Today we remember the infamous attacks on America that occurred on September 11, 2001.
The news world, the blog world, are full of reminiscences. Full of recollection, remembrance, call to prayer.
They are also full of political spin; calls for tolerance and diversity and protests against a proposed mosque near Ground Zero. There are some who say, "Never forget," and others who say, "Never forgive." There is no shortage of partisan finger-pointing as each side tries to make political capital against the other, over the memories of the dead.
What there is not, what there was in abundance on Sept. 11, 2001, is silence.
I remember the eerie quiet after the attacks. It wasn't just the absence of planes in the sky; it was there everywhere you went. People huddled in little groups, talking quietly. Store owners quietly placed messages on signs, messages like "God bless America," and "Pray for America." People went about their business quietly, as if a raised voice or a loud complaint was a desecration of the dead.
And in our parish church, the crowds were so thick there weren't enough seats for everybody--but there was still that uncanny silence, when so many people crowded together to try to make sense of it all in the presence of God and their fellow men.
Nine years later, the churches have gone back to their usual congregation sizes. The stores display the latest sale ads. The ever-present chatter of spin and political point-making and shouting about the enemy or refusing to acknowledge any enemy are what they ever were.
We can't make peace in the world unless we make room for silence. And we can't make silence in the world unless we make room for silence in our own hearts.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.