Tag Archives: 9/11

Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

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 girl 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.

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Filed under Mental Health, Music, National News, Politics, Thoughts On....

Shame on You, Rand Paul

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.

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Filed under History, New York City, Politics

RIP Detective Luis Alvarez

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.

Z”l, may his memory forever be a blessing.

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The September 11th Victims Compensation Fund Should Be Renewed

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?

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Those Who Live in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones

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.

The phrase, in regards to 9/11 and the rise in anti-Islamic hatred is as follows:

“Some people did something”

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.

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Today Is 9/12

Today is 9/12. In New York City, it was foggy, wet and a perfect Netflix and chill day, if it was a weekend.

Yesterday was 9/11. For a short time, many of us stopped and remembered the nearly 3000 innocent souls whose lives were taken so unnecessarily.

As I walked around lower Manhattan this morning, I kept thinking that it felt like an ordinary day. People were going to work, to school and just going about their daily business.

And yet it wasn’t. 9/11 still surrounds the area. It’s akin to a somber blanket that both comforting and mournful at the same time.

The city, like her residents are not known for staying down for long. No matter what happens, we find a way to slog through, no matter how difficult it is.

9/12 is a reminder of that. Today is 9/12.

 

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Thoughts On the 17th Anniversary Of 9/11

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.

RIP.

 

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Reminisces Of The 2003 Blackout

There are some events that those who experienced will never forget. No matter how much time passes, they can all recount where they were when the event occurred.

Next week is the 15th anniversary of the blackout of 2003.

At the time, I was a new college graduate, trying to make my way in  the world and find a job in the process. I was in the car with my family when the lights that controlled the traffic went dark. Driving home was pure chaos. Car accident were on nearly every block and glass from the headlights littered the streets. It was a little under two years after 9/11 and many wondered if the loss of electricity was due to another terrorist attack. Fortunately, it was not due to a terror attack. Unfortunately, the power grid went down, affecting most of the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.

The only store that was open was the local pizza parlor, because they ran on gas and not electricity. Neighbors got together to eat outside, pooling their food to prevent it from going bad. It was almost like in the darkness, people came together to survive those few days,

In the end, the electricity returned and life went back to normal. I got my first job and moved on since those memorable days. But I will never forget the 2003 blackout.

 

 

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Flashback Friday-United 93 (2006)

Among the heartache and tragedy that is September 11th, stories of heroism shine through the darkness. One of those stories is the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93.

The 2006 film, United 93, is the story of their heroism as they fought against their hijackers. While they lost their lives in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, they saved countless others in Washington D.C. by preventing the terrorists from reaching their intended destination. With a cast that includes David Alan Basche playing real life hero Todd Beamer,  the film is told in real-time from the moment the passengers get on the plane, until it crashes, killing everyone aboard.

If there was ever a 9/11 movie that keeps the tension tight until the credits roll while breaking the hearts of the audience, this film is it.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

I’m Ok-The New York Terrorist Attack

There was a terrorist attack today in New York City.  A man (who shall be rendered nameless in the blog post and therefore powerless) drove into a crowd near the World Trade Center Memorial. It was mid afternoon. Students were getting out of school, many of them excited for their Halloween festivities.  Adults were minding their own business when a man drove a rented Home Depot van down a busy bicycle path.

As of this evening, 8 innocent people are dead and others are injured.

The fact that this terrorist chose to kill civilians near the 9/11 memorial just adds to the grief of the families whose loved ones were needlessly taken from them. It also reminds me what a dangerous world we live in.

It also reminds me that New Yorkers have an inner strength that is always in the background. We survived 9/11. We survived Hurricane Sandy. We can survive this.

G-d bless the souls of the innocent lives lost, may their memories be a blessing to those who knew them best.

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