Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 Remembered

The Most Powerful Weapon on Earth is the Human Soul on Fire

Since 2002, September 11 has been known as “Patriot Day”, designated in memory of the 2977 killed in the 2001 attacks. Initially the day was called the Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.  US House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71 requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day”. President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001 (as Public Law 107-89). It is a discretionary day of remembrance.

On September 4, 2002, President Bush used his authority created by the resolution and proclaimed September 11, as Patriot Day.  On this day, the President directs that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments, here at home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

It is almost inconceivable that 10 years have passed since that horrific day on American soil. Many patriotic events are scheduled around the country on 9/11 to come together to honor and remember the victims. The official New York City observance of the tenth anniversary will take place at the World Trade Center site.

The National 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated in a ceremony for victim’s families. It will open to the public on September 12, 2011 and will welcome visitors who have reserved advanced passes.

At sunset, the famous “Tribute in Light” will return to the skies above New York City for the night. The tribute is comprised of 44 7000-watt xenon light bulbs, arranged into two 48-foot squares inspired by the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. The illuminated memorial reaches four miles into the sky and is visible from as far as 30 miles away. The two arrays cast the strongest shaft of light ever projected from Earth into the night sky.

Below is an interactive timeline chronicling the events of 9/11 using images, audio and video from the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s permanent collection. The timeline tells the story of the day as it unfolded in the air and on the ground. It’s filled with first-person accounts from survivors, first responders and witnesses.

The process of re-visiting this timeline personally left me with a wide range of emotions: anger, fear, guilt and outright rage. There were times when listening to the actual audio and watching live video footage when I felt sick to my stomach. I felt what Al-Qaeda wanted America to feel through their acts of terrorism - terror.  

What these terrorists, and others like them all over the world forget to figure into their master plans is that one of the things that makes America the country it is today is the power of the human spirit. Yes, Americans did feel terror that September day, and that is because Americans have the heart and soul to have compassion for their fellow man.  After the rubble had settled and the countless tragic losses were given names, America began the slow process of rebuilding.

Ten years later, what's happening at Ground Zero is truly amazing.  While I can't make you sit down and watch television, I would highly encourage you to DVR or TiVo this series on The Discovery Channel: called "Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero."  It is truly a testament to what our country can achieve through hard work and dedication.  You will not be disappointed.  Oh yes, you might want to grab your Kleenex too.  It will grip you hard.

Lastly, I would like to personally thank the men and women (90% of whom are residents of the 5 boroughs of New York) who have spent the last 10 years of their lives working their asses off making the entire Ground Zero project, the National September 11 Museum, the 9-11 Memorial, and the Transit Hub something that all future generations of Americans will be proud of.  I am humbled by your dedication and hard work.

Thank you also to every single Servicemember who has served in the military since 9/11/2001.  My life's passion is found in serving in your reflection.  Thank you also to all of those Servicemembers who were never given the recognition they deserved upon returning home.  They deserve more.  

In the course of your busy, freedom-filled lives, please make an effort to thank a soldier for his or her service.  The sacrifices they make for your freedoms are unbelievable.  Your respect is simple.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

Tower One from the Southwest | Sept 9, 2011

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