Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Wings Of An Eagle - 9/11/2001

I was going to post a picture here in my blog but decided that it might be better to just go ahead and post a link to it. The reason I am posting a link instead of the actual -photo is not so much due to copyright as it is due to sensitivities. While I am sure many people will be able to view it, I am also sure many people will not want to look at it because it would be too much for them to bear. You see, it is a picture of a man, on 9/11, who either fell or jumped from 1 WTC. I like to think, as hopeless as his situation may have been, that this man, if not actually the man in the story below, thought like him and defied the hopelessness of the situation and tried to fly on the wings of an eagle. Be advised the picture is heart wrenching. (Please note that this may or may not bring you directly to the pic, it may bring you to a page of various pictures, if so, scroll down to number 12.)

To me, the pic to which I have just supplied the link is as striking, if not much more so, than the picture titled 'The Falling Man'. Much has been made of 'The Falling Man' photo because of the symmetry of the man with the tower in font of which he was falling and because of the almost casual, resigned, appearance of the man at the moment the photo was snapped and because it took awhile to identify that man and because at first, he was misidentified as someone other than who he actually was and that caused one family a lot of grief because they knew there husband/father would never resign himself the way it was amde out the falling man had done so. It is a sad and hopeless, a man seemingly almost resigned to dying and in a peaceful state or so it seems at the exact moment the photo was taken and at the exact same moment we want it to seem that way to us. It makes me choke up and makes me cry when I think of the poor man in it.

I see something else in the pic to which I just supplied the link. It is very different than that of 'The Falling Man' even though I believe both were taken by the same photographer. The symmetry with the building is not there. There is no resignation in the form of the man. Maybe it is just me but I see overwhelming hope. I see a photograph of a man, whom I would like to believe, thought he still had a chance no matter how hopeless the situation. I see a man fighting to live. I see a man who decided to not go gentle into that good night, I see a man rage, rage against the dying of the light. I see helplessness and hopelessness and I see hope and determination shining through no matter the odds and no matter the virtually inevitable outcome, and I see the wings of an eagle.

I see a man, maybe the exact man, who was described to me by a coworker. My coworker saw several people come down but there was one whose actions, as he described, whom I will never forget. I met my coworker late in the day, on 9/11/2001, at our office at JFK Airport. He was covered with gray dusty powder. His eyes were wide open and I do mean wide, it was obvious he was in shock. He looked terrified. I tried to help. We got to talking and he described what he had seen. He had tried to get into 1 WTC (the North Tower), to try to get people out, via the courtyard. He was trying to help and was thrust into a sate of utter helplessness. You see, it was then, he heard a loud thumping noise and he turned in the direction of the sound but could not determine what made the sound though he said it was eerie. He also described the sound in another way - as a loud plop. Then, out of the corner of his eye he saw something, it was a person, falling, passing through his peripheral vision in a flash, from just above his head level, into the ground with that same noise accompanying the meeting of concrete and flesh.

My coworker was aghast with fear and overtaken with helplessness. Yet, as he looked up to see others hanging on the side of the building or out of broken windows, he tried to yell to them not to jump. He knew there was no way they could hear him and then another jumped while he was yelling for them not to do it. According to my coworker, the man did not fall, he jumped - maybe because the flames were licking his skin, maybe because the smoke was suffocating him, maybe out of hope that somehow he would survive the fall. As he neared the ground he was spread eagle, like a skydiver, and he began to do something that could only have been done out of hope despite the hopelessness of it all. That poor man began to flap his arms repeatedly as if they were wings. My coworker's gaze followed him, tried to give him the power of flight, flew with him, soared with him, hoped with him, all the way to the ground. Then as quickly as it had begun, it was over for that man and my coworker was scarred for life.

I do not know if this is actually a picture of that man, the exact same person as seen by my coworker, but it is a picture of a man who almost does appear to by flying, to be soaring through the air, and it is the picture of a man who undoubtedly met his death after either falling or jumping from the North Tower (1 WTC), a man who did not go gentle into that good night, a man who raged, raged against the dying of the light!

(It has been 10 years since I heard my coworker tell his story about that man. I don't even know if he ever told anyone else, such as a counselor as I suggested he should do. I hope he did tell it to others, I hope he has come to peace with himself. I could tell, even on that first day, he blamed himself somehow even though he was no way at fault. As for the story, I hope I got it right, I did the best I can working on memory and took no deliberate license with it. I told it just as I recall him telling it to me. I did that not just for him but for the man whose story he told.)

All the best,
Glenn B

Have You Ever Thought: Who Were The First American Warriors/Heroes To Lose Their Lives After The Hijackings Of 9/11

The news quoted someone as saying who they had been. Funny, I never thought of it until today. Yet, when I heard it mentioned, today on the news, I realized yes, what they just said about the very first American Warriors to lose their lives due to the attacks of 9/11, made a lot of sense. We may never know with absolute certainty whether or not any of the crew or passengers, on the two jets that hit the World Trade Center or the one that hit the Pentagon, fought the hijackers but it is not believed they offered much resistance if any as far as I am aware. Yet, we are certain that at least the some of the passengers and some of the flight attendants, on United Airlines flight 93, in the skies near Shanksville, PA took decisive action to assure that their flight was not used as a manned missile of mass destruction against a target, as of then, unknown on the ground. Once they had realized their flight had been hijacked, many passengers and some flight attendant successfully telephoned relatives and or authorities to inform them of the situation. It was then that these same passengers and flight attendants learned of the other flights, the ones that had already hit their targets at the World Trade center and the Pentagon. After they had that knowledge, it was easy for them to figure what was next. Instead of giving up and caving in they took action. They assaulted the cockpit in which the hijackers had secured themselves and either gained entry and crashed the aircraft or caused the hijackers to crash the plane well short of its apparent intended target in Washington, DC. The hijackers had already dialed in coordinates to bring the plane to that location.

The flight recorder last recorded audio at 10:03:09 and a split second later the data recorder had ceased to function. The last words heard from any of the passengers were: "Roll it" as they assaulted the cockpit. Reading the flight recorder transcript, (or this one from Fox News) and looking at the last conversation of the hijackers, it is readily evident that that the hijackers were panicked, confused as to how to continue and had realized they were about to be defeated before their attack would succeed. To that they gave the standard line used by Islamic terrorists round the world, 'god is the greatest' or some balderdash to that effect, then then either put the plane down killing all aboard including themselves as any coward would do or were overpowered by the passengers who caused the plane to crash. Tell me one thing, here at this point, if Allah is so great, how come unarmed United States Citizens, American citizens, citizens of the so called Great Satan - America, citizens of various faiths and beliefs, were able to foil their evil Islamic plot!

Those brave souls, of United Flight 93, stood United. They who fought those evil cowardly hijackers were the first American Warriors, the first American heroes (for they actually acted heroically) to lose their lives because of 9/11. To them, our nation, the people of Washington, DC, the members of Congress, even then president George W. Bush himself (as it is hypothesized they meant to take out either the Capital Building or the White House) owe them a debt of gratitude beyond compare. Though unarmed, though already overtaken by surprise, though facing certain death, they stood their ground and then went on the offensive and saved other American lives while losing their own. They should stand as an example to the rest of America as to what it means to be a patriotic American and as an example to the rest of the world as to what it means to push us into a corner.

All the best,

I Guess President Obama Did Not Get The Message About No Religious Speakers At The 9/11 Memorial In NYC - But I Bet Islamists Appreciated His Message

So, the mayor of NYC forbade religious representatives, such as priests, rabbis, pastors, ministers, imams even nuns, from being allowed to say words during New York City's remembrance of 9/11 today. Then, our fearless leader, President Barack Hussein Obama (aka: Barry O, aka: The Chosen One), rises up at the podium and what does he do? He apparently recites religious verses. He did not say one word about  9/11, just seemingly got very Judeo-Christian, all of a sudden. So, while religious leaders were not allowed to speak because it might offend someone, our government was allowed to substitute itself for the religious! By itself, that was okay. One would expect politicians to get religious at such a memorial but the fact that he suddenly got religious was not all he did in what was very probably a well orchestrated perfromance.

Mind you, I think it would have been totally appropriate for someone, including government officials, to have spoken religious words during the remembrance but I also think such should have been allowed for religious leaders, that they too had been allowed to do so and that had such a big stink not been made about assuring no religious could take part in the memorial. So why would President Obama do so? Do you think that he saw it as appropriate to suddenly become religious, when in fact he is not usually particularly so? Do you think that he thought that as president he represents all religious groups in this country and just had to give a religious quote in case no other speakers would do so? Do you believe that he felt it important that a prayer or other religious words be spoken and thus he bravely and selflessly took it upon himself to do it regardless of any criticism that would be sure to follow? Or do you think it was just the president campaigning for the 2012 election? Or maybe it was something else, maybe it was actually God speaking through him! I mean, after all, while he was reading a quote, reportedly Psalm 46 from the biblical Book of Psalms, he quotes a line saying "...I am God...". If I did not witness it myself, watching it and listening to it on live TV, I might have doubted it actually happened, this sudden utterly religious outpouring by President Obama.

I wondered, what had he quoted,. I saw it reported by the media that it was Psalm 46. A little quick research confirmed that the Psalms are not only part of the Judeo-Christian tradition but are accepted by Muslims as noted in the Quran and are represented by Zabur in the Quran. It is amazing that Psalm 46 and Zabur 46 are so similar. In fact, now, I am wondering from which did he quote! So, up above, when I said President Obama seemingly got very Judeo-Christian all of a sudden, I guess I was wrong. He seemingly was making darned sure he was getting all sorts of Judeo-Christian-Islamic all of a sudden while ignoring all other religions of they who perished.

To have included a prayer, a song to God, that is found in both Judeo-Christian tradition but that is also found, almost word for word, in the Quran was, in my estimation, outrageous! Remember, the Quran is the religious book held so sacred by the Islamic extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and who continue to seek our destruction, it is the basis for their seeking to destroy us and they remind us of this fact with an almost daily frequency. I am thunderstruck as to the implications of the president having used that quote. I think that this performance by the president was a disgrace and was a slap in the face of religion and of America and a show of support for Islam even though the attacks took place in the name of Islam and its god. I am sure though, the president's ultra leftist supporters will find it to have been entirely appropriate despite the calls on the left for religion to be completely removed from anything at all to do with government. I see it as little more than him playing politics, bowing to Islam, and him exploiting the moment and the memory of 9/11.

Being it is 9/11, I almost hate myself for having written this today because it may be misconstrued as disrespect for the victims and survivors of 9/11 but as of late I have had a candor that goes way beyond even my usual bold frankness. Let me say this clearly, I mean no disrespect to the victims or survivors of the attacks on those days nor to their loved ones or families. I do believe though that one of the most arrogant displays of disrespect that could have been shown was shown to them and to the United States of America by our president today.

(Edited, at 1247PM on 9/11/2011, from this point on to further explain why this particular religious quote, by President Obama, was so inappropriate.) 

That disrespect came through most glaringly when the president quoted this line:

"Come behold the works of the lord
who has made desolations in the earth..."

Whether you read it that way or the way it appears in the Quran as:

"Come, see Allah's works,
What desolations he has made in the earth."

What did Islamists think when he said it! The Islamic Extremists are sure to interpret it as him saying that 9/11 was the work of Allah, the desolation of Allah, heaped upon the enemies of Islam!
It almost seems he was saying: "Here is the place my Muslim brothers and sisters, come see what Allah has accomplished". You certainly cannot justify or even explain him quoting that line, at the 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial, from any Jewish or Christian perspectives, can you? I think not especially in light of the facts that there are no major movements by either Jews or Christians to annihilate Muslims but there certainly has been an ongoing and united major effort by Islamists to destroy and lay waste to the non-Muslims of the world - especially America. If, in so doing, they destroy themselves and die in the battle - well then they think 'so be it'. Remember they believe they go to Paradise for destroying the enemies of Islam all in their god's name. At the very least, I think, President Obama's words at the 9/11 memorial were a disgrace and an insult to all Americans and a boon to those who seek to destroy us in the name of Islam.

9/11: Never forget, never forgive.

All the best,
Glenn B
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