Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Everyone in the New York-New Jersey corridor has a 9-11 memory.  Some of us knew people who died that terrible day. The day was unbelievably lovely, much like yesterday was. The sky was a bright blue, without even a cloud. The air was crisp in the early morning but promising to warm up.

The courtroom in the Newark Immigration Court where I was that morning had a window facing New York City.  Standing in the back of the small courtroom, staring out of the window, I saw a plane hit the North Tower. I interrupted the hearing, telling the judge that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  At that point, everyone stared out the window not believing their eyes.  Everything came to a halt.

Within what seemed to be a short time we saw the second plane hit the South Tower.  By that time, we were ordered to evacuate the building. We walked down the 13 flights.  On the street, people had a combination of disbelief and fear. The roads became jammed as people tried to flee the city, fearful of a possible attack on Newark as well. The image of the burning towers became seared in our minds, where they remain.

Prayer for the Day

Struggling to put aside images of terror, we turn to you, O God,

   But there are times we find no respite or healing;

Feeling helpless, we question how to respond, O God,

   For we feel that such terror must be born of hate.

Save us from the temptation to blindly return hatred with hatred,

   And lead us in your paths of understanding and healing.

In the name of the One who opens all doors,

    Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.

Thoughts for the Day

Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.

            Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

            Marie Curie, physicist and chemist, discoverer of radium (1867-1934)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

            Isaiah 41:10