Do you remember where you were, Tuesday, September 11, 2001?
Next Sunday we will observe the 10th Anniversary of the day that has come to be known simply as, Nine-Eleven (9/11). That day 10 years ago, America lost, in one fell swoop, its blissful innocence, its long-standing appearance of invulnerability, and its deeply ingrained sense of security. By some accounts, what it retained is it’s self-righteous (some would say) belief in American Exceptionalism and entitlement; but that is a conversation for another post.
Suddenly we were at war, and the fight, had, uncharacteristically, come to us, straight-way. This battle was personal, and it was on our home turf; no longer some shadowy ideological military exercise, or guerrilla warfare episode, played out on foreign soil, half a world away.
U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71 was introduced with 22 co-sponsors (11 Republicans and 11 Democrats) and approved by a vote of 407-0 on October 25, 2001 (with 25 members not voting). The bill passed unanimously in the Senate on November 30, 2001. The Resolution requested that the President designate September 11th each year as Patriot Day. President George W. Bush signed the Resolution into law December 18, 2001 (as Public Law 107-89).
On this day, the President directs that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all
Even a decade later, with ten years worth of context building, and development of perspective, the numbers behind Nine-Eleven are chilling. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives, and thousands of others were injured, and many more sustained post-event trauma. Examples of the carnage include:
· 2,977 Victims killed (not including the 19 hijackers)
· 2,606 Killed at the
World Trade Center Towers
· 125 Killed at the Pentagon
· 40 Killed in
· 87 Killed on American Flight 11/NYC World Trade Center North Tower
· 60 Killed on United Flight 175/NYC World Trade Center South Tower
· 59 Killed on American Flight 77/Arlington - The Pentagon
· 40 Killed United Flight 93/Shanksville, PA
· 19 Hijackers
· 246 Killed on the 4 planes
· 19 Hijackers Killed (on the 4 planes)
· 2,996 Killed on Nine-Eleven
· 411 Emergency workers killed at the World Trade Centers
· 341 FDNY firefighters killed
· 2 Paramedics killed
· 23 NYPD officers killed
· 37 PortAuthority Police Department officers killed
· 8 EMT’s killed
· 658 Employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. (Investment Bank) killed; most of any employer
· 1,631 Bodies positively identified from
World Trade Center Towers
· 1,122 Bodies (41%) remain unidentified
· Bone fragments were still being found in 2005 by workers preparing to demolish the damaged Deutsche Bank Building
· A Medical Examiner will continue to try to identify remains in the hope new technology will lead to the identification of other victims
The death and destruction of Nine-Eleven led to the so-called Global War on Terror. Mostly the front lines have been in
The initial thrust began October 7, 2001 when the
U.S. Intelligence sources pointed to Al-Qaeda as the probable instigator behind Nine-Eleven. It's leader, Osama bin Laden initially denied involvement. Over time, bin Laden became more emboldened; first conceding involvment, and ultimately admitted that he was instrumental in masterminding the horrific attacks. During his Presidential Campaign, Mr. Obama dclared he would not relent on the hunt for Osama. The elusive terrrorist was thought to be hiding in Pakistan. Mr. Obama stated bluntly that if reliable intelligence pinpointed bin Laden, he would deploy U.S. forces to find and kill him; which he did on May 2, 2011.
The good news is, over the course of the past decade, there have been no repeat Nine-Eleven events. That result is partly due to fastidiously focusing on prevention efforts, partly due to the fortuitous failure of would-be terrorists, and partly due to the fateful intervention of alert by-standers.
As we approach Patriot Day 2011, and a decade of Nine-Eleven memories, Americans are advised to be on high alert for potential incursions by terrorists; most likely of the lone wolf variety, where one person acts alone. So, “Calling All Patriots; Nine-Eleven…Ten Years Later,” let’s get ready for a Day of Remembrance and Service.
I’m done; holla back!
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