MADEIRA - Five years ago on Sept. 11, 100 people were at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church at noon after just a few phone calls. That night, more than 350 gathered for prayer after seeing a sign in the church yard.
The church, 8000 Miami Ave., has been opening its doors every year on the anniversary to standing-room-only crowds of 700.
This year, the church will do that again at 7 p.m. to remember and to honor local emergency personnel. . .
Other religious groups will host similar programs this weekend. . .
In addition, the Freedom Center will also host a panel discussion at 2 p.m. today on the topic, "Are You Afraid of Me? Americans Coping with Fear, Discrimination and Loss of Freedoms Post 9/11."
"It's our mission to present issues and programming to help people understand other cultures, other races and people with a different point of view, to bring them together in a place of open dialogue," said Paul Bernish, chief communications officer for the center.
The eight panelists represent several faiths and ethnicities, including Karen Dabdoub, of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Pat Rosenberg, a member of Congregation Beth Adam.
Dabdoub will address misconceptions and concerns brought on by fear - such as "Is Islam violent?" "Do Muslims hate America?" and "Does America hate Muslims?"
"People of other faiths have these thoughts in their minds, but they don't know the things the Muslim community is going through," Dabdoub said.