‘A tragic, solemn and dark day’

In a day darkened by the ugly face of hatred “there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the Exemplar of universal love — and it is to Him that we look in these circumstances,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley during a Sept. 11 memorial service held the evening of the day terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

President Hinckley’s comments at the Tabernacle on Temple Square were followed by a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, replete with patriotic and spiritual hymns. The thousands in attendance seemed uplifted and comforted amid the day’s horrors.

“Our hearts are deeply touched, as are those of all Americans and of free people across the world,” President Hinckley said. “This has been a tragic, solemn and dark day. We have been reminded that evil is still rampant in the world. Its insidious and dastardly hand has struck again in a most reprehensible manner.

“The president of our nation has assured us that there will be detection and punishment. But that will not bring back the many whose lives have been taken or salve the pain of those who have been injured.”

It is Christ who gave His life that all might enjoy eternal life, President Hinckley said.

“May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that He will comfort the hearts of all who mourn,” he added.

President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, offered the memorial service invocation, while President James. E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, gave the benediction.

The concert, which was originally scheduled as a private performance for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, included the U.S. national anthem, patriotic songs such as “America the Beautiful,” “God Bless America” and an encore performance of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

The evening and atmosphere prompted tears from choir and audience members alike.