Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remembering 9/11 In A Personal Way


How can we as a nation ever forget or forgive the attacks of September 11, 2001!

Not long in time before 9/11.

Looking down from west of the site. The Custom House is in the
foreground just past the green roof of the World Financial Center.
The remains of it and one of the towers, in the courtyard, take up
entire right side of the photo. Remains of 7 WTC rubble pile to left,
spanning Vessey St. and breaching Custom House evidence vault.


Rubble pile (either the same one or similar to one from 7 WTC) that
spread across Vessey St. to the south side of the Custom House.
 A coworker and I, accompanied by recue workers, climbed over
 the debris pile to access a customs vault to secure evidence on
the Friday night after the attacks. It was scary to say the least.
 
The Custom House - luckily all personnel had evacuated.

 
Part of a wall from 1 WTC leaning up against
the Custom House as viewed from the east.
 I did not take any of the above photos. I got the WTC photos I have here and there on the Internet and from coworkers who either took some or found them online. I was a Special Agent with Customs at the time and as luck had it, I was in CT for some training on the day itself. I went to the site over the course of part of two days to help with rescue and recovery efforts; that was a few days after the attacks. Anyway, these pics have personal meaning for me so I saved them. Figured I would share them again.

Besides looking at those pictures this morning, I also took a look at what amounted to my insurance claim after the attacks. I had been assigned to 6 WTC since around June of 2001 and also had been assigned full time duties as a firearms instructor. It was Paradise but did not last long. Anyway, I have a Word file saved in the same folder as the photos. It is amazing how many things came to mind when I looked over the personal items I lost (some like a few of my pistols being recovered and returned to me later). Memories of work assignments, of details to other offices like a trip to Arizona and another to Haiti and just a reminder of how long I have been taking my current high blood pressure medicine were all brought back by reading through the list of items I lost. It is hard to believe it has been 15 years since then as those memories while a bit faded by time are still pretty strong.

Of course, the photos, my insurance claim and my memories only show a very small bit of the big picture. The towers burning, crumbling to dust, the thousands killed or wounded, the folks leaping to their certain deaths from high stories in desperate attempts to flee the flames, the heroes who gave some and those who gave all trying to save others by running into the towers to help, the thousands fleeing down the streets as the towers collapsed, the regular folks (non-emergency workers) who volunteered and flocked to the site to help in anyway they could, the nation coming together unified in cause even if only briefly, that is the real story of 9/11.

I think: That we have cowered under the regimes of two feckless presidents since then who have not retaliated with all of our nation's might (although one tried much harder than the other in seeking to destroy our enemies) against each and every country that played a part in planning, carrying out or facilitating these attacks; that we consider some of those countries as allies; that we did not execute each and every terrorist at Guantanamo; those are all the shame of it. That we released prisoners who subsequently again plotted or actually took part in  later attacks against our troops or involved themselves again in terrorism against other nations, and that we have allowed Islamic Terrorists to form groups such as ISIS and thus to continue a reign of terror is the disgrace of it. That some in our country actually believed and still believe that our own government had some sort of conspiratorial hand in the attacks is the insanity of it.

I truly believe, we should never forget and never forgive. I believe we should do all we can do to protect our nation and her people and that means we need to fight terrorism without reservation and destroy terrorists either until they all have breathed their last breaths or we have breathed ours. We should always remember and honor our fallen, we should stand unified as a nation in avenging them and most of all, it should be personal for all of us!
All the best,
Glenn B


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