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Thursday, September 11, 2008

American Pieta - September 11, 2001


I have taken to my prayers this morning a meditation on what has become for me an icon of the horrific events of September 11, 2001. It has become known as The American Pieta.

It seems hard to believe that it was seven years ago today that photographer Shannon Stapleton snapped one of the most famous images of the attack on the Twin Towers, of a police officer, two firefighters and an OEM responder carrying out their fallen spiritual leader, Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM.

It seems most appropriate, in these strange-salad-days of hope and anxiety, when images of 9/11 are used to bolster the call to the retaliation of war in the face of cries for peace and reconciliation, and the first African American, a man with the unlikely name of Barack Hussein Obama is a candidate for the President of the United States, that we remember his prayer.

Lord, take me where You want me to go,
let me meet who You want me to meet,
tell me what You want me to say,
and keep me out of Your way

Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM
Chaplain, NYFD
First official recorded victim 9/11 attack

5 comments:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

That is still the most moving image for me out of all the 9/11 photography, especially when you see the selflessness in the life of Fr. Mychal.

It was actually what I was thinking of when I wrote my own blogpost today on what's important to me about 9/11 rather than the cult of uber-patriotism. Thank you so much for posting that picture...it was in my mind early this morning!

Pat in Phoenix said...

I am unabashedly copying your photo of Fr. Mychal's first responder honor guard for my files. I understood that they carried him into a neighborhood church and laid him at the altar. I've always been touched at their respect and reverence for his chaplaincy.

I am a long-time friend of Bill W's. So was Fr. Mychal. I have a sense of connectedness with him. Thank you for sharing your meditation with us.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Pat in phoenix - I think you can probably purchase a professional picture from the photographer. Just google the name of the artist and see what comes up.

Teresa said...

One of the FFs in this photo, Lt. Martin Fuller, died last week of 9/11-related pulmonary disease. He was one of nine 9/11-related first responder deaths in this first month of 2013. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fire-lt-killed-9-11-illness-saluted-article-1.1253971

Teresa said...

Lt. Martin Fullam, one of the FFs captured in this iconic image, died last week from 9/11-related pulmonary disease. He is one of nine first responders to die of 9/11-related illness in the month of January 2013. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fire-lt-killed-9-11-illness-saluted-article-1.1253971