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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest we should ever forget...


Every one remembers that awful day. I read the posts and continue to cry and it is 7 years later.

I thought I would take a different spin and remember one victim, in particular.


Father Mychal Judge.


At the age of 15, Judge began the formation process to enter the Franciscan community. Upon entering the Order of Friars Minor, he took the religious name of Michael. (He later changed the spelling to Mychal.) In 1957, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University, the Franciscan university near Olean, New York. In 1961, he was ordained a priest and assigned to service at St. Joseph's RC Church in East Rutherford and Sacred Heart in Rochelle Park, both in New Jersey. He then served as assistant to the president at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. Judge was later named pastor of St. Joseph's Church in West Milford, New Jersey before being appointed Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York in 1992.


Upon hearing the news that the World Trade Center had been hit by hijacked jetliners, Judge rushed to the site. He was met by the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, who asked Judge to pray for the city and its victims. Judge then rushed to those lying on the streets to administer last rites. Judge then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center north tower, where an emergency services command post was organized. The south tower collapsed and debris filled the north tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge.


Five individuals took Judge outside in their arms. Upon entering the outside courtyard, they propped his body in a chair they found to carry him down the outside steps. It was then that Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton snapped one of the most famous images of the attack, of a police officer, two firefighters and an OEM responder carrying out their fallen spiritual leader.


Father Judge's body bag was labeled "Victim 0001," recognized as the first official victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Former President Bill Clinton was among the 3,000 people who attended his funeral, held on September 15 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.

1 comment:

Suz said...

oh, the stories are endless. But this is really something special. Brought tears to my eyes.....
I can only hope he has a nice cushy place up in heaven right now.
Thanks,
Suz