FATHER GEORGE RUTLER, WHO WAS THERE WHEN THE TWIN TOWERS FELL, REFLECTS ON THAT TRAGIC DAY | ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT

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Infandum: 18 Years On

FR. GEORGE W. RUTLER

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the November 2001 print edition of Crisis.

In 1789 George Washington prayed in St. Paul’s Church, on what we now call lower Broadway, on the day of his inauguration as the first president of the United States. The churchyard was already old. On September 11, 2001, several new corpses were lying on the old graves. Then quickly a temporary morgue was set up in a nearby hotel. All that the Founding Fathers stood for was contradicted in a thunderous attack on the heart of the city that calls itself the capital of the world.

Grown children had grown accustomed to taking prosperity for granted and had often scorned the virtues that created the prosperity. The frenzied celebrations of the third millennium were largely conspicuous for their cheerful banality. There were fireworks but no great…

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