A Sibling's Strength

Another fine profile from associate editor Kerry Weber:

During September 2001, Michael Armstrong was busy. Then 34 years old, he was preparing to get married in October. He planned to be out of the office at the end of the week of September 11 for his bachelor party. On Monday the 10th, he attended a funeral Mass for a friend’s mother. But on Tuesday he was at work at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center.

Advertisement

Sometimes his sister Laura, nine years his junior, thinks about Michael’s schedule that week. What if the funeral had been held on Tuesday? What if the terrorist attacks had taken place at the end of the week? Any number of events could have spared Michael’s life, and spared his family the pain of losing him. “There are always those what-if moments and the whys,” she says now. “Whys were directed toward God. A certain degree of anger is only natural, but I think what I felt was more hurt and sorrow than anger, and I don’t feel like my faith was altered.”

You can browse our other features for 9/11 here.

Tim Reidy

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Gabriel McAuliffe
7 years ago
This article is one of the most moving that I have read, particularly in this magazine. 

God bless the Armstrong family.  God rest the soul of Michael Armstrong.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Brett and Bridget Hutchinson of St. Thomas More in St. Paul, Minn., pray with other young adults gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul Aug. 20 during a vigil called "Evening Prayer for the Survivors of Clerical Abuse and the Healing of the Church." (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit) 
“I’m unhappy about what’s being done here,” Elizabeth Bruenig said at a conversation at Georgetown University. “The one thing I can do is throw a fit.”
Teresa DonnellanSeptember 19, 2018
A Vatican source confirmed that a high-level Holy See delegation will travel to the Chinese capital for the signing and that a date has already been fixed for this ground-breaking event.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 18, 2018
Swiss Guards salute as Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston leave a meeting of cardinals with Pope Francis in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 21, 2014. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
“The church has lost credibility in investigating itself.”
Jim McDermottSeptember 18, 2018
This economy is not working for human beings.
Brandon SanchezSeptember 18, 2018