"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Post #700: Let us remember and not forget

What a coincidence (if you believe in such things) that today of all days, that this would end up to be my 700th post here on the ol' blog. Never thought I'd make it this far. Yowzers.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, on the Pentagon in Washington, DC and the one failed attack which ended in that Pennsylvania field. All told 2,973 innocent people died in the attacks that day, plus the 19 hijackers.

Even though no one I know personally was killed in the attacks, I remember where I was and what I was doing during this event, just like I remember where I was and what I was doing in 1986 when the space shuttle Challenger exploded.

As an American, I was deeply affected by 9/11, just as we all were. But I fear that this event for many people has become just another day that we read about in our history books and that should not be.

Here then, is text from globalsecurity.org, a narrative summary of the events of that fateful morning:

"On Sept. 11, 2001, nineteen people, using knives and boxcutters, hijacked four transcontinental airline flights and flew them toward America's financial and political capitals of New York and Washington.

Three reached their targets: The first two struck the towers of the World Trade Center, causing their collapse within hours, and the third struck the Pentagon.

The pilot of the fourth plane crashed it into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers rose up against the hijackers.

American air defense fighters scrambled against the threats but were ultimately misdirected and had no effect on the attacks.

In New York, where most of the nearly 3,000 fatalities took place, the dead included 343 members of the New York Fire Department, including the chief, 37 members of the Port Authority Police Department and 23 members of the New York Police Department. Of between 16,400 and 18,800 civilians in the towers on 9-11, 2,152 died; the rest were successfully evacuated. About 95 percent of the dead civilians worked in or above the floors where the planes impacted.

The third plane came in low over the Arlington National Cemetery and struck the western face of the Pentagon, penetrating through three of the building's five rings. All 64 people on the plane, including the five hijackers, were killed; 125 in the Pentagon also died.

U.S. suspicion immediately centered on al-Qaeda as well as Iraq, but intercepted terrorist communications pinpointed Osama bin Laden's network as responsible. Bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders later took credit for the operation.

CIA officers entered Afghanistan, al-Qaeda's home, almost immediately, to reestablish contacts with fighters opposed to al-Qaeda's allies, the Taliban, which controlled most of the country. The Taliban was ousted from power within a few months, but many al-Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, escaped to Pakistan and Iran.

One of those leaders, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, was the mastermind of the attacks. He proposed such an operation to bin Laden in 1996; in late 1998 or early 1999, bin Laden approved it, and Mohamed Atef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and bin Laden began assembling the hijacker teams.

Central to the plot was the "Hamburg Cell" a group of well-educated Muslims who had become radicalized while living in Germany. The three members -- Atta, Shehhi and Jarrah -- who could obtain U.S. visas piloted three of the four aircraft hijacked on 9-11.

Also involved were two veteran al-Qaeda members, Mihdhar and Hazmi, who tried and failed to become pilots. They ultimately served as muscle on American Airlines 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. It was piloted by Hani Hanjour, another al-Qaeda recruit with flying experience who was added to the plot as it progressed.

Providing the bulk of the muscle were 13 young hijackers, 12 of them Saudi, who were gathered and trained in Afghanistan. Many came from the poorer parts of Saudi Arabia; most were unmarried and had no more than a high school education. It is believed they were not briefed on details of the plot until they reached the United States.

Other potential hijackers, comprising a slate of so-called "20th hijackers," either quit the plot or were not allowed into the United States."



At 11 September, 2007 21:37, Blogger American Guy said...

"Even though no one I know personally was killed in the attacks"

actually you're mistaken - the old health teacher from our high school was on one of the planes. He and his wife were going on vacation when they got caught up in things.

At 11 September, 2007 21:44, Blogger American Guy said...

"But I fear that this event for many people has become just another day that we read about in our history books and that should not be."

Actually, i think that this is exactly what should happen. Part of the healing process requires us to go on with life.

Look at other previous big disasters. I'd argue that December 7 1941 is no longer the day that will live in infammy.

This was in the lifetime of many people still alive today, yet how many stop and hold special commemorations, let alone insist that their grief is more special and unique than others'?

Life goes on.

It has to.

At 11 September, 2007 21:48, Blogger green said...

which teacher? do you remember the name?

At 11 September, 2007 21:49, Blogger American Guy said...

And not to trivialise the suffering of those that lost someone on that one day, but since Septmeber 2001, tens of thousands of people have died in road traffic accidents in the US alone, hundreds of thousands of civilians have died in Iraq, and an estimated 6 million people have died from malaria around the world.

These deaths and many others could have been prevented if we actually could be bothered doing anything about them. Instead, we choose to remember one 'tragedy' and ignore all the others.

We all need to get some perpective.

At 11 September, 2007 21:52, Blogger American Guy said...

no - older guy, short, white hair. was also one of the sports coaches.

Truth be known, i was never impressed with him as a teacher: seemed to feel teaching health was some sort of 'punishment' and distracted him from his 'real job' with the football team or whatever.

At 12 September, 2007 07:07, Blogger AM said...

mmm interesting to hear that the event is becoming just another day ... .

I remember very well what I was doing on the day. For us in the middle east and especially in the hospitality industry, it meant a strong American retaliation, not necessarily in a ground war style. I remember after being stuck in front of tv screens all day, we started planning staff leaves, paid and unpaid, forced in both cases, re-budgeting of all our figures, plan B sort of. For weeks, cancellation faxes and emails were the only kind of correspondence we received. I can keep going ... point is it wasn't a honeymoon either on our side of the world ...

I do agree with american guy's point of view on the huge amount of people dying all over the world for various reasons which I believe we can avoid if we want to enough.

At 12 September, 2007 10:54, Blogger green said...

AG: perhaps one of the teachers from our high school was on one of the planes but I did not know that person. And if I did, I haven't sppoken to them in 20 years, so I would say my original statement stands - that I know no one personally who died inthe attacks that day.

Yes, part of the healing process is to go on with life but that doesn't mean we should totally forget the trauma of that day and the impact it had on many other lives. While I would agree that DEc. 7, 1941 is no longer as big of a deal as it was 60 years ago, there are still people alive who payse to remember the events of that day, which shouldn't be trivialized.

Yes, people die every day from various causes: car accidents, peole involved in Iraq - both civilian and military, and malaria and various other diseases.

But none of these quite measure up to such tragedies as 9/11/01 or 12/7/41 simply becasue of the impact they have had on a national level. Most fatal car accidents never make the news and hardly unite a country the way 9/11 or Pearl Harbor did.

The civilian death toll in Iraq certainly is a tragedy. The difference is that the US Military doesn't target civilians to kill or go out of it's way to harm civilians. Most of the civilian deaths in Iraq were caused by fellow Iraquis, Muslim insurgents, etc. To blame this entirely on the US Gubmint and specifically dubya is extremely shortsighted, despite my disdain for the current administration.

am: you offer a great perspecive on the events of 9/11, living in the middle east and in the industry that you work in and the economic impact it had - one that the mainstream of Americans wouldn't even think to consider. Thanks for sharing your perspective on that day.

At 12 September, 2007 17:48, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

It was such a sad, horrible moment. I know where I was, and anyone alive will say the same thing. And to think our parents' generation always said they knew where they were when it was announced that JFK was shot. This was so much more monumental!

And now, they're targeting our schools. I wrote about it in my blog today.

It will never end until we say it must end. It's them or us.

At 12 September, 2007 18:30, Blogger scribe said...

Who's "us?"

At 12 September, 2007 21:25, Blogger American Guy said...

"But none of these quite measure up"

Hang on - 6 MILLION people dying doesn't measure up to 3000? Or is it that very few of those 6 million were amerikans?

"The difference is that the US Military doesn't target civilians to kill or go out of it's way to harm civilians."

Except, ya know, when they do. We were right to despise the soldiers during Vietnam. We're wrong to venerate them now.

"To blame this entirely on the US Gubmint and specifically dubya is extremely shortsighted"

Is it? Had georgie and co not decided to invade a country who had not attacked or even seriously threatened us, most of those dead would still be alive today.

Yes Saddam may have kept doing bad things, but we're killing Iraqis at a rate much faster than he EVER did.

At 12 September, 2007 21:36, Blogger American Guy said...

saur - that's scare mongering of the worst kind.

"won't somebody please think of the children!!!"

The post on your site reads like standard conspiracy theory type stuff right down to your 'the governemt doesn't want you to know' screed.

Nevermind that fact that you exposed this iminant threat over a year ago and (shock, horror) nothing happened then either.

At 14 September, 2007 05:44, Blogger DaBich said...

Green _ go to my blog, you have a little something there for you :)

At 14 September, 2007 11:00, Blogger green said...

People die every day, it's a natural part of life at this point. Surely it's sad when anyone dies of horrible diseases like Malaria, and it doesn't matter where they are from, or if they are Americans or not.

The point I'm making is this: 9/11 was an act of unwarranted agression against the United States. Totally uncalled for. Though you may disagree, the underlying reason why the US was attacked is simple. Because we, by and large are still a Christian country AND because of America's unwavering support of Israel, which is not looked upon with kind eyes in the majority of the Arab world.

Pearl Harbor was an unwarranted attack on American soil by the Japanese- on a country that, until that point was not involved in WWII and really didn't want to become involved.

I will concede that in times of war, civilians are killed as a result. However, I also stand behind my statement that today's US Military does not target civilians just for the halibut...

Even in warfare there are rules.

You honestly think that American troops have killed more Iraqui's than Saddam ever did? What kind of mind-altering drugs are you taking??? Once again, AG conveniently ignores history.


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