For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12


"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New York City's September 11th Commemoration Ceremony 2008

First I'd like to say that the trip into NYC went very smoothly and as scheduled. There was no confusion or problem in using the subway, thanks to the two helpful transit system employees from which I got directions. Quite a change from 10 years ago when I nearly got drawn into fisticuffs by a nasty token-collector. I was also surprised at the light traffic and ease with which I cut through to the city and then subway, so I began to expect the other shoe to drop.

In fact, when that very thing seemed to be happening (the public was not allowed to get close enough to view the commemoration program---trees were in the line of sight, among other things), I was able to secure a press pass from the authorities who, luckily for me, were armed with iPhones and Blackberries and able to view my blog (with name and picture matching that on my driver's license), which they considered acceptable credentials. To say the least, I would be feeling rather giddy about getting in, were it not for the somberness of the occasion. And so I entered just in time for the bagpipers and drums to start...

We heard from Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani; Governors Paterson, Corzine, and Pataki; Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff; relatives of 2,751 victims reading every name for the record; representatives from many different countries; and Young People's Chorus of New York and musicians like the great Itzhak Perlman (looking older and slimmer). Obama and McCain were there, too, but down in the pit with victims' families (neither approached the podium or made a speech of any kind). The most heartrending sight for me was the children on stage, not looking much older than the 7 years since the attacks ,and losing parents they were too young to know.

After the commemoration I found protesters lurking behind Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel. Fortunately there were some serious Christians there to help balance them out.

Here are several pictures I took today (click them to enlarge), the last one from in front of a Midtown firehouse door. I'd also like to point out that Urban Infidel, whom I actually never met, but literally bumped into twice today, took some great pics on the other side of the police barrier well worth viewing (as usual). Also check out Atlas for great pics.


9 comments:

Janet said...

HOW DID YOU GET THAT PRESS PASS?????

Paul said...

Great job, Matt (as usual)!

As for Janet, can you spell "blogosphere?" (Seems to be a recent phenomenon of the last decade or so. I'd be glad to meet you over lunch to discuss it, as long as I could share your false teeth on the chewier entrees.)

Urban Infidel said...

Excellent photos, Matt.

I wish I could have obtained a press pass like you. Nice to see what was happening on the inside of the ceremony. I know I would have cried the whole way through. For the few moments I stopped to listen to the names of the victims being read, I got very emotional.

Keep up the great work!

St. Blogustine said...

Thanks Paul and UI. I felt honored and quite lucky to be there and record it.

Tanner said...

Good pictures. I like the one with Perlman and Pataki. They look so serious. Didn't you get one of Paterson? You mention him but no picture.

Anonymous said...

Great pics, Matt, very respectful.
Press pass, huh? Does your mother know about this? Seriously though I don't think I could bite my tongue around the 9-11 conspiracy signs.

St. Blogustine said...

Yes she knows, bro. And who says I bit my tongue? My personality changes a little bit when I go into Manhattan. I believe I said "Stand still, you little freak" to one of them when I took his picture. Might have been the one with the sandwich board. Being big and tall has its advantages, doesn't it?

Kevin Gleeson said...

Bet you missed this, er, real study in contrasts: Plop!

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