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TOPIC: 9-11 Observance

9-11 Observance 4 days 16 hours ago #357663

  • Beast of the East
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Once again, Redmen.com goes offline for 24 hours in observance of what for many of us, was the worst event of our lives. If you are like me, you probably were reminded of 9-11 simply by logging in here, which I did shortly before midnight on the 10th when redmen.com was already locked down.

I'm reminded of the quote I saw on a hand painted sign on a railing outside a church in Copley Square in Boston in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. The railing was adorned with thousands of ribbons placed there in memoriam for those who perished, were maimed, or lost loved ones in that horrific display of subhuman behavior.

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of one candle" was printed on the sign.

There were so many extraordinary acts of human goodness on 9-11-2001 and the weeks and months and years that followed. My own reflection yesterday was on those actions.

I've retained a boiling anger against those perpetrators and the ideology that would execute 3000+ innocent civilians on that day. I was actually relieved when I heard Mayor Giuliani speak yesterday morning and say that it is still his predominant emotion, because in all these years I have refused to visit Ground Zero, despite the fact that my long deceased father (coincidentally he died on 9-12 many years ago) had worked as an iron worker to construct the World Trade Center. I have just refused to see that site as anything but an indication of the worst of humanity, and needed no reminders of the planes striking the buildings, or the scenes of horror as people jumped off buildings or fled in the thick fog of debris when the buildings tumbled. I remember that a large cloud of smoke that framed the city skyline that kept billowing for weeks after the site was reduced to a cauldron.

But yesterday at least, I listened to how the Navy Seals looked at their mission to take out Bin Laden as a one-way mission, that they would surely perish invading the compound where Bin Laden was protected. I listened as one of them told a doubting comrade about the reasons for the mission, "Look when we signed up for military service dying in service of our country was a possibility. The 3000 civilians that died on 9-11 made no such promise." The same seal was driven to avenge the death of a woman who jumped to avoid the 2500 degree flames getting closer and closer and as she plummeted towards the pavement held her skirt firmly so not to be seen in an embarrassing final moments of her life."

Thousands of other stories, of firemen and cops rushing into a building where others were fleeing. Of many off duty cops and firemen rushed into the city to be of help. Our town lost a volunteer EMT who did the same and died. A poor woman who owned nothing brought bags of ice she made in her freezer every day to provide some relief to workers frantically digging in the rubble for possible survivors or bodies. How police and firefighters from across the nation used their personal vacation time and rushed to NYC to help in the relief effort, driving long hours cross country.

Literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of bright candles helping to extinguish the darkness perpetrated by a small number of hate filled individuals who allowed an evil ideology to destroy their own humanity before they destroyed themselves and thousands others.

I recalled how unified Americans were that day. I believed America, in the midst of political divisiveness at the time, would never be the same. I thought that from that day forward we would have learned that our own political differences were much narrower than the aggregate belief that our nation, albeit imperfect, had far more good and in common not to work together for a more perfect union.

Maybe we are all just a work in progress, and observances like yesterday help to unite us and end our divisiveness.
The following user(s) said Thank You: OhioFan, Patrick, SJU85, fuchsia, firestorm, bamafan, romiSJU, Sherman, Sheridan & Grant, Jnaw17, Andrew and 3 other people also said thanks.

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Last edit: by Beast of the East.

9-11 Observance 4 days 16 hours ago #357664

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God Bless America
- imperfect though she may be -
And God Bless Us Every One!
We are fortunate to reside in these United States!
all the best
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9-11 Observance 4 days 16 hours ago #357665

  • firestorm
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That is a powerful post, Beast. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.
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9-11 Observance 4 days 15 hours ago #357669

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Beastie, thank you.

My late father helped supply construction materials for the towers. My late father-in-law was an executive with Tishman when they built the towers. On 9/11/2001, my younger son, in his first job after college was working for the New York Blood Center, and with his boss not back in town from a late summer vacation, my son was driving the emergency vehicle tasked with getting blood supplies moved to where they were needed after the Towers fell. (He called me about 11:30 that night to let me know he was okay and after we talked and some tears there came a quiet burning rage that told me "okay, this one is grown.") The halfback from his Rye High School football team died on one of the planes. My son later married a Scottish lass with the wedding in Glasgow. When they came to New York for the first time we had a reception here which included a bagpiper who it turned out had made it his business to show up at the entry point to the pile every morning and pipe the responders to their grim task.

Within a week of 9/11 I was on the hotline responding to calls from people who had lost family, including one from a grandfather seeking advice on how to adopt his granddaughter now that his daughter had died in the Towers. Later I set up the counseling services at the site for people who had lost residence and businesses because of the attacks. I grew up in Belle Harbor in the Rockaways. There were 93 funerals from Rockaway Park to Breezy Point after the Towers came down.

This is all personal but I will end with a story told to me by my kid brother who took over the family construction supply business. People in that business are very proprietary. They don't like it when you touch "their" buildings and that goes for both management and labor. One of the people paid to have some T-shirts made thanking the military for their efforts after 9/11 and before Bin Laden was terminated Seal Team Six in fact visited the Pile. They saw the T-shirts and word was gotten to the guy who had them made. He raced to the Pile and when he met the Seals one of them gave him a challenge coin which the Seal broke in half, with the promise that the other half would be delivered when the job was done. It was delivered.
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Last edit: by fuchsia. Reason: punctuation

9-11 Observance 4 days 14 hours ago #357670

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I can't believe it has been 18 years.

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9-11 Observance 4 days 12 hours ago #357680

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Helps keep college basketball in perspective - it's so small and insignificant compared to our country and what we endured September 11, 2001 - some Americas having suffered more than others.
I am almost embarrassed that at times I take these mere college games so much to heart.
all the best

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