In Memory of 9/11/2001 NY, DC, PA and 9/11/2012 Benghazi

I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who commented that no one honors their dead more than Americans. (Though I could be wrong as I was unable to locate the source). Up until last year, there was only one 9/11 that came to mind and that was 2001. This year, still unanswered, is what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012? I do not forget and I still have a “…quiet, unyielding anger.”

George W. Bush
9/11 Address to the Nation
“A Great People Has Been Moved to Defend a Great Nation”
delivered 11 September, Oval Office, Washington, D.C.

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

Lest it be forgotten, it was not only Americans who died in New York, Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. Citizens from all over the world were killed that day. (Hat tip to Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club):

And, I do not forget Newfoundland and the small town of Gander ~ who took in the stranded flights when the United States closed their air space – the following is from “The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland” by Jim DeFede:

“For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed.”

When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community were called upon to come to the aid of more than six thousand displaced travelers.

Roxanne and Clarke Loper were excited to be on their way home from a lengthy and exhausting trip to Kazakhstan, where they had adopted a daughter, when their plane suddenly changed course and they found themselves in Newfoundland. Hannah and Dennis O’Rourke, who had been on vacation in Ireland, were forced to receive updates by telephone on the search for their son Kevin, who was among the firefighters missing at the World Trade Center. George Vitale, a New York state trooper and head of the governor’s security detail in New York City who was returning from a trip to Dublin, struggled to locate his sister Patty, who worked in the Twin Towers. A family of Russian immigrants, on their way to the Seattle area to begin a new life, dealt with the uncertainty of conditions in their future home.

The people of Gander were asked to aid and care for these distraught travelers, as well as for thousands more, and their response was truly extraordinary. Oz Fudge, the town constable, searched all over Gander for a flight-crew member so that he could give her a hug as a favor to her sister, a fellow law enforcement officer who managed to reach him by phone. Eithne Smith, an elementary-school teacher, helped the passengers staying at her school put together letters to family members all over the world, which she then faxed. Bonnie Harris, Vi Tucker, and Linda Humby, members of a local animal protection agency, crawled into the jets’ cargo holds to feed and care for all of the animals on the flights. Hundreds of people put their names on a list to take passengers into their homes and give them a chance to get cleaned up and relax.”

According to Snopes.com, Delta Flight 15 also wrote in about Gander. If, as an American, you can read that without weeping, you are tougher than I ever want to be.

My own effort to memorialize 9/11 was a painting, entitled 9/11 E Pluribus Unum, the story of it is here and this is the painting:

9-11 E Pluribus Unum

4 thoughts on “In Memory of 9/11/2001 NY, DC, PA and 9/11/2012 Benghazi

  1. Hunt, once again you have me typing with tears running down my cheeks. My wife and I had been in Rome, we flew back to Washington DC on 9/09, I was sitting at my desk 09/11, when word started to trickle in, I was dismissed and sent home, it was so scary, 95 (the interstate leading into DC) was closed to inbound traffic, cops were standing outside their vehicles with their weapons drawn. All day we watched and we cried, the next day it was back to work, and the next day a group from DC was dispatched to NYC. Even today thoughts of that day make me clench my fists in anger, frustration, and anguish. Yet the countless stories about cities and towns like Gander make me so proud of our human race. Thank you for your so so well presented post. Take care, Bill

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