Friday, September 11, 2015


I was living in Florida at the time of the 9/11 tragedy. I was taking a shower and heard my roommate yell "Oh my God", Oh my God, look at the fire". I quickly got out of the shower thinking our place was on fire and as I walked in the living room and saw on TV the second plane hit the tower. I knew in my heart that this wasn't an accident and I had a release of emotion that the only other emotion I could compare it to was the death of my parents.

I sobbed so hard and cried for hours and just couldn't comprehend it all. In some weird way it seemed like I was watching a movie. I use to hear my uncles and father talk about Pearl Harbor. At that time in my teens when they talked about it, I couldn't fathom how such a tragedy could bring a nation together. I understand that very well now. Its going on 14 years and it still as real when ever I see the pictures or when this day comes along.

A few years after 9/11 I watched the Documentary The Saint Of 9/11. It is the story of Father Mychal Judge. He was a Franciscan Friar who in 1992 was appointed Chaplain for the New York Fire Department. Father Mychal was known for his work with the homeless and his dedication to the men and women who served on the NYFD.

On September 11, 2001 Father Mychal rushed to the scene meeting then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Father was said to be praying over bodies and going into the towers. It has been said that the Mayor said to Father Mychal come with me but Father said "I want to be with my men".

 He went with the Firemen into the North Tower and as the South Tower collapsed He was struck in the head. According to Michael Daly of the New York Daily News, Father was praying out loud, "Jesus, please end this right now, God, Please end this". Then he was struck and died. His body was carried out on a chair stretcher by Firemen and EMS workers. That moment was caught in a photograph by Shannon Stapleton from Reuters.

Father Mychal Judge was the first official victim of the attacks. Even though others were killed before him he was designated Victim 0001 because his was the first body to be recovered and taken to the Medical Examiners Officer. He had over 3000 people attend his funeral and touch thousands of lives during his time on this earth.

All the people who died and gave their lives that day are Saints and I don't think those of us who were older than 10 will ever forget that tragic day in history and in our lives. My prayers are still going out to the families. So on this day I say to everyone. I love you as a human being and I pray that we can live in peace and harmony and whatever differences we may have it is not what defines us but how we treat each other every day.