. . . for What Might Have Been . . .


As the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, approached, I went back to re-read the response that I had written on behalf of the Center of Concern in the days immediately following the attacks.

There was still in those early days space to pray, hope, and long for a faith-inspired response that might open horizons of healing and peacemaking globally. It did not take long for the hopes and vision expressed there to be cast aside in the march to a war response in whose legacy our nation is still trapped 17 years later.

Still, in rediscovering the vision that we at the Center tried to hold out in that terrible time, I found a theological reflection and vision worth returning to. It offers material for quiet reflection and prayer, calling us back, in this most divided and conflictive time, to contemplate the “Best Face of America” and to be inspired again to try to reclaim a national identity and presence to the world worthy of our calling, one rooted in our deepest faith convictions and dreams.

The piece is longer than a typical blog posting, running to nearly five pages. I am attaching it here in the hope that you will read it prayerfully and find through it the grace of renewed energy for global solidarity and peace.


James E. Hug, S.J.
September 11, 2018



September 11, 2001
“The Best Face of America….”