The UB paper the UB Spectrum interviewed me about my memories of September 11th.

The striking memory I had was of having to do the welcome at mass the following Sunday.

The Sunday after the Tuesday attacks, Hayes had to get in front of his parish and celebrate Mass, as usual. Yet, he struggled with how to address the community and address the tragedy that had just affected every church member.
“I thought this was going to be the hardest thing I would ever have to do,” Hayes said. “I said ‘I really want to welcome all of the people to our parish this morning and I’m really having a hard time doing that because one of us isn’t here today. Her name is Debbie and she was member of our choir.
“She was a flight attendant on that flight that crashed in Shanksville.’ I said, ‘If you’ve never sang before, sing today. If you’re someone new here, you just came to pray, and you haven’t been to church in years, Debbie would want us to welcome you. We’re glad you’re here with us and we want you to remember our friend, but most of all remember whoever it is you lost that you’re here to pray for today.'”

Read the rest. And remember…