The Catholic University of America

Chad Pecknold, associate professor, theology, published an essay in First Things on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. See below.

Good and Evil in a Dublin Pub

From: First Things
Date: Sept. 12, 2016
Author: Chad Pecknold

Fifteen years ago yesterday, my friend Karl and I caught a Ryan Air flight from London Stansted to Dublin.

We arrived around noon, and made our way to Cobblestones Pub on the Northside of Dublin in Smithfield, just over the River Liffey. It's my favorite pub in Dublin, not least because it's a hub for traditional Irish music.

We arrived in time for a late lunch with a pint of Guinness. I don't remember what we ate. I remember that the Guinness was fresher, blacker, smoother, more flavorful. It was like we had tapped it from the Source—and we nearly had, as the brewery was only a few steps away. We'd visit it later. It was time to settle into some quality time at Cobblestones.

At 1:46pm, Dublin time, American Airlines Flight 11 barreled into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. There were a couple of televisions in the pub but we weren't paying any attention to them. Soon we noticed that everyone else was. We sipped our stout, and half wondered what had collected the attention. As the only Americans in the pub, it must have seemed strange that we weren't watching TV. At some point before 2pm, someone came over to us with a kind intervention. There had just been a plane crash in New York we should see. ...

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