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The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is on Saturday and a generation of Americans is too young to remember it. Thirteen soldiers, mostly too young to remember 9/11, died in Afghanistan last week; most were infants or toddlers when Islamic terrorists flew commercial airplanes into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. It is why they fought in Afghanistan in the first place.
This beautiful poem was written by a friend of mine after 9/11 and is hanging in the the 9/11 exhibit of the New York City Fire Museum. If They Could Speak Preview Open
Ha! The other day I posted how appalling it was that the Port Authority put these inane candy statues featuring flags of countries from the G20 at the World Trade Center. What made it appalling was that one of the candy statues was of Saudi Arabia’s flag with it’s motto “There is no god but Allah, […]
This should not be needed. My retrospective on persistent conspiracy theories a couple weeks ago narrowly focused on the 1990s instance of “black helicopters.” Then, the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 spawned all manner of conspiracy theories, long before the rubble was cleared.
Thankfully, Popular Mechanics methodically debunked the technical 9/11 conspiracy theories. This grew into a book. They repost a portion of their report every year for 9/11, dealing with the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the aircraft. Because truth needs to be repeated from time to time.
I started thinking about this back in July. (The 20th to be specific.) And here we are on September 11th. (This will not be the most somber 9-11 thread. But now as then, perhaps we need the laugh. Buy me enough whisky and I’ll tell you what made me laugh that week.) December 7th. November […]
On any given day, around 6,700 Americans die. Celebrities, being mortals like the rest of us, die too, and when they do we are treated to eulogies, obituaries, memorials, and of course blog posts, Facebook status updates, and tweets. As one reads these, one is struck by the prevalence of the first-person singular pronouns. Frank Bruni noted this phenomenon in his recent New York Times piece, “Death in the Age of Narcissism“:
Just before and after John McCain’s death on Saturday, I read many tweets, Facebook posts and essays that beautifully captured his importance.
A 40-year veteran of the U.S. counterterrorism community, Sheehan served as a top official for the State Department, the Pentagon, and the New York Police Department. As a military officer on the National Security Council staff for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, he urged officials to place greater priority on the growing threat of militant Islamist groups, especially al-Qaida.
I made this comment to the September 11, 2017 Question of the day, Did we learn the right lessons from 9/11? I want to post it as my own post so I can easily find it. It captures succinctly what I consider my position on this whole war on terror as it has developed to this […]
In all the much deserved coverage of Irma I barely remembered this morning is 9/11. 16 years ago today all our lives changed forever, many of us significantly. If you can, take some time today amongst the business of life and the thoughts and prayers for the victims of Irma and Harvey to remember those […]
On the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 Attacks last Sunday, my church held a joint outdoor service with the church next door. It wasn’t set up specifically as a remembrance service, but the timing was on everyone’s minds, including both pastors’. Our pastor may or may not be a liberal — I hadn’t had any inkling before — but he’s never brought up politics, or issues too close to politics, in church. Yesterday, though, he followed his initial memories of the attacks with a critique of those who call for violence in response. He wasn’t talking about revenge against Muslim civilians in this country, mind you, but about our military response.
This prompted a lot of discussion between my wife and me. There are plenty of people who regard themselves as pacifists of one stripe or another and, of those among my religious friends, I think most of them would say that their pacifism comes from their Christianity. The arguments I usually see from pacifists in general are that that the world would be a better place if we did not fight back against this sort of evil. That retaliation leads to further violence, with each side claiming justification for another round of never-ending reprisals; that diplomacy and discussion are the superior and more successful ways of resolving disputes; that by not fighting back, we will somehow be safer. The Christian pacifists I know seem to make the same arguments and might extend Jesus’ admonishments for us individuals (“Turn the other cheek”) to whole countries.
But I don’t see that these arguments are consistent with what we actually observe in the world. Not that I advocate going to war over every small issue, but the idea that violence is never a solution, or that it always makes things worse (the claims of convinced pacifists) are clearly wrong and strike me as nothing more than wishful thinking. Of believing so much in your theory that you’re unwilling to compare its predictions with observation.
Something bothered me greatly in the discussion of the 9/11 attacks. Many, many people jumped from the burning Twin Towers. These jumps were sometimes described in terms of “dying with dignity,” as if the people were choosing to kill themselves before they were killed by the fire. I just watched a video of a man […]
Eight years ago, as the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, a small item in the New York Jewish Week caught my attention. A Bronx synagogue was dedicating a new Torah scroll. This is a big deal for a synagogue — a Torah scroll takes years to write, and costs tens of thousands of dollars — and this synagogue was hosting a large celebration, as is the custom. What caught my attention, though, is that this Torah scroll was being dedicated in memory of someone with a familiar name.
I went to Jewish summer camp with a kid named Andrew Zucker. But the Andrew Zucker I knew as a teen was fat and self-indulgent — and the Andrew Zucker in the article, a lawyer whose office was on the 85th floor of Tower Two, was a disciplined volunteer firefighter. The Andrew Zucker I knew from camp was a selfish little brat — whereas the Andrew Zucker in the article had given his life in the course of helping his colleagues, some disabled, get out safely. His firm had conducted an investigation and seven people credited Andrew with saving their lives.
All of the particulars lined up, though. I didn’t know the adult Andrew Zucker, but the two were one and the same.
It was the most gorgeous morning in southeast Pennsylvania. The sky was pure blue, not a cloud. Crystal clear, the sun was so pretty on my early drive to work at 6:45 am. Preview Open