Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th, 2007

Today is the 6Th anniversary of the day that tore our nation apart and in doing so bonded it together stronger and more determined than ever. I think it was best put by Toby Keith in his song Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. "A Sucker punch came flying in from somewhere in the back. When we could see clearly through our big black eye, man we lit up your world like the 4Th of July" We were totally sucker punched but we maintained our dignity and our determination, we put together rescue efforts, we pulled together our resources and we pulled through. And we were pissed! We then took action. We may be on shaky ground with the UN at the moment, but I guarantee you that no nation, anywhere, will question anymore that we have the resources to defend ourselves and the determination to do so.

As for 9/11, many, many lives were lost that day and with that comes a deep sense of sadness, pain and heartache, especially for those that lost someone close to them and also for those that survived and everyone, everywhere. Every American, young and old, will remember where they were that day and what they were doing. Every American was touched in some way, knew someone or knew someones family. I fall into that category. My best friends brothers both worked in the World Trade Center. I had met Scott, the younger of the two, but never Donald. Scott is a carefree twenty something young man, with the same mentality. Thank God for that. With that mentality comes a lack of responsibility and because of that he was late for work, a common thing for him. He was on the subway when the tower were hit. I was at my friends home, watching the news broadcast with her when she got the call saying that Scott was alright but he didn't know where Donald was. Donald had made it to work on time. As the older brother, he was more responsible and had his head on a little straighter, due in part to his age and some to a motorcycle accident he had many, many years before that left him nearly paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Knowing Donald's physical condition, my friend was very very worried. I sat with her throughout the day and by evenings end, there was still no word. No one knew where Donald was.

The next morning, I was back over sitting with my friend when the phone rang again. She hesitantly answered it as she had for the last 24+ hours, dreading what might be on the other end. As her son and I watched her intently for any indication of what was being said, her face lost all color and she began sobbing and laughing all at the same time. Donald was alright. But his story was an amazing one.

He had arrived to work on time and was headed into work when the first plane hit the tower adjacent to his. As the panic ensued he tried his best to maneuver his wheelchair down the steps of the tower but was not succeeding due to the mass panic. A complete stranger picked him up out of his chair and half carried him away. They first took shelter in a pizza shop a little ways away but when the second plane hit they were evacuated from there to a firehouse and then another shop further away from downtown. It was rough in going, Donald can hardly walk, but this stranger stayed by his side the whole, grueling 18+ hours of the ordeal. They were covered in soot, ashes and dust. Tired, hungry, thirsty and filthy. As the Second tower fell, the little pizza shop in which they had first taken cover was crushed by the falling debris. As the city around them was ripped apart, the whole city came together to help each other, neighbor, friend or complete stranger. It didn't matter. They were all Americans and each and every one of them are Heroes. They all helped each other and perished or survived, they came together to comfort, assist and do what they could to help their fellow Americans. Across the nation, the same outpouring of love, compassion and concern was flowing strong and hard through every heart and soul as people everywhere came out, showed their support, made their donations and prayed for the help that was needed.

We are a strong nation. We are AMERICANS! There is no other nation, kindred or people that will govern us, control us or frighten us. We are strong! We are determined! And most of all, WE ARE ONE! WE ARE AMERICANS! Today is one of the best days to remember that. Fly your flag high, fly it proud. But tomorrow, fly it again, not in memory of the wonderful people that were lost to us, but to the Nation that protects us and the Nation that we love!


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