The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #140158   Message #3220615
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
09-Sep-11 - 09:56 AM
Thread Name: Sept 11, 2001 - 10 yr anniversary thread
Subject: RE: Sept 11, 2001 - 10 yr anniversary thread
There have been radio stories on NPR. Two in particular caught my attention:

Memories of Sept. 11's First Recorded Casualty Endure (Father Mychal Judge)


Slain Priest: 'Bury His Heart, But Not His Love' (again, Mychal Judge)

Here is an excerpt from the first article:

That Final Morning

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Judge rushed with some off-duty firemen to the World Trade Center, which had just been hit by the first plane. Tom Von Essen, who was then commissioner of the New York Fire Department, saw him in the North Tower.

"And he looked really concerned," Von Essen recalls. "We didn't talk. We always talked. We always fooled around. But we didn't that morning."

As it happened, French documentary filmmakers were inside the North tower. Their camera captured some of the last moments of Mychal Judge's life. In the film, says his friend, Father Michael Duffy, you can see the priest standing by the plate glass window, watching the bodies fall on the patio outside.

"And if you look closely at that film, you'll see his lips moving," Duffy says. "Now, for those of us who know him, he wasn't one that talked to himself. He was praying. And absolving people as they fell to their death."

Moments later, the South Tower collapsed. The force of the explosion shattered the windows and flung the priest across the lobby. In the darkness, some firemen stumbled over a body.

"It's Father Mike!" they yelled. They lifted his limp body and gently placed him in a chair. As they carried him outside, a photographer snapped an iconic picture of the developing tragedy.

italics mine. If you weren't crying yet in this story, that part tipped the scales.

The photo they discuss.

There are musical remembrances of Mychal Judge in these stories. Another article segment:

Judge was also a celibate gay man in the priesthood, a fact he revealed only to a select few. Brendan Fay, a gay activist who co-produced The Saint of 9/11, a documentary about Mychal Judge, says the chaplain's struggles drew people to him.

"Mychal sort of weaved his way in and out of groups that wouldn't be caught near each other," Fay says.

Republican Mayor Rudi Giuliani and Democratic Mayor David Dinkins; conservative and liberal Catholics; stock brokers and street people — all claimed him as a friend. One reason, Fay says, is that even in the dark hour, Judge could make life a celebration.

"His mother always reminded him, 'You can't go wrong with a song. When you don't know what to do, sing,'" Fay says.

Judge was famous for his rendition of the murder ballad, "Frankie and Johnny," which he sang at birthday parties. He once sang "God Bless America" at the funeral of a gay man in the middle of the AIDS epidemic.