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Remembering 9/11: a tribute to Yolanda, a tour of the Memorial in NYC, and a call to service

Remembering 9/11: a tribute to Yolanda, a tour of the Memorial in NYC, and a call to service

Many of us remember where we were 14 years ago today.

I’ve written about it before here, and here, and here and here and elsewhere.

Today, among the others my extended family knows who died that day, I’d like to focus on one person that we lost.

My mom’s friend, Yolanda Dowling, as my mother tells it, was excited to get a job more local to her home on Long Island. She went into the World Trade Center that morning for what should have been her last day on the job. It was her last day on the planet.

Mary Yolanda Dowling July 22, 1955–September 11, 2001

Mary Yolanda Dowling
July 22, 1955–September 11, 2001

Let us pray for her soul, and all those who mourn her, and all those who mourn this day.


That space in lower Manhattan is holy ground, and Pope Francis is set to visit it for a prayer service on September 25.  The memorial also recalls those lost in Washington DC and in Shanksville, PA.

I’ve yet to be able to make a visit to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. But I’ve benefitted from seeing the memorial site online.

You can do an over-view tour of it here. 

And here’s a short 10 retrospective of the building of the Memorial.

The 9/11 Memorial has its own YouTube channel and there are plenty more videos there to explore.


Finally, there are many people who want to remember 9/11 with a day of service. Being a volunteer in the community is a positive thing. There are many good ideas here. Of course, you don’t just have to volunteer today, you can do it anytime.

Banner photo is a screenshot of what Yolanda’s name looks like on the Memorial Wall,  from here. 




I went to Mass today to remember. To pray for the loved ones we lost as families, as states, as a nation on 9/11/2001. I met up with a friend for coffee and I recalled to her the times in my youth I heard survivors of World War Two complain to us youngsters about not remembering the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor long ago, and other similar dates. I get what those complaints were all about, now that I am older. I have a renewed appreciation for honoring anniversaries of tragic loss.

How important it is that we not only remember those that have died, and the calamities we may suffer, but keep them in perspective by keeping close the memory of what is to come. Faith allows us to begin to fathom and make sense of this, our present moment.

How appropriate the lines from Scripture in today’s Mass from St Paul… to illuminate the truth of all we believe… to remember that our life with Christ calls us to look up, to look beyond, to see with new eyes of faith…

If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

-Colossians 3: 1-4-


I remember what a clear blue sky we had on September 11, 2001. Like the flag gently luffing in the easy breezy sky in the photo I took while sailing on vacation this summer. The light pierces the colors of the flag and sharpens our gaze. Like Francis, says, “the light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. (Lumen Fidei, par 4.)”

9-11: Remembering The Lost

Remember The Lost

Some names and faces.

Let us pray.