There are just a few moments in history that we all remember where we were and what we were doing at the moment we first learned of a heinous or tragic event.
September 11, 2001 is certainly one of those days if you’re older than 25-years-old.
The video below is of Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain for the New York City Fire Department who is listed as the first identified fatal casualty of 9/11, speaking about the job of a fire department chaplain while conducting a service in a firehouse for a small gathering on the evening of September 10, 2001.
Just hours later he was killed while assisting at the World Trade Center.
As Wikipedia recounts, “On September 11, 2001, upon learning that the World Trade Center had been hit by the first of two jetliners, Judge rushed to the site. He was met by Rudolph Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City, who asked him to pray for the city and its victims. Judge prayed over bodies lying on the streets, then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center North Tower, where an emergency command post had been organized. There he continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers, the injured, and the dead.”
“When the neighboring South Tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m., debris went flying through the North Tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge. At the moment he was struck in the head and killed, Judge was repeatedly praying aloud, “Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!”, according to Judge’s biographer and New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly.”
The video of his talk the night before starts with these words from Father Judge discussing the job of a firefighter: “Good days, bad days. Up days, down days. Sad days, happy days. But never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do.”
Where were you when you first learned of this most heinous act of terrorism? What was your reaction? Do you pause and reflect each year on 9/11?
Thank you in advance for sharing your memories and thoughts on this solemn day.