Earlier this week my friend Gene shared that, after going through security in an airport the prior day, he saw a mural of the American flag. He described the way the red and white stripes shimmered in a way that caught his eye causing him to look more closely. As he did, he saw that there were many names written there – the names of those who lost their lives in 9/11 – including the name Michael F. Stabile. As I read his description of his feelings at seeing the name of my father’s youngest brother, my eyes filled with tears.
Thirteen years and I still cry when I think of that day. Why? I know that the world has seen far worse than the attack on the World Trade Center that day. I know that people suffer every day from the loss of family members through war and acts of terror and other acts of violence.
I don’t know what it is like to live in a land in which bombs fall as a matter of course. I don’t know what it is like to go to bed at night and wonder if you or your bed will still be there in the morning. But I know that I can close my eyes and still see the ash on the fire trucks in NYC and the debris in the streets of lower Manhattan and the smell of smoke. And I still feel the pain of the loss of a family member, a friend and the sibling of another friend.
Last year, I offered a brief reflection at our Weekly Manna gathering on 9/11. I spoke about what it means to say “Blessed are they who mourn” in the context of my experience of 9/11.
You can access a recording of that reflection here or stream it from the icon below. The podcast runs for 12:10.