Aerial view of Ground Zero today (Photo by
Vincent Laforet of The New York Times)

If there is anyone here in the monastery who has the most vivid memory of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it is Sr. Judith Miryam. Every year when we recall, in sorrow and in prayer, the tragic events of that day, Sister remembers them most of all. Below is her account:

That morning, one of our workman, who is a fireman, told us to turn on the television in our community room. "A plane has just crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers." I was at my Rosary in choir when Sr. Mary Catharine came in, and asked, "Doesn't your brother work at the World Trade Center?" When I said, "Yes," Sister told me, "There's been an accident at the World Trade Center. I'll stay here. You want to go to the community room. We have the television on." I walked in just as the second plane hit the South Tower. I remember standing there stunned, staring at the surreal image on the television screen, looking at smoke billowing from the buildings. I couldn't remember what tower my brother Vinnie worked in, but I did know that his office was somewhere in the 90s. No matter what tower he was in, I knew one thing: if Vinnie were on his floor, at this moment, he would be dead.

My next thought was to phone my mother, who was understandably upset, especially since she had told my brother to go up to the roof if anything happened. The next few hours were spent in suspense, I kept on praying, "Lord, your Will be done. Be with him. Be with all those in the towers. Be with us if he has perished." By 10:30 a.m. my mother had received word from my brother (a recorded message) that he was alive and well, and would attempt to make his way back home. He did, via a police boat which dropped him off at Jersey City. Strangely enough, he came home the same time he usually did. The only indication of his escape was his dusty shoes. Continued