Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Almost 3,000 souls left this world that day by this tragedy. Of those, the very first certified death was Father Mychal Judge, a 68 year old Franciscan priest. Father Judge served as Chaplain of the NYFD.
When the news of the attack reached him, Father Judge rushed to the site and was met by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who asked him to pray for the victims. Father immediately administered last rites to the dying. He then entered the WTC North Tower lobby to give aid and offer prayers.
As the South Tower suddenly collapsed, debris crashed through the North Tower lobby windows striking Father Judge, ending his earthly pilgrimage as he prayed aloud.
Father Robert Emmet (Mychal) Judge – Catholic priest, first responder and hero.
Sadly, Mayor Bloomberg’s memorial today has no place for God or heroes. It will be a strictly secular affair excluding any remembrance by Father Judge’s brother priests and their counterparts in other religions. Maybe there will be some awkward “moments of silence,” whose purpose will remain vague. Bloomberg is also excluding responders from speaking, so men like Father Judge are silenced on 2 counts. I suppose all the available time and space was reserved for the very important people – politicians and “community leaders.” They were a big help on 9/11.
The rest of us will remember and pray for all who died that day, the victims in the towers, at other locations and the many brave responders, including Father Judge.
God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.
Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.
In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.