Sunday, August 13, 2006

World Trade Center

Sunny - Hi 118 Lo 92 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny and Hazy - Hi 85 Lo 68 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week:
Superbowl XXXVI Halftime Performance by U2, February 2002 - Beautiful Day and Where the Streets Have No Name

A short five months after the unimaginable events of September 11, 2001, we Americans put on our games faces, wiped away our tears, covered our cuts and bruises, and showed the world that the terrorists may have given us a terrible blow, but we would overcome and defeat them. We weren't about to let those b@$*@#%$ think they had the upper hand. Never. We are Americans. Proud. The best of the best. President Bush told us to get on with our lives... So, we as Americans showed resolution and unity in a game we call football. Some gathered to watch the commercials... some actually watched the game... some gathered to eat and drink and be with friends and family. There was a heightened sense of importance to be with those we love. Some of us gathered to watch the halftime show. No wardrobe malfunctions that year, but an Irish rock band helped us heal if just a little bit and gave us a moment to remember our fallen. I think that was the only time I cried during a Super Bowl.
It was a good day for football.
It was fitting that the Patriots won that year...


The events of a few days ago as well as the conflict unfolding in the Middle East are grim reminders that the Islamofascists still hate us. Why? Because they do. Many have explained the reasons as to why. Go to Townhall and read some of our great conservative scholars; read many of the blogs that write passionately about why we must fight. I am not so bold as to think my words make a difference to anyone, but I do need to put my thoughts in writing so I can explore my own psyche and what all this means to me.

I love this country, I always have. I know what it means to be an American, to be free, to have the right of liberty, the ability to pursue my dreams, to be content with my life as it is and what my husband and I have chosen as a path.

September 11, 2001 magnified how I look at things. I have mentioned on this blog before that we live close to the Northern Kentucky Greater Cincinnati International Airport. The days following the cowardly attack were most eerie for us. The flight patterns from CVG bring planes right past our home. No jets... weird, unnerving silence filled the air. We would see fighter jets high... high in the sky... but no passenger jets... no commerce... everything stopped.

Do you remember the way we as Americans behaved after that dreadful day? We were kind to each other. We were polite drivers. People checked in on each other. We called loved ones. We would end conversations by saying, "I love you" and "Take care of yourself".

Our Congress stood on those steps of the Capitol singing God Bless America... side by side and for an instant in time... we were as one nation... Dare I say it? We were one nation, under God.

Mayor Giuliani was our champion, our calm as we hoped and prayed and watched the news hoping they would find survivors in that wreckage that was once a workplace for tens of thousands.

Stories of heroism and courage crept out... some of it urban legend but some of it very real.

This was an attack on American soil, but we were not the only ones to suffer. Over eighty countries lost people that day. We were sucker punched because we were not paying attention.

President Bush became a father figure to all of us. I can not imagine the burden this man carries. I know he was the right person in place during this time of chaos and yes... evil.

It's been nearly five years and our brave soldiers have kept the fight out of our country. They are still in Afghanistan and in Iraq and other places we don't need to know about. We continue to lose good men to this evil. My responsibility to these men is to support them and their mission. I do so enthusiastically and humbly.

Our friends in Israel are surrounded by those that hate them. Why? Because they do. Dare I say it? They are hated because they are the chosen people of God. Will we as Americans continue to stand by our friends or will we falter? Will we succumb to our own prejudice and bigotry and turn our backs on them?

Here at home, President Bush told us that this would be a long drawn out fight. On September 20, 2001, President Bush spoke to us as a nation, spoke to the world:

[...] These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their way. [...]

[...] Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. [...]

[...] But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows. [...]

[...] Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat. [...]

[...] I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security; and for your patience in what will be a long struggle. [...]

[...] It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day, and to whom it happened. We'll remember the moment the news came -- where we were and what we were doing. Some will remember an image of a fire, or a story of rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever. [...]

[...] I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. [...]

[...] The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. [...]

[...] Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.

emphasis added. link to full text of speech below.

We were told this fight would be a long drawn out battle- that we would work with our allies- some things we have watched on the news... other things... we know not. I know someone close to Michael and I- we know he is chasing the bad guys... but he has never once discussed it, nor have we asked. To ask him threatens his mission.

Saturday I caught the matinee for World Trade Center. Michael was working, besides he refuses to go to the movies... So, I went by myself. I was optimistic about the movie based on what I had heard from those I respect. I am not sure what I was expecting; I guess I was hoping to be overwhelmed with the emotions from that dreadful day... to be reminded of the grief and subsequent anger I felt.

The movie is about hope and perseverance and the human struggle to simply stay alive. Did it capture the essence of that day? I am afraid not, but what it did do was stir my own memories and resolution. The movie did not explore the why and who of the day. It did not explore the shock and grief we felt that day. It did not explore the anger in the coming days and months after 9/11. It did not show those that hate us dancing in the streets... The movie did not show the American will and the way we came together as a people. It was very... antiseptic.

Decide for yourself about the movie. My opinion- I found the story of survival to be moving. Only 20 people were pulled out of that wreckage. TWENTY! Remember? We were donating blood and sending relief supplies up to New York City immediately - IMMEDIATELY- despite our shock and grief. We were expecting the rescuers to pull thousands of people from the rubble. The movie follows Port Authority Officers, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno as they get caught between the towers when they collapse.

I did find a moment of levity when I found myself laughing. The men were talking to each other to stay awake to stay alive- McLoughlin explained to Jimeno that he was pretty good at carpentry work and he was in the process of remodeling the kitchen. There weren't any kitchen cabinets up. He had to get home otherwise the wife would be griping if he didn't get home to finish the job. That is the sort of conversation my husband would have with his friends – that made the movie personal.

Another part of the movie that probably won't have the same impact on others is a simple cut to scene of firemen gathered in front of an wrought iron fence. Food is being served and it shows some firemen from Wisconsin there-- giving the understanding that people came from everywhere to help.

The wrought iron fence is what stirred my emotions. You see, that fence is in front of St. Paul's Chapel which is right across from the World Trade Center. George Washington sat in that very church... The fence became a memorial and a place to put pictures of souls that were missing. St. Paul's Chapel became a dormitory for the countless volunteers.

The movie also made me aware of another hero - David Karnes - United States Marine. This guy--- 3 years out of the Marine Corp, working in Connecticut for some accounting firm... He watches and sees the towers get hit and fall. He tells those around him---"If you didn't know it already, we are at war." Staff Sergeant Karnes believes he has a calling and that is to help those in need. He goes to his church and prays with his pastor. He then goes to his local barber and gets a high and tight. He goes and picks up his Marine gear, dresses in his cammies and hops in his Porsche 911 and speeds to the New York City. He walks through and gets to Ground Zero, he hooks up with another Marine Dave Thomas and they are among the first walking through the ruins and looking for survivors. The Marines find the Port Authority Officers and stay with them.

Subsequently, Karnes goes home, quits his job reenlists with the Corp and did 2 tours in Iraq.

I love Marines.

So, my psyche... I will remain vigilant. I will stay wide awake and watch the world outside our home, I will look for things out of the ordinary when I am driving to and fro.

I will continue writing my Congressman and Senators and make them realize they too are on alert- that I am watching them.

I will continue to educate myself on the upcoming elections and start with my local sheriff.

I will urge the politicians that are elected to represent me that we must secure our borders and send illegal aliens back to their country of origin.

I will stand up against and audibly disagree when a crack smoking kool aid drinking liberal says what we are doing is wrong. I will remind them that:

We don't torture and murder innocent civilians like Leon Klinghoffer, or Italian hero Fabrizio Quatrocchi, or the crew and passengers of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, or Daniel Pearl. We don't kill our athletes when they don't perform. We don't treat women like cattle... worse than cattle... We don't rape women and young girls and then murder them because they are no longer pure... We don't send a car filled with explosives into Embassies (Tehran, Beirut, Kuwait) to maim and kill civilians... We don't boobeytrap our own CHILDREN with explosives to kill soldiers!! We don't fill a back pack with explosives, board trains and buses and blow people to bits... Oh, and we don't fly jetliners into skyscrapers and kill thousands either!!!

I will cheer when one of our very own bloggers uncovers something else that the mainstream media has done to lie and deceive. Please be aware you mainstream media pricks that we are watching you and we know what you are up to. How dare you jerk offs share secrets with the enemy - Revealing our tactics of catching the bad guys... You put people in jeopardy with crap like that. What is it that you hate so much about your own country? What?

I will continue to support our fighting men and women.

When a soldier comes home from a tour of duty when I can, I will be holding a flag as they drive by- a simple thank you for what they did. And if one of them should sadly return home in a box with an American flag draped over it, whenever possible, I will pay my respect to the family of that soldier that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

I will stand by those that stand by us.

I will not be passive in my love for this country or my love for what God has given us. I will live my life and be happy and appreciate every day that has been given to me.

I will not forget.

Blogs and Links to Check Out This Week: - Relive SuperBowl XXXVI

Family7 - In looking for articles on U2 at the SuperBowl, I came across this. I don't know who the young artist is, but I found this to be sweet. I hope you do too.

Townhall - Many of America's best conservative minds

WTC Life - I found this short film and found it touching- it is people going to work at the World Trade Center years before the towers fell.

World Trade Center - Link to the movie webite

Complete text of President Bush's Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, September 20, 2001 - This should be read often to remind us of that day.

David Karnes, USMC - Learn about this Marine.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Sister in Pittsburgh gives local 911 dispatcher a heroic role - Learn about the Marine's sister.

Libertas - This is an in depth review Oliver Stone's World Trade Center

St Paul's Chapel - May 2005 we "happened upon this church". We had no idea of it's history, we had no idea that it was a sanctuary. This website has several videos and first hand accounts.

*****On September 11, 2996 bloggers will post tributes of those lost on 9/11. I am memorializing Marion Britton.*****

Please, join the tribute.*****

Have a great week everyone!

Blogger is not allowing me to load photos. As soon as Blogger let's me, I'll be adding 3 photos to this post...

Update: 5:00PM EST-- finally... pics are posted.


Robin said...

Wow, I felt every word of this post. Spoken with love and devotion and enthusiasm and depth and honor. It seems you gave much of yourself in its writing. Thanks for stirring in me some of the thoughts and emotions I had five years ago...and for challenging me to "do something", although I'm not sure what that means.

Polly said...

Great post. I too am truly in love with my country and I want to remember what happened on September 11th, 2001, not for revenge or out of hatred, but as you said in your post, I want to remember how I felt on that day and remember how we changed as a nation afterwards. People want fast results and quick fixes, but there is no short answer for this one. We need to unite as a nation to stand behind our President and the troops to do accomplish this hard task. I also felt moved to post something about 9/11 on my blog. A reminder that God is bigger than the enemy we fear. I believe He has called us as a Nation to stand against this enemy of hatred and to make His name great in all of this. I also saw the WTC movie and I'm glad I went, although the movie mostly focused on the two survivors. I was moved by it none the less. I remember where I was and what I was doing that day. I was eating breakfast in a restaurant with my 80 year old mother. I stopped eating after the second plane hit the towers. My mother started to cry because she was afraid we were being bombed. I wanted to go home and turn on the TV to watch the news, but she was so distraught I took her to a Garden Nursery to look at flowers, her favorite thing. Even so, every where we went TVs were on and the news was filling the Garden Nursery. I finally took her home and went upstairs to my own room and watched the news. Mom kept asking why this happened. I couldn't make her understand what was happening. Then when the news hit recently about the foiled plot to explode planes from Britain to the U.S. Mom again asked me, why? Why do they hate us? She wanted to know if they were planning to drop bombs on us. I could see the fear in her eyes. The enemy wants to plant fear into the lives of our children and everyone in this nation. Even when their plots fail, they succeed in spreading fear and anxiety. But Psalms 91 tells me I have nothing to fear. God is still on the throne and He is bigger than the master they serve. Thanks for a moving post. It hit a note with me. We should never forget, but we should be resolved to ending the torment spreading to our nation and others from a group of people bent on hatred. Pray for our President criticism doens't encourage him or give him wisdom - pray for our troops - they make the ultimate sacrifice everyday.

Jedi Master Rob said...

Well done. I was right there again. . Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. Watching it happen, calling Jo, calling you, shocked and angry, feeling useless. .

That day hasn't really ended. I'm still angry. That's were I want to be right now and I suspect for sometime to come.

Laura said...

What an exceptionally good post, Cathy. I really appreciated all you wrote.

I live near a military air base and it was so strange, late on 9/11, to be *alarmed* by the sound of planes. Then we realized it was planes taking off from the military base, with supplies and personnel headed for NY and elsewhere in the East.

Thanks again, Laura

janice said...

that was a very pwoerful post.

i was pregnant with my only child that day. i will never forget my fear and almost despair as I watched stunned and glued to the tv for the next two weeks, worrying and praying for us all and for my unborn baby.

some days it is so sureal, the safety we have, while somnay suffer in wars and attacks. this world is too crazy. oh how i wish we could just have peace for every country.

Anna Venger said...

I think we all remember where we were that day. That moment was supposed to have changed us all forever. I actually wish we would have changed more than we did.

What we must not do is forget that there is a real clash of civilizations and we cannot bury our heads in the sand just because we don't want our world to be this way.

Pamela said...

I flew out of Washington DC the night of 9/10/01. Arrivived on the west coast well after midnight on 9/11/01 and ready for sleep. Awakened by daughter calling on phone .... My 5 year old grandson had watched grandma fly away and needed to be reassured by hearing my voice that my plane did not blow up. You remember those things, too.

We don't understand the hate.

CyberCelt said...

Excellent post.

We do not understand the hate because we live in a land of plenty. Even our homeless people have more than most people in the countries of the middle-east. The oil money stays with the top dogs and there is NO trickle-down.

The only education young men get is in their religion. Hopefully, that education is by a holy man. If not, they learn from someone so filled with hate that hate is all he teaches.

We need to send food, healthcare, supplies, housing, generators and other items we take for granted. War breeds hopelessness and hopelessness is just another reason to kill.

Cathy said...

Robin: Thank you for the kind words. I must tell you first and foremost... You already are doing something-- in fact, you have the toughest job. Being a mom takes more stamina than a letter writing campaign or beating a drum to let our leaders know we are watching them. Raising children to be responsible adults; teaching them between right and wrong--- you, my friend, ARE doing something... In fact, it is the MOST important thing. ...

Polly: Thank you for sharing your personal experience on 9/11. That day will be one where we all will remember what we were doing... Being with your mother- that was important. There is a website that you may find encouraging. It is called We Are Not Afraid. It was created last year after the bombings in England-- 7/7. Folks from all walks of life post picture stating "We are not afraid" I go there when I feel discouraged.

Rob: Thank you for the link on your site. My memories of that day include you- you were the first one to call me... so surreal... that day... I thought you were crazy.... remember?
Again, thanks for the link and kudos.

Laura: Your opinion matters to me and I thank you for the compliment. We all share a link to that day... it bonds us all- to remember, to not allow it to happen again.

Janice: I can't imagine the emotions you had to endure being pregnant at that time. When I realized what was happening that day, I called all the women in my life with children- my thought was to make sure they were with their kids. I was in autopilot- I had called people I hadn't talked to in months... we thought our world as we know it was coming to an end. I too, would love for there to be peace- that IS the objective. However those that want us dead do not live by the same "rules" we do. The Islamofascists would rather the entire planet be annihilated than not follow Allah and their warped teachings.

Anna Venger: (lover the name!)I couldn't agree with you more. I have done posts on 9/11 before as a reminder to myself to be steadfast in my commitment to keep my eyes open-- it is so easy to get caught up in daily life and push this out of sight. So, it is a bonus if someone else wants to become purposeful and do something to remain vigilant.

Pamela: Thank you for sharing your memory and thank God you flew on 9/10. It was awful seeing small children afraid...not just that day, but weeks afterwards... You are correct... we don't understand the hate... I'm glad for that... I don't want to know that kind of hatred. Ever.

Mike said...

Amen honey!

Suzy said...

Wow, what a post! It brings back so many memories to me, and the pictures and your words really touched me. Thanks so much for sharing your writing.....awesome!

Reel Fanatic said...

Amen to that ... I wasn't sure before seeing this movie, but even Oliver Stone must love our great country, judging from this great movie .. I'm so glad he managed to check his politics at the door and just make a moving movie about true American heroism

Creechman said...

Great post Cathy.