11 Sept – Shanksville, PA – et al.

On a recent driving trip when I attended a conference for priests in West Virginia, my way eventually wended past Shanksville, PA.


There is not a one to one analogy with the event of the attack on the WTC, but the imagery is eerily striking.

Oh how quiet it is after the black night
When flames out of the clouds burned down your cariated teeth,
And when those lightnings,
Lancing the black boils of Harlem and the Bronx,
Spilled the remaining prisoners,
(The tens and twenties of the living)
Into the trees of Jersey,
To the green farms, to find their liberty.

How are they down, how have they fallen down
Those great strong towers of ice and steel,
And melted by what terror and what miracle?
What fires and lights tore down,
With the white anger of their sudden accusation,
Those towers of silver and of steel?

From Figures For An Apocalypse, VI – In the Ruins of New York (1947) by Thomas Merton

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sandy says:

    I will never cease to shed tears when I see that footage. It’s very sad that young people today never experienced what came after that day: prayers and a country united as it may never be again. No, we must not forget.

    Of all days for one of our adult children to fly from NY across country. I’m asking St. Michael and all the angels for extra protection.

  2. Bosco says:

    Todd Beamer Sept. 11, 2001 “Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll.”

  3. DCLex says:

    At 3:03 the brave firefighter throws his helmet down — he is all of us.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    Thank you for remembering Todd Beamer, Bosco. His last words never fail to inspire. I hope I did not already share this in year’s past, but please bear with me if I did. I read this right after 9/11, I can’t even recall where, and it had no author attached. I would add NY Mayor Eric Adams, just approved the adhan, (the Islamic call to prayer and declaring there is no god but allah) to ring out over NYC. He bypassed laws to make that approval. Somebody tell me what we learned after 9/11.

    To the Towers Themselves

    They were never the favorites
    Not the Carmen Miranda Chrysler
    Nor Rockefeller’s magic boxes
    Nor the Empire, which I think
    would have killed us all if she fell.

    They were the two, young, dumb guys,
    beer drinking, downtown MBA’s
    Swaggering across the skyline
    not too bright.

    Now that they are gone
    They are like young men
    Lost at war
    Not having had their life yet,
    Not having grown wise and softened with age and time.

    They are lost like cannon fodder,
    like farm boys throughout time
    stunned into death,
    not knowing what hit them,
    and beloved
    by the weeping mothers left behind.

  5. Mike says:

    Thanks, Father, I’m teaching Thomas Merton this fall to high schoolers, and would have missed this. (We’re doing Seven Storey Mountain)

  6. OrdainedButStillbeingFormedDiakonos says:

    And all that carnage incited by the Religion of Peace.?

    I have yet to read much, if anything, from Muslims in this country denouncing those actions.

    My family and I were stationed at NAS Gricignano when the terrorists struck. Locked down on base for two days – last car in the gate before Threatcon Delta was declared. I still remember on my first day back in AirSouth going in to my NATO CO (an American O-6) asking to be put on whatever mission AirSouth was going to undertake. The world changed overnight. No mission came up until a bit later and then I participated in the CAOC (Zoomies know what I refer to) running the theater missile defense cell.

    I’m partially ashamed that I wanted retribution on the funders of the perpetrators. But this would fit the criteria of Just War I do believe.

    I’m sure, although only God knows, that the perps got their just reward – a nice eternity in unquenchable heat.

  7. monstrance says:

    At the 911 Museum in Manhattan, there is a cordoned off area with a warning for disturbing images. In it are pictures of the poor souls jumping out of those burning buildings. One photo in particular, shows a lady jumping from at least 80 stories up. As she exits the window, she’s holding down her skirt to keep it from blowing up.

  8. acardnal says:

    Because “The Wall Street Journal” is a morning paper, there is nothing there about the terrorist attacks.

    Herewith is the WSJ on September 12, 2001: HERE

  9. Antonia D says:

    Next level red pill re: the occultist elites, the depth of spiritual warfare, and the possibility of **enormous** deceptions going on in the world… I’m not sure what to think about all this, but I’m starting to wonder.

    James Perloff’s blog & books

    Dave McGowan’s website blog (Center for an Informed America) & books

    Joshua Charles’ book “The War of the Antichrist with the Church and Christian Civilization” and his appearances on LifeSiteNews & on Youtube

    Church Militant’s “Faith Based Investigation” of Freemasonry on YouTube

    Altiyan Childs’ video on Rumble exposing Freemasonry (5 hours but worth it)

    Rumble video “Out Of Shadows Official (2020) – Documentary Exposing Satanism in High Places”

    Daniel O’Connor blog and his appearances on LifeSiteNews & on Youtube

    The Corbett Report by Steve Corbett

    Xavier Reyes-Ayral book “Revelations: The Hidden Secret Messages and Prophecies of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and his appearances on LifeSiteNews & on Youtube (more about end-times-imminent, future prophecies)

    Author G. Edward Griffin

    Katherine Watt of Bailiwick News on Substack, especially this organizational chart https://bailiwicknews.substack.com/p/organizational-chart-bank-for-international?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

    I’d appreciate feedback on this stuff. I’ll be happy & relieved if it isn’t true.

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  11. PostCatholic says:

    It’s a very pretty site and moving memorial. I was proud to be a consultant contractor to the NPS on the project.

    May I recommend poet Martín Espada’s “Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100” to you? It’s a fitting tribute to the restaurant workers of Windows On The World who were victims of the New York attack.


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