IN THIS ISSUE
A Rosary Remembrance
Peter was one of the lucky ones. He came home to his wife Rita, a nurse now on home-leave caring for her elderly mother, but notbefore witnessing almost unspeakable horror. It was the bravery and sacrifice of his loyal firefighters who didn’t come home that remained in his mind and heart. Rita felt the same sense of gratitude to these brave victims.
“During the attacks, I immediately began to pray the rosary for my husband and others directly involved,” Rita recalls. “Then later, when we attempted to console friends who had lost loved ones, we had no idea what to say. That’s when we decided to let the Blessed Mother do the talking.” Rita turned for comfort and peace to her rosary, a special gift to her for a donation to the Missionary Oblates. She found a calmness through her devotion to the Blessed Mother. She soon realized praying the rosary would be a good way to bring families of the victims a healing peace. So she and Peter began giving the firefighters’ next of kin the Oblates’ Forget-Me-Not rosary and a personal note.
Before giving a rosary, she and Peter inserted a photo of the victim into the locket centerpiece as a special memento.
Over the past five years, Rita and Peter have given away more than 400 Forget-Me-Not Rosaries. The many positive responses the couple have received attest to the gratitude the victims’ families feel for the Haydens’ caring and concern for missing spouses, fathers, sons, and daughters.
The Haydens have five children, including their two sons – both firefighters for the New York City Fire Department, following in their father’s heroic footsteps. Truly, a family tradition of service and bravery will continue.
It was a national nightmare, deeply seared into everyone’s mind and replayed endlessly on prime time broadcasts. The horror, the smoke, the rubble – and yet the bravery – of September 11, 2001, marked us all forever as the specter of terrorism reached our nation.
The terrifying destruction of the Twin
Towers has become a unique opportunity
for one New York couple to extend healing
and hope to families of those who lost their
lives on 9/11. Peter Hayden, now retired
after 38 years with the New York City Fire
Department, was on duty as Deputy Chief
of Lower Manhattan that day. He was one
of the first responders in charge at Ground