Friday, September 11, 2015

Let us remember......

We saw them disappear 14 years ago in a ruthless terrorist attack. But the Twin Towers live on in my memory, as I see the Two Spiritual Towers take their place. The image of Jesus and Mary have replaced the two landmark skyscrapers that disappeared for the iconic New York skyline forever. The metal and beams and glass are gone, but the spirit of what they represented will live on in the spirit of the people, as well as the 3,000 who lost their lives that day 14 years ago.  Let us pray and remember.
This is a day when we remember the three thousand victims of the most senseless tragedy in human history. At least those who are teenagers and older will surely remember where they were when the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded. I personally was preparing and celebrating Mass at my church in Pleasant Valley, NY, and believe it or not, I heard about the attack on America from my mother. When I got to my room after Mass, I found a message on my phone, and as soon as I was retrieving the message, the phone rings, and it was my mother frantically screaming "Julian, are you all right ?" "yes, of course I'm all right" I answered, wondering why was she panicking. Then she told me to open the TV and relayed to me quickly what was happening. At first I thought that the TV was showing a Schwarzenegger movie, but quickly I realized that this was no science-fiction movie.

We all know the rest of the story, and for the next month or so, I was in touch with the Klein family of Pleasant Valley who had lost their son Peter, in his twenties, and married only for a year. Of course I had to do the funeral, with no body, but a large picture of Peter, lots of flowers and a nice quilt which his mother had coordinated with friends, showing the various talents Peter had, from being an altar-boy to a boy scout.
14 years have passed since that day, and the pain for so many families is still there. The blemish that terrorism had inflicted on the USA and the rest of the world is still around us. We just hope and pray that similar horrific tragedies will never occur again. I took these photos in 1988, while on a school trip to the Statue of Liberty with our school children. The Twin Towers will forever be historic landmarks for New York City, even though something else has been built in their place. They will always be indelible icons like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. May the 3000 people who lost their loves that day be remembered throughout history, as we bow our heads in prayer for them, especially on September 11 each year.


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