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Re: People who wear diapers on their head

I walked from Penn Station NYC down 32nd to 3rd Avenue yesterday,
literally in the shadow of the Empire State Building and was distressed to
see several shops with windows filled with T-shirts with Osamma bin
Laden's picture and the caption, "Wanted:  Dead or Alive."

The priest with whom I had dinner told me that a doctor who is his close
friend was a company doctor for one of the firms at the WTC.  He went to
Ground Zero early after the collapse but had to leave, so shaken was he.  
"I am used to dealing with death all the time. Sometimes four or five
people I know die in one day, but over 100 whom I know, whom I have
treated were in there.  I'm professional but I'm also human, and I just
could not take it.  I had to leave."

After dinner, I took a cab back to Penn Station to catch my train home.  
I asked the driver whether he had lost any friends in the 911 disaster.  
"No, but over 200 people from my country died there," he said mournfully.

"What is your country?" I asked. 


"Were these working in a government trading office or a corporate
complex?" I asked.

"No," he said, "they were all keepers of small shops."

Our bishop's daughter worked in one of the towers many flights up but did
make it out.  It was hours before she was able to reach them to tell them
she was alive, and after midnight when she could finally make it across
the river and have them fetch her in Newark.

Today I spent all day today interviewing persons who want to be candidates
for priesthood.  One of them is a flight attendant for United and normally
works the LA flight which crashed.  He had taken a vacation day on 9/11.  
Other survivors asked him to lead a service for them.

Two priests at the COM/Standing Committee interviews told me about the
funerals they have conducted.  One mentioned that two young fathers in her
parish had died, each with three children under 15.  She had commissioned
one of the fathers as a Sunday School teacher on the 9th.  He called home
when the first tower was hit and said, saying from the 78th floor of the
next tower, that he was all right.  Then his building was hit.  His wife
had gone to the yard to attend a child and returned to a message on the
cell phone which said 'they're evacuating us to the roof.' A few minutes
later the world saw his building callapse.

She tried to keep her children from watching the continual replay of the
images on tv.  After the funeral of another family friend, one child asked
her youngest, "Why did they have a casket for him?"  The younger child,
whom she'd tried so especially hard to protect, said, "Oh, they found his
foot.  That meant he had jumped."

There is no protection from things none of us should have ever seen.

Ernest has just left our apartment for the Newark Airport, for five hours
of being on call to go anywhere in the world if another flight attendant
fails to show up.


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