- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

NEW YORK — Cardinal Edward M. Egan told a sorrowful crowd in St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday evening that, like Christ, the rescue workers who gave their lives in the inferno of the World Trade Center have triumphed over evil.
"They guided us. They protected us. They gave their lives for us," said the spiritual leader of the city's 2.3 million Catholics.
The cardinal made the comparison during a Mass commemorating uniformed officers and rescue workers who fell in the line of duty during last Tuesday's disaster. The cathedral, a traditional gathering place for New Yorkers in times of trial and triumph, seats 2,500, but mourners filled the aisles and the crowd overflowed onto Fifth Avenue. Scores of people stood in front of the Saks Fifth Avenue, where fashionable mannequins have been removed from the windows to be replaced by signs that read: "With great sadness."
This was the second of two Masses celebrated over the weekend, the first on Sunday for all victims at the WTC and the Pentagon and their families. In the wake of the cataclysm, a steady stream of funeral services, memorial religious services and concerts have already taken place or are in the making. New Yorkers, weary from sadness, have flocked to churches this week in search of solace.
The four men directing the rescue of this city since the first hijacked airliner attacked the city at 8:48 a.m. last Tuesday sat in the front row of the cathedral: Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerick and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen. The men leaned forward, their shoulders hunched, their heads bowed as the strains of the opening hymn — "My Shepherd Is the Lord" — filled the great cathedral. Mr. Kerick shielded his face with his hands and more than once rubbed his eyes. In a display of shared tragedy, the cardinal descended the altar steps, embracing officials from the emergency services and the governor and mayor.
Mr. Kerick and Mr. Von Essen, their faces etched in mourning, remembered their men in brief remarks, and a uniformed police woman called for solidarity with the Jewish people on their Day of Atonement, Rosh Hashanah. Many wore their uniforms. One man, his head swathed in bandages, leaned on crutches.
The cardinal spoke movingly of how the "gallant men" had triumphed over fear. "Millions of tons of stone and steel were falling all about them," he said. "Hurricanes of dirt, dust and debris were engulfing them. There was no light with which to see. There was no air with which to breathe. All they same they did what they always did … they handed over their lives for the safety of others. If this is not triumph, I do not know what triumph might be."
Recalling a crucifix that hangs within a small chapel in the Italian city of Assisi, the cardinal said that tour guides shine a flashlight to the left and right sides of the Christ figure to show the two sides of death. On the left side of the face, he said,"the brow is deeply furrowed. The mouth is twisted. The Son of God made man is clearly in torment."
But on the right side, he said, the face is at peace. "There is on it even a suggestion of triumph.
"Death, it proclaims, has and must have two faces: one of sadness and pain and the other of peace and triumph."
Quoting from the writing of St. John the apostle in a reading from yesterday's liturgy, the cardinal said: "Those who do not love, he tells us, are in a sense already dead. And those who love so intensely as to give their lives for others will live forever with their God."

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