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September 11, 2006



*silent nod*




....for all the dead and their families, we pray.


Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.


Please indulge me - I was writing an email to a friend regarding this day, and my ramblings produced the following:

We should never forget the events of this day.

Five years ago today, the first of two planes struck the North Tower in Manhattan. Minutes later, a second plane struck the South Tower. At 9:58 AM, the South Tower collapsed, and at 10:29 AM, the North Tower followed.

Also on that day, a third plane plowed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. And later still, courageous passengers of United Flight 93 attempted to wrest control of their hijacked plane away from the Islamic fundamentalist executioners, and as a result, the plane crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania - the plane was destined for Washington DC, most likely the Capitol.

Many brave firefighters, police and rescue personnel risked their lives this day, and many sacrificed them in the call of duty. Over three thousand innocent people perished in the worst terrorist attack ever made on our soil. Countless people had their lives forever changed due to the course of events that day. Has yours?

After 9/11/01, people across the country realized that this is truly a dangerous world in which we live. What we do for a living, the things we own, the people we love - these are all transient and fleeting. We learned graphically and dramatically that all we live for and all that we take for granted can be instantly wiped out - in this case, by the hellish plans of some truly evil people.

But recent polls have concluded that people's attitudes about life, about spiritual matters, about the things that truly matter, have returned to pre 9-11 levels. Church attendance, for instance, is at the same level, statistically speaking. For several weeks and months after the Attack, churches and places of worship were filled to capacity, as people sought solace in the one place, in the one Person, who could offer it. The grim realization that our lives could be taken from us, that our way of life could be drastically altered within the course of a few short minutes, affected nearly everyone in our nation. Today, though, many in our country live their lives as if 9-11 never happened.

So the question to ask ourselves is not whether we are safer today than we were five years ago (quick answer: we're not). The debate is not over who will best protect us from future attacks. While we remember the events of this day five years ago, it is most important to remember that we could be called to stand before God at any time - through any circumstance - and that we must always be prepared. So the important question is, are we living in God's will this very moment? Are we in a state of grace at this very moment? If we start each morning with these questions in our heart and honestly answer them, and take the steps necessary to bring our lives in conformance with God's will for us, then the spectre of future attacks, or the reality of the War on Terror, will not fill us with fear, or denial, or anger. And if enough of us focus on what is most important in life - the will of God - then perhaps it won't take another national tragedy to shake the country out of its spiritual lethargy.

Christ said: "Be prepared!" Our time to meet him will be as unexpected as a thief in the night - or in this case, for thousands of people, as terrorists on planes. He also exhorted "let your hearts not be troubled". He is our Rock, He is the source of our peace, and He is the cause of our joy. Live in God's will.

Dr. Eric

May the Lord have mercy on the dead. May he comfort their families who still suffer five years later.

Matt McDonald

and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace.

chris K

Anyone notice the "faces" in your first two images? Somewhat similar to this one reported in many places at the time:


Francis DS

Those demonic murderers who burned innocent people are still burning in unquenchable fire. What a horrifying shock -- no virgins waiting; just the God of the Jews and the Christ of the Christians, ready with their eternal sentence.

None escapes Him who is all good and all just and all seeing -- no amount of hiding can change it, OBL, you are destined to face Him.

John E

Nice posts, and I add my prayers as well.

Seems like much of the buzz in the media is the responses to the opinion poll "Do you feel safer than you did 5 years ago?"

That seems like such a boneheaded question to me. It's not surprising that most do not feel safer. It's like asking if you felt safer before or after you found out you were swimming in shark-infested waters.

The more important question is also being asked and is more objective: "Are we safer than we were 5 years ago? Why or why not?" This seems to be something that can only be answered with time. Are 5 years enough to make an assessment? Have there been any major attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11?

What's your opinion?

Tim J.

I was at home with my son, age 11, whom I was homeschooling.

I got a call from my Mom, saying that there had been a terrible accident at the WTC, an airliner had hit one of the buildings. Not a small plane, but a full-sized commercial jet liner.

As an aviation buff, that just did not sound right. There was also the quick and nagging memory of the '93 attack on the Twin Towers. Still, I could make no immediate judgement.

I turned on one of the news channels, and saw that, in the couple of minutes since I had talked to my mom, another plane had hit the remaining tower.

I have to think that I was only one of many who now KNEW that this was no accident, and who knew (though no actual names came to mind) who had done this.

I was full of emotional reactions, but primarily I was - and remain - PISSED OFF (sorry). Sure I was apprehensive, worried, all of that... but mainly I wanted to see that we did everything necessary to make sure this would not happen again.

So, I had to quickly decide, do I let my son watch this, or do I take him out for donuts and let him find out later?

I made a judgement, based on his character and emotional maturity, that he indeed SHOULD see it, raw and in real time. Blessedly (and I like to think providentially) we were somehow spared coverage of falling bodies.

I told him that bad people had flown those planes into the buildings. That was about all he needed to know.

Bush came on and made a short announcement. I wanted him to say, "Yes, you hit the Towers, but they're still standing, you b*st*rds!" In retrospect, it was a mighty good thing that I was not President at that moment.

We returned to watching the Towers burn, both of us standing. My son looked at me and said, "Dad, I think the building is falling down. I saw some pieces falling off...".

"No, son..." I think I said, "those buildings won't fall down...". I truly don't know if I finished the sentence before that familiar, grey, sparkling, obscene, slow-motion cascade began.

I think I wipered a raspy "NO, NO, NO...". Everything then was involuntary. My mouth hung open. I covered it. My son, I noticed, watched the screen, and watched me... back and forth. I pulled myself together pretty quick. The other tower followed soon after.

We had to leave run some errands soon after, and I watched the sky as I watched the road. I watched the sky hard. It was the most beautiful, clear, blue fall sky.

I became a news junkie. If I was around a television, I turned on the cable news networks and left them on, flipping back and forth... Fox, CNN, MSNBC...

That lasted for a long time. I had the television on without much of a break for months. I'm better now.

My son is none the worse, and perhaps better, for the experience. He is an avid aviation buff. He is in the Civil Air Patrol, now, and has eyes on the Air Force.

I pray for everyone who died that day, and for their families, but I also pray for my son, and for all those of his generation. 9/11 has been their Pearl Harbor.

John E

I remember hearing it on the radio on one of those morning talkshow-type stations while I was working out. My reaction was truly disbelief. I was sure that this was a tasteless prank or exaggeration and just shrugged it off -- if it was true I surely would've heard it somewhere else before some morning gabfest reported it.

But then I began thinking it was too exaggerated and tasteless even for a morning radio program and other reliable sources confirmed their story. I drove to work that morning numb. Usually I'd be easily annoyed by those in front of me who slowed me down or those who passed me when I felt I was going plenty fast enough for all.

I became disgusted at my petty annoyances, and the perceived acts of aggression by others towards me barely registered. And that's why it's good to remember.

Mary Kay

I tried to comment earlier (typepad seemed to have a problem) that Larry's post put into words what I was thinking.

Tim, I think 9/11 has already had that effect - on some.

One of the things that bothers me is the denial by some that we are at war and that those who wish to harm us will use whatever means they can to do so.

J.R. Stoodley

Since some have told their stories I will tell mine.

I was a junior in High School at the time. I had just finished some class and was walking through the hall when this guy came up with a huge grin on his face saying rapidly that a bunch of planes just crashed into some buildings including the World Trade Center and he was using the opportunity to go home and skip the rest of school. He was actually laughing.

My thoughts were that a few accidents (I figured that by some fluke a couple of planes, small planes probably, had crashed on the same day) should not excuse him from school and he was not going to get away with it.

I then walked down to the library because I had a free period. When I got there someone had gone to a news webpage on one of the computers and there was a picture with one tower colapsed and smoke billowing out from the other. That was the first real shock. It still didn't all sink in yet and believe it or not I still didn't think of terrorism. That kind of thing wasn't even on my radar. I still figured it was the some huge bizzare accident.

Then someone roled in a TV and turned it on. The second tower had just collapsed, and the news commentators were saying what had happend. Now I knew, and it was a real shock.

I had seen those towers about a million times. I had been to the top of one. I had seen them just a couple weeks ago. My- O gosh- my uncle worked in a building right next to it (it turned out that building was badly damaged but my uncle was ok).

Everyone gathered around that TV and watched it for the rest of the period. An older teacher commented that twice something like this had happend in his lifetime- Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Later that day a fairly long list of people got called to the office. No reason was given, but everyone knew it was because they had relatives who worked in the World Trade Center. Some people even commute from my area to NYC, though I never heard that anyone from my school lost a parent. Uncles, aunts, cousins, a couple brothers or sisters I think, that sort of thing, not parents.

At the end of the day when I was at my locker a couple of sophomores were saying they hope there will be a war and that it will last long enough for them to fight in it.

Tim J.

J.R. -

You may have mentioned it before, but I had not been aware that you are so young (compared to me, anyway). You carry yourself well (to use a metaphor). Your maturity gives me hope for the Church.

Unfortunately, a lot of people your age do not share your maturity. We need to respond to 9/11 with steely determination, grounded in faith, not idiotic glee at the prospect of shooting a (Hot Dog!) REAL GUN at somebody or skipping class. Their immaturity gives me little hope for Western society.

Some Day

R.I.P. Amen.


Out of the depths I call to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, LORD, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered.
I wait with longing for the LORD, my soul waits for his word.
My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak,
let Israel look for the LORD, For with the LORD is kindness, with him is full redemption,
And God will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Remembering Bobby

As far as 9-11 tributes go, the following one has to be one of the best. Please turn up your speakers and see for yourself.

Remember The Blood of Heroes

Jose Carbonell

There are only three possible solutions to the problem:

1. Go out and kill all the fanatics and their followers.
2. Convert to their brand of radical islamism.
3. Convert THEM to the True Faith.

#1 and #2 are out of the question. As for #3, it may sound impossible to many but it is the only one that will bring benefits if only met half way. An added bonus is how p.o. the radicals will be if this is the our response to their attacks. Finally, if we don't do it the Evangelicals will!

Megan Elizabeth

I was only in 7th grade at the time, so I don't remember much about the attacks themselves. What I do remember is, for a long time afterwards, lying in my bed at night listening to planes flying over our house (we lived near an airport) and reminding myself, "There's nothing in Ohio worth hitting, there's nothing in Ohio worth hitting..." Do I feel safer? In a way, definitely not. Now I know that there are people in the world evil enough to fly planes into buildings. But on the other hand, I went from "I go to church becuase my mom does," to really believing in God. Now, instead of thinking, "I'm an American, nobody can hurt me," I think "I'm a Christian, people might very well hate me for that, but God will give me the strength to endure it." Everyone says "We will not forget," but how many people have already forgotten that they are totally and completely dependent on God? How many people have let themselves get back to thinking nobody can hurt us just because we're Americans?

Matt McDonald

There are only three possible solutions to the problem:

1. Go out and kill all the fanatics and their followers.
2. Convert to their brand of radical islamism.
3. Convert THEM to the True Faith.

We have no power to convert anyone, only to plant the seeds and pray for the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts.

That being said, it's often hard to plant a seed in someone's heart who is trying to kill you by flying an airplane into your house, launching rockets at you. There are times when we are obligated to invoke the principles of self-defence and protect Christianity and the innocent from those who seek to destroy us. Still in those times we rely on the intercession of Our Lady of Victory, and the intervention of Almighty God to win the day.


Greetings from India. We haven't forgotten.

Yours in solidarity.

Some Day

I can agree with Matt on that.
When Our Lord says to "turn the other cheek"it refers to insults and crimes against yourself.
Now for the Church and God, that is another story.
There we MUST defend the Church and Her liberty.
But is the US one to do it? Certainly not.
A country who not only commits and promotes and ENFORCES sin is not one to do it. God's blessing on such an endeavor would only be with authentic Catholics and saintly ones too.

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