I loved this book. Those of us above a certain age all have stories to tell about 9/11. But these stories are personal, hard hitting and may draw a few tears. I especially appreciated the interviews with the survivors who are Muslim-American or originally from South Asia. After the towers fell, it was all too easy to point the fingers at anyone who even remotely looked like those who were responsible for 9/11. It is much harder to separate those responsible from the average person of color who was just as affected by the attack as any American.
Eighteen years ago today, nearly three thousand people lost their lives due to hate.
As I was listening to live stream of the memorial ceremony this morning, one thing struck me. Those who died that day and those who died in the aftermath were of different races, nationalities, religions, etc. But the one thing that they all have in common is that they are victims of September 11th.
But love still prevails. On the streets of New York City, two young boys, Maxwell and Finnegan, are best friends. Maxwell’s father filmed the boys, one black and one white as they randomly met on the street. The video, which has gone viral, is nothing short of beautiful.
Today we remember and mourn those who lost their lives. But this video and this friendship gives me hope that there is still love in this world. Hate may have it’s day in the sun, but in the end, love will always prevail.
Those of us who are of a certain age and older will forever remember that day and the following days after the towers fell. I will never forget coming home for fall break from college in October of 2001 and craning my neck to see the remains of the towers as the bus drove into New York City.
I sometimes wonder what the kids who were very young or not yet born (Gen Z) think and know about September 11th. Especially that tomorrow is 18 years since the attack. An entire generation has grown up with 9/11 as just another aspect of their lives.
I wonder if they see it as living history or just as history in the same way that my generation sees Vietnam or the assassination of JFK (for context, I am in my late 30’s). I would hope that they understand how significant and life changing that day was for this country. I hope that they mourn and remember those who 18 years ago tonight, had no idea that their time on Earth was growing short.
May the memories of those who perished that day and of those who sacrificed their time, the health and ultimately their lives in the days after 9/11 to be a blessing to us all. Z”l.
He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.
He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.
He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.
He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.
Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.
Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.
May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.
When the volunteers and first responders ran toward the still smoldering rubble that was the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001, they were not thinking of the compensation they would later be receiving from the government or the diseases that they would be dying from. They only though of finding survivors and recovering the remains of those who did not survive.
This year is the 18th anniversary of the attack. Approximately 90,000 Americans put their lives on hold to help with the rescue and recovery effort. Nearly half of these people, numbering around 40,000 have been diagnosed with cancers that could have only come from the toxic air that was expelled from the remains of the towers.
It should, therefore be a no-brainer that these men and women (and their families by extension) are financially compensated, especially given the expensive medical bills that come with cancer.
But Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) believes otherwise. He and fellow Republican Mike Lee (R-Utah) voted against the funding. Senator Paul’s reasons for not voting for the compensation fund is as follows:
“It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in the country,” he said. “And therefore any new spending … should be offset by cutting spending that’s less valuable. We need to, at the very least, have this debate.”
There is nothing to debate. More than our thanks or our verbal support, these men and women need our financial support. While they battle cancer, they should not be worrying about being able to pay their mortgage or put food on their tables. They should only be worrying about their health and their loved ones.
From my perspective, this is just another sign that the Republicans, as a party, have forgotten who hired them and who they are responsible to. I am not saying that the Democrats are perfect, but at least I know that they are doing the jobs that the average American voter hired them to do.
When the Twin Towers fell on September 11th, 2001, those who were lucky enough the survive the falling of the towers ran from the towers with everything they had. While they ran from the smoldering ashes, the first responders ran toward the smoldering ashes. One of those first responders died today.
Detective Luis Alvarez passed away today at the young age of 53. He spent three months after 9/11 searching for survivors in the rubble. A few weeks ago, Detective Alvarez was among the first responders who testified with Jon Stewart to remind Congress of their responsibility to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Detective Alvarez is a hero in every sense of the word. A hero is defined (at least in my book), as someone who acts in the interests of others. Putting everything else on hold (his health included), he was one of many who acted in the interest of the city and the survivors.
Those of us above a certain age remember 9/11 and the awful days after the destruction the Twin Towers. While many of us were in shock and not sure how to deal, the first responders jumped in without a second thought.
Eighteen years later, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund that is supposed to provide financial support to the victims, the first responders and the families is potentially going to be reduced. The problem is that the number of claims are increasing as the money available might be decreased.
From my perspective, there should be not even a shadow of a doubt that the fund should be kept going. It does not matter which political party (if any) one subscribes to. But Congress seems to have forgotten that. Why does it take Jon Stewart to remind our elected officials (whom we, the voters hired to represent us) that these men and women deserve this money?
We all remember where we were on 9/11. Unlike other memories that fade, where were that day and who we were with are forever burnt into our memory.
Last week Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) gave a speech at a CAIR event. It is not a surprise that the right jumped on the speech and a specific phrase in the speech as if it was a piece of meat thrown to a group of famished hyenas.
There are two issues. The first is that the right and the right leaning media (which unfortunately includes the NY Post, a paper that I have been a loyal reader of for many years) focused on that particular phrase instead of pulling back and getting all of their facts together before reacting.
The second issue is that you know who continues to harp on Representative Omar about her previous antisemitic comments. While I don’t quite think I will ever completely forgive her, the death threats that she and her family are receiving are a symptom of a much bigger issue in this country.
In spite of saying that he is pro-Israel and bears no hatred for people of the Jewish faith, his past tweets say otherwise.
By the way, does anyone else recall that while thousands of innocent people were dying on 9/11, he was bragging that he then owned the tallest building in lower Manhattan? (Starts at 1:50)
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
There are certain events in history that are ingrained in our overall cultural memory. Those who were alive at that moment can easily recall where they where when that moment occurred and how it changed their life.
Tuesday is the 17th anniversary of 9/11.
My office is very close to where the Twin Towers once stood. Today, Lower Manhattan is as bustling and alive as it ever was. But it’s not hard to see that the scars of 9/11. While the Oculus is a beautiful building, anyone who enters or exits the building is aware that it is built on the ashes of the Twin Towers and those whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001.
May the lives of those lost that day be a blessing to us all and may we remember to love and appreciate the person next to us, even if they are different or if we disagree with them. If nothing else, 9/11 is a reminder of our shared humanity and at the end of day, we are our brothers and sisters keeper.