Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Where were you on 9/11? An important question, but annoying for some.

In 2006, I participated in the 2996 Project,  an effort to have a tribute online for each victim of the 9/11 attack. So I researched and wrote about Colleen Ann Deloughery. I recently Googled her name and that tribute comes up 6th. 

A few days later I started getting a rush of visitors from  the Feministe Blog and discovered that my post apparently was really bugging blogger Jill!

But I’ll put in my last two cents: It’s disgusting that September 11th has been turned into a platform for narcissism, pushing political agendas that have nothing to do with what happened on that day, and selling shit. So here are my suggestions, for anyone who wants them:

-It’s not about you. I know, for the more self-absorbed among us, it might seem that My 9/11 Story is totally important because, you know, the terrorists could have bombed Ohio! But they didn’t. So shut it. And “Where were you??” is perhaps the most obnoxious 9/11-related question of all time. So shut that, too. Also, when you’re writing a tribute to someone, “She’s so much like MEEEE!” does not tend to be the best way.
I imagine that Jill is quite annoyed that on this tenth anniversary of the attacks, since  "Where were you?" stories are quite popular!

For example:

Where were you on 9/11.

A Collection of "Where were you?" stories by Meg McConahey of Press Democrat.com

I remember Jill was particularly annoyed that anyone from Ohio would remember 9/11 because we weren't attacked (even though Flight 93 crossed into Ohio air space.)  Nonetheless, Ohio remembers.

Ohioans Remember "Where were you?

But really, since it was a NATIONAL tragedy and something that affected everyone in some way, it's normal that regardless of where you were geographically that day, it is an event seared into our collective consciousness.

Alaska remembers- and you can't get much more geographically distant from that on US soil!

and you don't even have to be an American Citizen to remember!

Paul McCartney, The Love We Make.

As for the "She's so much like meee" remark - I think what made 9/11 so scary was that the victims  WERE JUST LIKE US!  These were regular people going to their regular jobs and living regular lives. Age, gender, race, occupation  - none of that mattered; none of them were safe. That is the brilliance of terror - that it lacks logic in who experiences it, and that is precisely what keeps us a little bit afraid even 10 years later.  I have to think that's why we have allowed airport officials grope us at the airport - a little indignity for the sake of staying alive, because if it happens again, it could be us.

So yea Jill, I guess I was guilty as charged. I wrote about a wife and a mother. The thought that such a person could die such a brutal and unexpected death still haunts me.

I suspect I'm not alone.

For more blogger memorials of 9/11 victims the 2996 project continues here.

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  1. I think the important part to remember is they were just like us. Regular people doing regular things- caught off guard because we are, in general, a very trusting nation. I remember thinking the same thing after it happened- because that is how I felt about the bombing that my family lived through. Regular people just doing regular things- changed in one day by a random act of hate. That is why I think the random act of kindness is the perfect reflection of our US attitude about such things.
    I will remember Neil Hyland and RIck Stenson on Sunday- just as I remember the seven who were killed in our bombing on Nov 13, 1995.


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