Sleepless the night of 9/11

The night of 9/11/01 most of us couldn’t sleep. Last night was like that, but not for the same reasons. Jill and I, awake at 3 am, watched scenes of the ceremonies at the 9/11 sites and Jill had taped the evening news with Katie Couric.


The night of 9/11 I kept waking and thinking of the firefighters rushing up the towers, and a few days later I asked Nashville artist Arden von Haeger to draw an image that would both memorialize and honor symbolically those 434 firefighters who selflessly rushed up the stairs as others were coming down.

The finished work was called, “He was there” and depicts an angel or Christ with arms around a firefighter and the caption, “He was there” that made a different claim from those hardliners who said God was punishing the United States for being soft on homosexuality.

So we ran von Haeger’s piece on the cover of the Sep/Oct 2001 Wineskins, an issue on postmodernism, and we brought the two ideas (postmodern tragedy) together for the title, “Can we find God in the chaos?”

We also made art prints and I often give them to firefighters. If you would like one, let me know.

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