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Remembering 9/11

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Five years ago this week, I was sitting in French class when just a few miles away from my high school the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell on lower Manhattan.

They say that everything can change in a New York minute. On the morning of Sept. 11, it did for me and many of my classmates. Several of us lost neighbors, friends and coaches. Some lost parents. One lost her brother – a firefighter with Engine Company 26.

The Greek tragedian Aeschylus warned even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart until in our despite, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

Five years removed from the attacks, the horror and violence which descended upon our part of the country that September morning has ceased. The pain, however, has not. For so many in our local parishes and towns, this week – just like every week since – marks indelibly the magnitude of personal loss.

On Monday, we commemorated the lives of our neighbors, colleagues and family who perished in the Towers by reciting their names to the world at Ground Zero. On Tuesday and thereafter, when the world returns again to everyday life, their absence – like the gaping hole in our New York skyline – will linger at the forefront of our minds and hearts.

Today, we have no concrete memorial for our dead. But in shared grief, pain has nonetheless revealed that the most fitting way to commemorate lost life is to celebrate it.

This fall, as you pursue your studies at Notre Dame, I ask you to do so with vigor and purpose. Look at our world through a global context, but always keep sight of the smaller things in life. Enjoy afternoons cheering our Irish on to victory and, above all stolen moments spent with family and friends.

As you do so, hold in your hearts all, those who lost that privilege on the morning of Sept. 11.

Pray for them daily, and pray for their families.

Michelle McCarthy


class of 2006

Sept. 12