9/11 Memories

I've been on YouTube watching those planes hit the towers over and over again, from every available angle, some shot by individuals who happened to have a camera rolling at the moment, others by the networks. I watch, trying to conjure up the emotions I felt that day, but it's almost impossible. Our emotions regarding Sept. 11 are shaped by what we now know--the famous people who died, the hundreds of gallant firefighters and police who sacrificed their lives so that others might live, the two wars the attacks led to.

On the day itself, there was tension: what was going to be hit next? Where was President Bush? There was inaccuracy: At one point, somebody on TV said the State Department had been hit. Since I live in a D.C. suburb, my kids were sent home from school. I remember I watched a Jane Austen flick that evening--I can't remember which one. Some might call that an attempt to escape reality. But what is realistic about watching the same plane hit the same building a hundred times? In a sense, I was escaping a violent unreality.

I remember being angry a few days later, when I saw the covers of the news magazines featuring the most terrible images they could find of the jets' impact. It was as though they were screaming, "Look how badly you hurt us!" It seemed to me we were playing into the goals of our attackers--to hurt us so badly that we screamed. I didn't want them to know how badly they'd hurt us. All I wanted that week was quiet, swift justice for the perpetrators of this monstrosity. I wanted the networks to shut up about it and talk about other things--the weather, the economy--instead of obsessing about what had happened. Unrealistic? Of course.   

I love the good ways 9/11 changed us. Especially I love the fact that, everytime a suspected terrorist tries something on a plane--the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber--the other passengers practically kill him. We almost don't need federal marshals on our planes. "Thanks, but we'll take care of this ourselves," Americans seem to be saying. Our inner John Wayne coming to the surface, rising to the occasion.


Total: 27 << Previous Page     Next Page >>
Uncle Lee, thank you so much for the latest link. In the comments, a teacher mentioned that she showed an animated movie about 9/11 on www.brainpop.com. I checked it out; it's great! After it, there are more links to more info on the site and quizzes as well. Too cool. I plan to check out this site more.

And just how did you know I've been getting a sheepish little look on my face every time you address me as milady? Makes me think about wearing embroidered Tudor gowns, headdresses and perhaps holding a mandolin to strum. I once attended a "dress up as an English character" party dressed as Lady Jane Grey in a rented costume that was made from her portrait in the National Portrait Gallery:
However, another site gives me new information that the portrait is no longer believed to be of Lady Jane Grey. Ah, well, I wore a costume based on that portrait once. Well, I'm going on and on. I'll not (yet) insist that you stop, but I'm pondering doing so.

Since you're now my new-found uncle, does that make you milord?
Lee, America outlasted Britain. North Vietnam outlasted America. And no one claimed that either could actually invade and conquer their opponents.

My precise words were existential military threat. Insofar as Islam is an existential threat, that threat does not come from it's military capability and insofar as Islam is a military threat it is not existential.

And Americans often did line up to fight like gentlemen and British sometimes did snipe from the trees like natives.
And, milady (nope, not gonna stop unless you insist), you should find this very helpful and rather similar to your own predicament; sorry I've kept forgetting to add it:

But hmm - I should probably ask Kim if "avuncular" is considered endangered.
I don't think it's so much our "inner John Wayne" as it is our inner Todd Beamer. He recognized that help was not coming, and he himself had to DO something. Sometimes, we are forced into being our own "help". I think the TEA Party has grown out of the idea that "a man's got to do what a man's got to do"! And, darn it, we're right back to John Wayne! Okay, you win!
Milady, I haven't read all of Spencer's books - partly because there are so many, and partly because I believe they reuse basically the same material for various messages. That said, you'll find this idea that Spencer used as his title is also in McCarthy's book, about halfway through, expressed with a more thoughtful air.

Jason, I'm thinking of George III's soldiers complaining that so many of the American rebels would not line up in ranks to fight like gentlemen, but were snipers in the trees much like the natives. I'm also thinking about our difficulties in Vietnam with guerrilla warfare and troubles distinguishing combatants from non-combatants. I'll concede that we have battlefield superiority - provided the battlefield the enemy chooses is not, say, Pioneer Courthouse Square. I personally cannot imagine the U.S. Army patrolling American cities as they do Afghan cities.
Uncle Lee
What about Robert Spencer's book: _Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't_?

Here's why I called you Uncle Lee:
I mean, Lee, that Al Queda is not a force that can conceivably match us at the strictly military level. The Ottoman's by contrast were capable at the time of overthrowing whole kingdoms in a year. The fear in 1683 was not that Christian's would be killed but that Christian civilization would actually CEASE TO EXIST because of the outcome of a campaign. Al Queda is like germs, and the Ottoman Empire was like a lion. While germs may be more deadly then lions in the long run, no single germ can simply jump on a man and break his neck. That is what I meant.

Al Queda is best thought of not as an army but as a raiding band. Like the ghazis or the corsairs, not like the Ottomans.
Well, milady, Mr. Spencer is quite prolific, but I found "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" to be quite helpful as a single-volume overview. Note, though, that the "Politically Incorrect Guides" are written as polemics, not as balanced investigative approaches. You'll find that "Willful Blindness" has several references to Spencer in the endnotes.

Jason, dear friend, don't we have our own MILITARY fighting al Quaeda and others, in Iraq and Afghanistan? And if a group has the intent to attack us with weapons, kill our soldiers and murder our civilians, all to the end of replacing our government (imagine United Flight 93 actually crashing into the White House, or the Capitol), what can we call it other than a MILITARY threat? I think it's a rather fine distinction, for those of us who fly a lot, and for those who live and work near potential targets. (Remember the guy who tried to blow up Pioneer Courthouse Square, in Portland? So "targets" is pretty loosely defined.)

And BTW, in a burka Leelee looks, golly, like every other woman in a burka. So photoshopping is not required, any picture will do. (Could even be a man in there, for all I know.)
So, I just ordered a used copy of _Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad_. I'm perusing Robert Spencer's books, which one should I read first? (Hey, what's one more? The kids are back in school, so I have lots of time, right? And, as the chief administrators of their education, we want to impart the right knowledge, tools of inquiry, and love for our Creator to them.)

I had a "Mommy's sick at home while the kids are boat camping with Dad weekend." Thanks to my Kindle, needing to rest to get well and reasonable prices, I read three books about 9/11: _Angel in the Rubble_, _Reluctant Hero_, and _Called: "Hello my name is Mrs. Jefferson, I understand your plane is being hijacked?"_. Thanks for the book recommendation to add to my Autumn Reading List, Sir Quod. I certainly wouldn't have found these authors on my own; it's obviously time to dig deeper into the reasons and forces behind these attacks.

I attended a First Responder Memorial up in Ketchum this evening. No words about who caused the deaths or why or how to defend our nation in the future. I suppose it wasn't "appropriate."
But they do still have to have a nation as a point of origin to be a MILITARY threat, Lee. Al Queda was only able to demoralize the US, not conquer it.
Milady M,

How about Romans chapter 7?

Here's an interesting link:

For yourself, to prepare for the questions your daughter may well ask about the motivations of the terrorists, you might find Andrew C. McCarthy's "Willful Blindness" to be excellent material from someone who had to learn a lot about Islam to be able to prosecute "the Blind Sheikh" and others for the *first* attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred in 1993. And yes, I realize this adds to your Autumn Reading List; my apologies. I'll forbear on recommending the works of Robert Spencer in addition.

Without preparing yourself to explain that jihadists see us as useful elements in their effort to terrorize the American people, and thereby subdue and eventually overtake the American government, I'm doubtful you can explain it to your children. But clearly their goal is to instill fear in us, pressing us to capitulate to their demands. Those demands include our withdrawal from involvement in the governance of any Muslim country, ending our support for the nation of Israel, and permitting the imposition of sharia law in the West - notably in the USA.

And in friendly-but-nevertheless-disagreeing response to Jason's prior comments, I'm putting on *my* desktop a photoshopped picture of *Leelee* Sobieski - in a burka. It could happen. Armies need no longer have nation-states as their points of origin or allegiance. I ponder that, every time I board an aircraft.
This is a good, concise intro/summary of that day, not too graphic, but of course watch it yourself first:

We've not yet taught our young children about the events of 9/11; they were both born after 2001. My 9 year old daughter has heard some in school, but not much. We don't have a TV, so I don't think they've ever seen any footage, probably not even still pictures, of 9/11. Can anyone point me to some useful resources, on the web or otherwise, to use to teach our kids about that day? I decided to inquire of the collective knowledge here before I spent a bunch of time looking for appropriate materials that might not haunt their dreams.
Passing this Along; H/T to Regis…
"Leap" by Brian Doyle
A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped. Jennifer Brickhouse saw them falling, hand in hand.

Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows. They struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.

The mayor reported the mist.

A kindergarten boy who saw people falling in flames told his teacher that the birds were on fire. She ran with him on her shoulders out of the ashes.

Tiffany Keeling saw fireballs falling that she later realized were people. Jennifer Griffin saw people falling and wept as she told the story. Niko Winstral saw people free-falling backwards with their hands out, as if they were parachuting. Joe Duncan on his roof on Duane Street looked up and saw people jumping. Henry Weintraub saw people "leaping as they flew out." John Carson saw six people fall, "falling over themselves, falling, they were somersaulting." Steve Miller saw people jumping from a thousand feet in the air. Kirk Kjeldsen saw people flailing on the way down, people lining up and jumping, "too many people falling." Jane Tedder saw people leaping and the sight haunts her at night. Steve Tamas counted fourteen people jumping and then he stopped counting. Stuart DeHann saw one woman's dress billowing as she fell, and he saw a shiftless man falling end over end, and he too saw the couple leaping hand in hand.

Several pedestrians were killed by people falling from the sky. A fireman was killed by a body falling from the--sky.

But he reached for her hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands.

The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, wrote John the Apostle, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

There is no fear in love, wrote John, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.

Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.

Their passing away was thought an affliction, and their going forth from us utter destruction, says the Book of Wisdom, but they are in peace. They shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble.

No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the window there at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn't even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped, and fell endlessly into the smoking canyon, at two hundred miles an hour, falling so far and so fast that they would have blacked out before they hit the pavement near Liberty Street so hard that there was a pink mist in the air.

I trust I shall shortly see thee, John wrote, and we shall speak face to face.

Jennifer Brickhouse saw them holding hands, and Smart DeHann saw them holding hands, and I hold on to that.
In memory of this I am having an image of the Polish Winged Hussars on my desktop today.

As a by the way it has been speculated that Osama thought of 9-11 as revenge for Vienna.
9-11 is also the anniversary of Jon Sobieski's relief of Vienna in 1683. That was the last time Islam was an existential military threat to Christian-based civilization.
Love is stronger than death, Rolley
...since love is still undefeated. (OK, now this song is stuck in my head, although the accompanying video is easy to forget but at least has the lyrics onscreen:
Yet another clever and extremely talented Italian-American; how can we explain that phenomenon? ;-) )

Police and TSA agents were everywhere in the airports, and I saw at least two K-9 police dogs sniffing everything. (Gotta drive fundamentalist Muslims absolutely crazy that we use dogs, of all creatures, to help find terrorists.) Incredible that New York City has that many police on its payroll - but also very comforting.

So comforting, in fact, that I slept through the exact moment of 9/10/11 12:13.14 . :-/

Thanks for praying, Rolley. You're the best.
My husband and I were residing on our sailboat in the Tauranga Bridge Marina in Tauranga, New Zealand -- Bay of Plenty, North Island.
As we didn't have a TV or usually listen to the radio, we were awake and going about our morning routine -- on September 12th in NZ -- for a few hours before we heard about the tragedy. When my husband was leaving for work, we were both stepping off of our sailboat when our neighbor on the next sailboat came out of his hatch and said,

"May I offer my deepest condolences."

"For what?" we asked in confusion.

"Oh, ... you haven't heard."

He somberly looked down at his deck while he gathered his words. I wondered what could be so bad on the news that my Kiwi neighbor would be offering us his deepest condolences. It was his unfortunate task to inform us of the events that had happened while we were all yet sleeping. Another NZ friend called and came over soon after simply to be with me. We went over to yet another friend's home and watched some of the news on TV. When her young son began asking his dad why they had to watch it all again, I asked her to turn it off.

Everyone in NZ felt the shock and horror of what had happened. What was hard for us to bear was that for New Zealanders the shock passed and life continued on. For Todd and I, the shock was followed by grief. In hindsight, our lingering grief and the lack of it in New Zealanders made me realize just how much the place of where one grows up is part of the fabric of one's being.

Later in the day, I unfurled our American flag and set its pole in its holder on the stern of our sailboat.
Lee, You’ll Be in My Prayers…
…until the wheels touch down on soil, earthly or celestial. If the latter, tell that enemy of all righteousness, as you jubilate on his head, that love is as strong as death – and then, for my sake, prove the point.

“Let’s Roll(ey)” Haggard
First, Anne, it's sheer delight to once again see your name on a posting here.

I'm currently in New York, where things are rather tense due to official announcements of credible new terror threats. I'll be flying out of JFK in a few hours - on 9/10/11. Come to think of it, to complete the math geekiness I'll be in midair at 12:13pm and 14 seconds - Eastern Time, anyway.

Lord willing, I'll let you know how it goes.

Hmm - maybe they'll seat me next to a Muslim who'll try something, and I can help pulverize him...
Total: 27 << Previous Page     Next Page >>

BreakPoint Blog