This little known monument, “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism,”  dedicated on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, gives some expression to the magnitude of grief occasioned by the events of 9/11. It is a gift from President Vladimir Putin, the people of Russia and the artist, Zurab Tsereteli, to the people of the United States.”. (It also provoked some consternation for a variety of reasons.)

As we look back to that day that changed the world as we know it , it might be life-giving for us to review the response of the Vincentian Family.

Sister Regina Bechtle’s article “In the Face of Adversity – The Response of the Vincentian and Charity families to 9/11,” (Vincentian Heritage 21,2: 48-95 pdf) tells of how members from across the Vincentian Family experienced and served in this time of crisis.  It is well worth the time to read. And who knew then that the  iconic St. Vincent’s hospital so often referenced would be closed.
Other resources include another article by Sr. Regina “Charity presence in time of disasters” as well as Sr. Maureen Skelly’s moving account of  Finding the cross when the towers fell. There is also a reflection that, while not the answer, at least asked the systemic change question about addressing the root causes of terrorism. “…while we may be able to destroy the material assets of those who foster terrorism, what about the conditions which will spawn new leaders and more sophisticated forms of terrorism.”
  • Were you aware of this moment prior to this post?
  • What is your most powerful recollection of 9/11?
  • How can the Vincentian Family be an instrument of peace?
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