9/11: Patriots Day 2019

It was America’s Second Day of Infamy, with even more human lives lost than those that were taken from us on the First Day (Pearl Harbor).  In New York City, Washington, D.C., and a rural Pennsylvania field, 2,605 U.S. citizens and 372 non-citizens (from about 90 countries) perished that day, September 11, 2001, in the most horrifying of ways, including the unimaginable, desperate people leaping to their deaths from upper floors of the towers, rather than facing an agonizing death from fire or smoke suffocation.

At the Pentagon, 55 members of our military were killed, while, overall, more than 6,000 people were injured, in or around the three primary attack sites. An attack perpetrated by depraved Islamic terrorist zealots, who came to our nation from the Middle East, proudly accomplishing their evil mission, to the delight of the equally evil hoard back home.  Now, from that deadly event alone, can there really be any person with common sense and pride in America, who still believes that we don’t need a southern border fence (do understand that all those who have crossed that border illegally do not speak Spanish!!), along with significantly more exhaustive background checks on foreign admissions at all of our ports of entry, as well as through our Embassies & Consulates abroad? By the way, the deaths of those despicable thugs, who flew in those tragic four planes, are not included in the count, because they don’t deserve to be, and because the deaths of animals that day were not recorded.

We’re all aware of the painful video from that awful day in New York City.  But there is a very vital action on that dreadful day that has received comparatively little publicity.  And that was the volunteer “armada” of boats, commercial and privately-owned, that were pressed into sudden service that day. All bridges and roads out of Manhattan had been were quickly shut down following the attack. Leaving thousands of New Yorkers, fleeing from the vicinity of the collapsed Twin Towers, with no way out, and who were now gathered at the southern end of Manhattan, trying to find a way to escape the carnage,  a with understandable concern that further attacks might be coming.  Seeing this, and quickly realizing that far too many people had assembled there for the regular NYC ferries to evacuate effectively, the U.S. Coast Guard, on the scene, and in the water,  put out a radio call to any and all boats in the area to come to the aid of their fellow citizens.

And respond to the call they did.  In great number, all manner of sea craft, large and small, began arriving to move people off Manhattan to safety.  About 150 of them in all, and they continued to make that round-trip for many hours, ignoring the risk to themselves from additional attacks, and from smoke and other foreign matter within the swirling air.  It’s been estimated that close to half-a-million people were sea-lifted that day, during the evening, and on into the night.  Hard to believe, but reportedly the eventual total of Manhattan evacuees, actually exceeded the total of Allied military members rescued from Dunkirk early in the Second World War.  Great commitment and valor from volunteer boaters, selflessly serving their fellow citizens in that bona fide emergency effort.

On that day of disaster, there was universal grief felt throughout the nation, amidst unneeded calls for unity, as there was an instinctive national coming-together.  Soon American flags were displayed proudly at homes, businesses, on vehicles, and worn on the clothing of men and women.  We were told, and universally agreed, to never allow ourselves to forget that terrible day in America’s history.

That feeling of unity and compassion, pulling together as one nation, one people, lasted maybe a month, probably less, as the specific length of that welcome and powerful banding together as a nation has grown dim. Back then, just like today, collective response, emotions, and events fade, when media coverage moves on, and as regular day-to-day life all too rapidly returns as the necessary priority.

What we said back then, by those old enough to comprehend, was that we would not forget.  But, sadly, we have, as a lengthy, costly, and painful war against Islamic terrorism overseas has lasted far longer than anyone could have imagined,   triggered by our nation’s natural and necessary response to hit back hard at terrorists.  And this time on their turf, no longer ours, as punishing revenge for their savage attack. Long gone is that brief national unity from back then, with separations fostered in more recent years, in large measure, by the last president, with societal divisions now further fueled by that self-adoring progressive cult consumed with hate for our current President and genuine leader, Donald Trump.

It is very important that our children learn about, and understand the significance of, that devastating 9/11 attack.  And its equally important that we, as adults, also recall the losses suffered by so many innocent Americans (and those from other nations) that horrible day, and the great cost and pain that has followed from our continuing efforts, with Allied help, to rid the planet of the scourge of Islamic terrorism.

No question, as Americans, we truly “Must Never Forget.” We owe that to the memory of those who perished in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania that day.  And we owe it, especially, to the successive waves of our valiant military members, who have taken the anti-Islamic terrorism war to the homelands of our enemies, at the cost of American lives-lost and lasting injuries suffered (physical and mental), by far too many of our brave men and women, all of whom have volunteered to serve and defend America, so that we might continue to live in secured freedom within the world’s greatest nation.

In the midst of today’s seemingly chaotic society, save room somewhere in your mind to remember the sacrifices then and throughout the fight forced upon us, not just on the actual day, September 11th, but as often as memories of that fateful attack are triggered, and brought once again into the forefront of your mind. As we were told, and agreed to as a nation, back 18-years ago, at a time of incredible pain, disbelief and outright fear, today and well beyond, yes, we do have a most sacred obligation to “Never Forget.”


(9/11 Casualty Figures via Wikipedia.org; Maritime Rescue data via nypost.com; James Henry, 9-10-19).