the South Side of Pier 40 (West Houston St. and West St.) Buddhist priest and Interfaith Center vice president T.K. Nakagaki will oversee the 10th Annual 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony. This service is both Buddhist in nature and open to all faiths. At its center is the traditional Japanses ceremony for the deceased. Rice paper lanterns are inscribed with the names, statements of support, poems or prayers, lit with candles, and then floated out to the river.

Rev. Nakagaki started the Floating Lanterns Ceremony in 2002. Other religious and community organizations soon joined in and continued the tradition year after year, inviting people of all beliefs to take part. 108 handmade lanterns were crafted by volunteers and will be lit and lowered into the Hudson River. 

Below is a schedule of events of for the night.

6:00pm Preparation of Lanterns
– writing loved ones’ names and/or messages for peace

6:30pm Interfaith Ceremony
– Interfaith Prayer and Meditation
– Music Performances
– Greetings and Messages
– Buddhist Chanting for 9-11 victims
 and 3-11 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami victims

7:45pm Floating Lighted Lanterns on the Hudson River

Guest Musicians:
Paul Winter (Saxophonist), Shinji Harada (Japanese Recording Artist),
Russell Daisey (Composer, Pianist), Tomoko Shibata (Soprano),
Ailing Sai (Harpist) and Kaoru Watanabe (Taiko Drummer)

The event is free and open to the public. All faiths and non-faiths are welcomed to attend and remember. I can’t attend, being in South Dakota and all, but I applaud Rev. Nakagaki for all his work and effort. Hopefully he will be able to guest post about his perceptions of interfaith work and Buddhist practice soon. For more info and a video interview check this newscast.

photo taken on Sept 11, 2006 by Matt Coats.