The Memorial I Can’t Visit

I believe that there are are some wounds that do not heal. Some scars that fade over the years, but never quite go away.

Today, September 11, is like that for me.

For some people twelve years is enough time to no longer feel the pain. Enough time for the memory of what one saw that day to fade away. Enough time so one can go and visit the memorial that stands on the site where the Twin Towers stood.

For others, the pain is still there, but the memorial is a source of comfort to them. Being at a place designed to commemorate those who died makes them feel close to their loved ones who lost their lives when the towers were bombed.

I don’t begrudge that some people can do that. In fact, I’m happy for them.

But me, I still can’t go to the memorial at the WTC site. When I close my eyes, I still see more than I want to see of that day and its aftermath – the smoke in the sky…the ash everywhere…the pictures of the missing…the service with an empty casket we held for my uncle.

And nothing in any memorial will erase those images from my mind. Perhaps my fear is that being there will make the pain of those images even worse. I don’t know. But I know I can’t be there.

I will be talking about 9/11 at Weekly Manna today at noon. I’ll post a podcast of my talk afterward.


3 thoughts on “The Memorial I Can’t Visit

  1. What a horrible day; so many people being vaporized in air planes, feeling the terror of impending death-people burned to death, crushed, jumping out of buildings. Whenever I look at pictures of the victims, it tears my heart out.

    The lack of heart is a major problem-USA looked out to strike back and did so killing and maiming more people than it was even interested in counting-NO accountability for that-Bush and his henchmen and the fellow travelers in the Congress, Courts, Media suffered nothing.

    Remember one other anniversary-major one for Americans and Catholics-the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. No, Lee Harvey Oswald did not do it-most Americans don’t believe it-but the hack politicians and Media have repeated the official lie for half a century.

  2. Susan I did not know of your close connection to 9/11. I am so sorry you lost your uncle on that horrible day. I will pray for you and ask for God’s peace for you and all who experienced that tragic day,


    Tomi Kean

  3. Dear Susan, I can never know your pain. However, I have heard you share your personal loss and trauma. I care. I hold you in my heart this day. Yesterday I was deeply moved (unrelated to 9/11) by Wm Hart Mc Nichols’ icon of the Sorrowful Mother. It again comes to mind as I try to imagine the sort of anguish you describe. I am also reminded of Pax Chisti USA’s Litany of Mary of Nazareth which we prayed at the vigil for Syria last Saturday. I will pray it again today with you — and so many others — in mind. Some wounds never heal. We only bear them. Yet, we claim hope — not the volitional product of our own need and construct, but the “true north” of one who lives in the needed assurance that each — and ALL — are Immortal Diamond. Peace this day, dear friend!

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