Catholic family reflects on Tempe’s 9/11 Healing Field

Taylor's mom wrote the following about her photo: This moment brought it home for me.  How discipline, self control, and love for others serves our country throughout a lifetime.  Without these things freedom is not possible.  Seeing Taylor in her SJB uniform amongst the flags was a stark reminder of the presence of the Church in our culture today. (courtesy photo)
(courtesy photo)

The Bible had it right. “And a child shall lead them.”

I first stepped foot on Tempe’s Healing Field a year ago after my first-grader came home on Sept. 11 talking about events that happened 11 years prior. Turns out everything she learned was in her Catholic school classroom.

We headed to Tempe’s Healing Field for a further remembrance and learned about several victims. Their names and bios grace the poles of some 3,000 flags.

Sounds like a St. John Bosco family had a similar experience this year with their three girls. Taylor is 7 years old. Her sisters are 4 and 2. Their parents, James and Cheryl Wedell, shared the following with The Catholic Sun:

Regarding the photo at left, Cheryl wrote, “This moment brought it home for me.  How discipline, self control, and love for others serves our country throughout a lifetime.  Without these things freedom is not possible.  Seeing Taylor in her SJB uniform amongst the flags was a stark reminder of the presence of the Church in our culture today.”

In a separate email, she wrote:

[quote_box_center]After school we went to the memorial  to show them the price that freedom costs.

It was wonderful to see the older girls stop in compassion and stand by the flags. Looking at the boots, flowers, and other effects left by loved ones honoring their dead. Taylor read the names and stories attached to several flags.  When “Taps” was played over the loud speaker they stood very still and gazed off into the distance.

There were a group of military & civilian runners who were making laps around the complex with the American flag held high for a 24 hour period, without stopping.  I told the girls this was “like” what we do for the Lord in adoration.  Staying awake with Him, never leaving Him alone.

Taylor wanted to know the full story of how this many people died and why.  It was the topic at the dinner table. Our 4-year-old Tatum listened very carefully, taking it all in.
It was very somber, yet peaceful seeing small children think about “love for others”, and honoring the dead.

As a mother it brought me to tears.[/quote_box_center]

The Healing Field display will be up through Sept. 15. Feel free to stop there or Arizona’s 9/11 Memorial in Phoenix’s Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in the days to come.