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Never forget

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today, barbarians with box cutters — primitive savages who could never build a World Trade Center or a 747, but whose insane ideology is dedicated to making the building of such things impossible — murdered 2,996 innocent people in pursuit of their war against Western Civilization.

Never forget that on September 10, 2001, Manhattan looked like this.

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11

Never forget that on September 11, 2001, Manhattan looked like this.

1st tower falls

Fleeing as the tower falls

Fleeing through the choking dust

Never forget that we watched people jump from hundred-story buildings to avoid an even worse fate.

Falling to his death

Never forget that we were wounded, but our spirit wasn’t broken. We’ve fought back. And we will win.

Raising the flag at Ground Zero

As I have each of the last two September 11ths, I offer you passage from Gerard Van der Leun’s Of a Fire in a Field — a passage that moves me beyond words every time I read it — in which he recalled 9/11 and its aftermath, when he lived in New York:

Inside the wire under the hole in the sky was, in time, a growing hole in the ground as the rubble was cleared away and, after many months, the last fire was put out. Often at first, but with slowly diminishing frequency, all the work to clear out the rubble and the wreckage would come to a halt.

The machinery would be shut down and it would become quiet. Across the site, tools would be laid down and the workers would straighten up and stand still. Then, from somewhere in the pile or the pit, a group of men would emerge carrying a stretcher covered with an American flag and holding, if they were fortunate, a body. If they were not so fortunate the flag covering over the stretcher would be lumpy, holding only portions of a body from which, across the river on the Jersey shore, a forensic lab would try to make an identification and then pass on to the victim’s survivors something that they could bury.

I’m not sure anymore about the final count, but I am pretty sure that most families, in the end, got nothing. Their loved ones had all gone into the smoke and the dust that covered the end of the island and blew, mostly, across the river into Brooklyn where I lived. What happened to most of the three thousand killed by the animals on that day? It is simple and ghastly. We breathed them until the rains came and washed clean what would never be clean again.

. . .

Read the whole thing — and think about the question he asks you at the end.

And never forget.

The flag still stands

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