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- St. Ann’s Guild meets Friday at 2 pm.
- Our “Vigil of Remembrance for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11″ is this Saturday, 7-8 pm. Come for all or part and invite a neighbor!
- We go back to our regular schedule on Sunday - two services, 8 & 10 am. This week, Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, with special prayers of the people for 9/11.
- Book club Sunday evening, 6 pm, in the parish hall. Bring food!!! (Bring a friend!)
KATIE’S COMMENTS: The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001 were my generation’s Kennedy assassination; everyone knows what they were doing that day – in great detail. The attacks spurred two wars, in which the U.S. is still engaged, our economy plummeted, slightly recovered, then replummeted to a point that as of today’s news, even Walmart sales are down. It’s not a matter of buying cheap anymore; it’s a matter of not being able to buy at all for some.
In 2001 my brother Sean and I were roommates in Boulder. Sean had a routine of watching ESPN or a yoga show on TV first thing every morning, but on September 11, he was watching ABC news.
I asked, “Why are you watching THAT?”
“There was a plane crash,” he said.
Sean had heard a report of a plane crash on the radio before he got up. As we watched the news we saw a commercial jet crash into the second tower. I said, “Osama Bin Laden.” He was responsible for the bombing of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and attacking the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen; he was terrorist number one in those days. I remembered when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time in 1993. That act was organized by a blind Egyptian sheik that the Wall Street Journal had done an article about three weeks before the attack. Top terrorists make themselves known.
As I left the house to ride my bike to work at the University of Colorado I said, “Why didn’t they hit the pentagon?” By the time I reached work ten minutes later the Pentagon had been hit.
The first person I called that day was a close college friend who was the daughter and niece of admirals. She told me her father and uncle had been IN the Pentagon at the time it was hit. In fact, if they hadn’t been chatting in the hall drinking coffee, they would have been in the portion of the building that was struck. With everything shut down, phones, roads, EVERYTHING, the two retired admirals walked from the Pentagon to her Uncle Harry’s apartment in Arlington.
Our dad was visiting at the time and Mom was scheduled to fly out to join us the next day, but all flights were cancelled. What an eerie feeling – three of us had each other to lean on and Mom was home without family or the ability to join us. Mom was able to fly to Denver by September 13, a scary thing to fly in the wake of the destruction.
The afternoon of September 11 St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Boulder defied fire codes – metal chairs lined the sides and back of the church to accommodate a grieving community within a grieving nation. People flocked to Christ and his church utterly heartbroken and confused. A New Yorker cartoon summed it up best for me; to paraphrase it said everyone in New York, for a while, was kinder to each other.
Naturally, when the shock wore off, people were angry. I was reminded of another time when the nation was in crisis. During a mass at St. Paul’s in Baltimore, a visiting priest preached that we needed to love Saddam Hussein; it was during the Persian Gulf War. Love Saddam Hussein? I don’t remember the priest’s justification, but as a life-long Christian I know we are asked to love our enemies.
How are we to love our enemies? How could anyone be expected to forgive the murderers that took away a loved one on that tragic day? Simply because Christ asked us to? Well, yes…but we can’t do anything without his help. Forgiveness and love are not acts of will. Only through the practice of prayer can we attain the ability to love and forgive our enemies, seven times seventy times. Amen
Katie Nesbitt is a reporter for the ‘La Grande Observer’
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