Twelve Years

This day always exposes the dark hole in all of us that believe in America.

Gerard always says what I’m thinking so well…

What the nation has become, through death by fire, bravado, war, forgetfulness, treason, and blunt stupidity could not have been foretold on September 10, but here we are — a lurching ship of state captained by a malicious hater of the American soil. That same captain, maddened by his own stunted heritage, will today disgrace the soil of Ground Zero. It is a difficult reality that has been dealt by the hands of fate; one that is still being played out.

Despite the sadness, and the blustery misdirection of politicos and media hounds, remember those who died this day at the hands of terrorist Islamists that our government now secretly embraces.

Georgia lost four sons that day:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.
Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

The Nile Runs Red

Calling all Bible scholars. Is the current meltdown in Egypt fulfillment of prophesy?

Besides viciously turning on themselves, the murderous Muslim horde Religion of Peace in Egypt have burned down scores of Christian churches and homes.

Remember this is the Long War of light against darkness.

The West’s war with Islam, a jihad begun and fought against us as a religious obligation, didn’t begin on September 11th, 2001, nor even in 1979, when Khomeini took over Iran. It’s been fought off and on for over 1,400 years, and now is in an active phase. The genius and determination of Leo III in desperate battle bought Western Europe the time it needed until it could stand on its own.

Read the whole thing. We need another clever leader, like Byzantine Emperor Leo III, now more than ever.

Eleven Years

It occurred to me yesterday morning why I’ve not been able to shake this lingering funk. 9/11. Like many Americans, something changed in me that day. Something was lost, that will never be found again.

Last year, on the tenth anniversary, the memorial was opened. Among the engraved names of the lost are four Georgians:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

The same naysayers and denialists from the first year anniversary still abound. I guess you have to have a heart for it to be broken.

As for me, I mourn today as I have for the last ten years.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
(Psalms 23: 1-6)

UPDATE: I was remiss in omitting a link to the 2996 Project. One of the projects this year was to have a pin on Pinterest for every soul lost. Read more about their efforts by following the link.

UPDATE II: Today was a clear, early fall day, just like that day. Sarah Hoyt remembers, and wonders about the present. (H/T Glenn Reynolds)

And as an author to an Author I have to admire the plotting touch, where the three burly and brave guys who spearheaded the fight back in flight 93 were a born again man, a Jewish man, and a gay man. Can you imagine any group designed to give more heart burn to the enemies that brought down the towers and who tried to use flight 93 as a weapon?

I can’t either. But, more importantly, I can’t imagine any other culture, any other country, any other place where those three would have banded together, immediately – instinctively – putting aside any perceived differences, thinking only of trying to save the defenseless, laying down their lives for others.

Their lives were forfeit, but they died free men. They died heroes. More importantly, they died Americans.

Remember

Thank a veteran today, and every day, for the our freedoms.

“Earn this.”

USMC Lance Corporal Scott Harper to be brought home Thursday

Wes Tallon, Director/Public Information Officer of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, shares this information on LCpl. Scott Harper’s homecoming:

U. S. Marine Lance Corporal Scott Daniel Harper, age 21, of Winston, Douglas County, Georgia, was killed in action in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 13th, 2011. He will be brought home by his beloved Marine Corps on Thursday, October 20th.

He was killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp LeJune, North Carolina.

[...] Lance Corporal Harper was a 2008 graduate of Alexander High School in Douglas County where he was a member of the golf team and JROTC. He was proud to be an infantryman serving his Country. He not only loved his Country, but also loved his family, his community, hunting, fishing and playing his guitar.

The route and times of the honor guard procession were released today:

U. S. Marine Lance Corporal Scott Daniel Harper will be brought home by his beloved Marine Corps on Thursday, October 20th.

Lance Corporal Harper, accompanied by members of the Marine Corps and his family, will land at Fulton County Airport/Charlie Brown Field Thursday morning, October 20th. A Marine Corps Honor Guard will escort Lance Corporal Harper off the plane. A procession will leave the airport at 11:30 a.m. to bring him to Douglas County.

The processional route will be as follows. Times are estimated and the motorcade could be 10 minutes on either side of the stated time based on traffic flow, motorcade speed and other factors.

11:30 AM – Processional/Motorcade Leaves Fulton County Airport
11:32 AM – Fulton Industrial Boulevard/Mableton Parkway heading northwest
11:42 AM – Mableton Parkway/Bankhead Highway heading west
11:45 AM – Chattahoochee Tech, Bankhead Highway
11:48 AM – Downtown Austell Business District
11:51 AM – Thornton Road/Bankhead Highway
11:53 AM – Annette Winn Elementary School (where Scott started in the first grade)
11:54 AM – Downtown Lithia Springs
11:56 AM – AMVETS Post 118 (Veterans’ salute)
12:00 PM – GreyStone Power Corporation
12:05 PM – Fairburn Road/Bankhead Highway, turn south one block, then west on Church Street
12:06 PM – Downtown Douglasville Business District
12:15 PM – Processional/Motorcade Arrives at Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home

The Public is invited and encouraged to salute the service of Lance Corporal Harper along the processional route.

Semper Fidelis.

Cross-posted at PeachPundit.

Ten Years Later, III

Charlie at PeachPundit:

There is merit to a cathartic exercise for all of us to collectively remember and relive the shock, horror, and bundle of emotion that poured through confused and frightened Americans on September 11th, 2001. The day now stands alongside November 22, 1963 and December 7th, 1941 as times when Americans were collectively shocked into new realities of the world around us. The day was transformative, and it changed us.

Less focus, however, is paid to where we stood as a nation when we awoke on September 12th, 13th, and the days and months that followed. For a brief moment in time, the word United in United States of America meant something more than it normally does. Partisanship was set aside for decisions on what the country needed to do in order to begin repair, to seek justice on those who orchestrated the cold blooded murders, and to ensure that the country would not face such atrocities again.

To fully appreciate the spirit of unity in the days that followed, we must remember how divided the country was the morning the planes took off. We were less than one year from a bitter and unprecedented re-count in a Presidential election, with many Americans still claiming the Presidency of George W. Bush illegitimate. The Senate had been under Democratic control for less than 4 months, as the Democrats were able to convince Jim Jeffords of Vermont to switch parties. The partisanship was bitter and tense. On the morning of September 12th, however, it did not seem to matter.

“Our last funeral” at HotAir:

The next major anniversary will be a generation removed from the attacks, with the average college student having been born a few years before or after but in either case having no recollection of what happened. It’ll have to be explained to them, and some of us who endured it won’t be here to explain. I spent last night grieving at the thought that young New Yorkers are already watching footage of the planes hit the towers and feeling no electric charge of familiarity; in a way, the World Trade Center to them will be what the Polo Grounds is to me, a landmark from a lost New York but never part of their own template of where they grew up. When asked where the attacks happened, they’ll say “where the Freedom Tower is.” We live in the same city, but we don’t really.

This is, then, our last funeral in the sense that it’s the last that’s truly “ours.” The shared experience, already slightly diminished, will soon begin to erode in earnest, and while people will never forget, increasingly they won’t exactly “remember” either. Count yourself lucky that you have memories of the world as it was before, not because it was better but because it’s gone. Others aren’t so fortunate.

Ten Years Later, II
Ten Years Later

Ten Years Later, II

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
(Psalms 23: 1-6)

Ten Years Later.

Ten Years Later

This day, ten years ago, would you have imagined the horror the next day would bring? Like Gerard, I’ve been trying to recollect that Monday in 2001.

I’ve been trying to remember September 10 but it’s no go. I know what I must have been doing, but I don’t remember what I did. I kept no notes on that most ordinary of September days. I kept many notes on the day that followed and the days, weeks, months and years that followed that day. What I do know is that whatever might have followed September 10 was taken from us all that day never to be returned or recaptured only avenged. What I do know is that “justice being served” has no part in it, and never did.

I can, of course, assume what I did — what I must have done — on a routine Monday…

The WTC towers still stood that day.

Back in 2009, I wrote for a small and short-lived website, Atlanta Politics Online. The editor asked the contributors to outline their day, at the times, and our thoughts, for a 9/11 remembrance. I’m grateful it is still available, because it jogs memories of a world before it changed.

Photo by Richard Drew/AP


We were soon to know the nature of the new hell and we were all thrust into it without repeal. The days turned to months and the months turned to years and now we have turned around and a decade is gone. What might have been ours, for good or ill, in that decade was forever stolen from us. Stolen from us not — never doubt this — by one man alone, but by a host of savages and throwbacks spread around the world and here among us and dedicated to our destruction. A host that will use any means necessary to destroy this nation while this nation “serves justice” up in spoonfuls and creates “Rules of Engagement” with which to hamper those who would defend it with their very lives.

What the nation has become, through death by fire, bravado, war, forgetfulness, treason, and blunt stupidity could not have been foretold on September 10, but here we are — a lurching ship of state captained by a malicious hater of the American soil. That same captain, maddened by his own stunted heritage, will today disgrace the soil of Ground Zero. It is a difficult reality that has been dealt by the hands of fate; one that is still being played out. (Gerard)

NYC Mayor Bloomberg may have turned the tenth anniversary remembrance into nothing more than a photo-op, but as for the rest of America, we Never Forget.

Project 2996 remembers the fallen. For many, no remains were found. Their ashes were scattered in the wind.

In time, everyone had passed by as well and the street was empty except for the settling smoke. I looked outside the window where a small maple grew and noticed that its leaves were covered with small yellow flecks. I looked down at the sill outside the windows and saw the yellow flecks there as well.

At some point in the next few minutes it dawned on me that there would be no bodies to speak of found in the incinerating rubble across the river. I knew then — as certainly as I have even known anything — that all those who had still been in the towers had gone into the smoke and that, in some way, the gleaming bits of yellow ash were their tokens, were what they had become.

And I knew that all they had become had fallen upon us as we ran in the smoke; that we had breathed them in when the wind reached us; that they were covering the houses and the sills and the cars and the sidewalks and the benches and the shrubs and the trees all about us.

What they had become was what the wind without a storm had left behind. Now that it had passed everything was, again, silent and calm with the blue sky above the houses on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights beginning to emerge from the fading smoke as the breeze of the harbor shifted the plume away from us and moved it uptown, into Manhattan, leaving the Heights again as an elite enclave, above and to the side of New York City.

The yellow flecks stayed like small stars on the surface of everything in the Heights for three days until the first rains came on a late afternoon to wash them away. I walked out into that rain and back down Pierrepont to the Promenade where for months the fires would burn across the river. The rain came straight down and there was no wind. As I walked down the sidewalk I noticed the rainwater running off the trees and the buildings and moving down the gutter to the drains that would take it to the harbor and the sea. And that water was, for only a minute or so before it ran clear, gold.

Tomorrow, New York officially opens the National September 11 Memorial. Stunningly beautiful and serene.

In the footprints of the old Twin Towers are two square, below-ground reflecting pools, each nearly an acre (4,046 square meters), fed from all sides by waterfalls that begin just above ground.

They are bordered by bronze panels inscribed with the names of those who died there, at the Pentagon and in western Pennsylvania.

Four of those names are Georgians:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

While the last ten years have nurtured a resurgence of patriotism not seen in recent generations, there are those among us who would just as soon forget it all. A few weeks ago, a young 30-something of our acquaintance noted that he didn’t think anything should be done to remember 9/11, even though the anniversary fell on a Sunday, thus providing a perfect opportunity for a service centered on healing. “Why? What’s the point? Why does that matter now?” (Paraphrased) The young man’s apathy and utter selfishness still astounds me. If he (and the rest of his generation) is incapable of feeling any kind of empathy for those still grieving, then he (and they) can look forward to nothing but failure. But there are so many who feel the same. Refusing to accept evil at face value and instead projecting blame on such-and-such policies, Christopher Hitchens dismissively calls these naysayers “the intellectuals” and describes his own change of heart:

The proper task of the “public intellectual” might be conceived as the responsibility to introduce complexity into the argument: the reminder that things are very infrequently as simple as they can be made to seem. But what I learned in a highly indelible manner from the events and arguments of September 2001 was this: Never, ever ignore the obvious either. To the government and most of the people of the United States, it seemed that the country on 9/11 had been attacked in a particularly odious way (air piracy used to maximize civilian casualties) by a particularly odious group (a secretive and homicidal gang: part multinational corporation, part crime family) that was sworn to a medieval cult of death, a racist hatred of Jews, a religious frenzy against Hindus, Christians, Shia Muslims, and “unbelievers,” and the restoration of a long-vanished and despotic empire.

[snip...] So, for me at any rate, the experience of engaging in the 9/11 politico-cultural wars was a vertiginous one in at least two ways. To begin with, I found myself for the first time in my life sharing the outlook of soldiers and cops, or at least of those soldiers and cops who had not (like George Tenet and most of the CIA) left us defenseless under open skies while well-known “no fly” names were allowed to pay cash for one-way tickets after having done perfunctory training at flight schools. My sympathies were wholeheartedly and unironically (and, I claim, rationally) with the forces of law and order. Second, I became heavily involved in defending my adopted country from an amazing campaign of defamation, in which large numbers of the intellectual class seemed determined at least to minimize the gravity of what had occurred, or to translate it into innocuous terms (poverty is the cause of political violence) that would leave their worldview undisturbed. How much easier to maintain, as many did, that it was all an excuse to build a pipeline across Afghanistan (an option bizarrely neglected by American imperialism after the fall of communism in Kabul, when the wretched country could have been ours for the taking!).

And then, of course, don’t forget that those who wanted to kill us then, still want to kill us now. New York is now under high alert for a suspected attack during remembrance gatherings.

But back to those who want to forget. A few days ago, I was discussing my continued befuddlement at the young man’s attitude with my daughter. Long-time readers will remember she graduated from college last year after a frustrating and, at times, uphill battle staying in her major after a possibly devastating medical diagnosis. Despite her obvious gifts, I believe it was an inherited streak of galactic-grade stubbornness that kept her going and helped her to eventually achieve her goal. She said, (again paraphrased) “How can you expect him to understand struggle or loss? He’s never had to work for anything. He’s never lost a family member, had to protect someone he loved or even faced death himself. Until he does, he’ll never get it.” I am so proud of her that sometimes words just escape me. Tomorrow, in addition to remembering those that fell ten years ago, as a family, we celebrate a new chapter in her life. After all the affectionate names and titles she’s had here over the years, tomorrow she gets an official new one: “The Pianist.” And it comes with a paycheck.

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say ‘what should be the reward of such sacrifices?’
Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth?
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”
- Samuel Adams

Many of us will carry the grief that began that day to our graves. Peggy Noonan understands that hole in the America’s collective heart, as well.

They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can’t bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: “America You Are Not Alone.” To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire.

You’ve got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.

“Michael Bloomberg’s Super Colossal, Low-Salt 9/11 Memorial and Networking Event”

Well, this just blows. Go read the whole thing, I’ll wait.

I just want to cut and paste the entire article, in uppercase 45pt BOLD Arial and hope that Bloomberg can hear me screaming all the way from Georgia. I’ll try to be conciliatory and kind. I’ll try. Instead of the very small words I planned, here’s Elizabeth again.

I don’t know why I should be surprised. Priests and First Responders are, like our troops, front-line folk. They’re like heroes in the cowboy flicks; they ride in, shoulder the burden, help put things to rights, and then — while the elite get on with assuming their power and asserting their primacy –they recede into the background. Only the very few stick around to say ‘thank you’ and wave them off. Sometimes children ask them to come back, or to stay.

Bloomberg’s priorities are all wrong. He’s thinking like a Baron — or no, he’s not really thinking at all; he’s being pragmatic: mustn’t let the help get get too much recognition, get too full of themselves — they might start getting uppity and making demands on milords purse and time. Mustn’t let the damn clergy murmur their vulgar prayers, or next we’ll have tent-revivalists cluttering up the fairgrounds and making such spectacles of themselves.

The big crowds for New Years Eve, or for the big parades, are alright, he thinks, but this is not for the riff-raff. Let’s just keep the invite list confined to those who know how to dress and how to behave, and which fork to use, and when.

You know…all those consequential (and so very, very smart) people who — ten years into this — have not managed to fill the still-exposed, gaping holes in the downtown ground.

Perhaps that’s because of the increasingly exposed, gaping holes in their own heads and hearts — from which pours out so much that is mediocre, bleak and unhelpful.

Giuliani, for all his faults, wouldn’t be doing this.

Here we are, just three weeks out from the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and Bloomberg shows us his hind-parts. What.An.Unbelievably.Selfish.Moron.

I’m speechless. But not for long.

Memorial Day

Erick Erickson Interviewing Herman Cain

Erick Erickson, newly minted evening talk show host on WSB Radio, editor of RedState, editor emeritus of Peach Pundit and all around great guy is interviewing Herman Cain, potential candidate for the 2012 on WSB RIGHT NOW.

[It was a great interview. Herman sounded downright Presidential.]

Please, Herman, say YES!

You can listen here. Fabulous!

UPDATE: You can listen to the podcasts -
Hour 1
Hour 2

Remember Why America is Exceptional

The rebirth of America begins today.

UPDATE: The Anchoress

We must repeat, over and over, that liberty is the means by which we created creatures are meant to live and to grow and be; that liberty lives in truth spoken forthrightly, and not in circuitous spin; that liberty thrives where people can speak without fear of injury or reprisals; that liberty is sustained only when the press is free and unencumbered; that liberty flourishes when people refuse to be intimidated into silence or acquiescence, but becomes a fragile thing, easily diminished, when we refuse to acclaim it for ourselves.

Perhaps it was easier to tap into the quietly honorable intentions of America at its founding, when oppressed people understood what the opposite of freedom was and resolved to reject it as they rejected empire, or subjugation. Succeeding American generations pursued liberty for others – agreeing always to lead, but never to rule, and ready to return to their own quite ordinary lives when their role was played out.

Today’s balloting seems poised to deliver a hard pull-back from the perceived “mandates” of only two years ago, and a stinging rebuke to public servants who began to believe they were meant to rule, rather than represent – who moved too far against our understandings of consent, and of ourselves and our sacred honor.

The Night Before

Wow. The WTC the evening of 9/10/2001.

Never forget.

Repost: Claude Michale Gann – 2996 Tribute

Reposting this tribute from last year. This 9/11 I will be out of pocket, celebrating the estimable Obi’s birthday and the Dawgs imminent thrashing of the Gamecocks.

Never Forget.

*********************************************************************************
mike gann

Mike Gann was 41 and recently happily remarried when he went to the Risk Waters conference at Windows on the World. He and his wife, Robin, had taken an “elopement” with their kids to the beach and then DisneyWorld just a few months before, but were still waiting to take their real honeymoon.

C. Michael Gann, IM 85, of Roswell, was Atlanta’s first reported casualty. He was at a conference on the 106th floor of the first tower struck. He called his wife, Robin, twice — to tell her what had happened and then to say goodbye; smoke was everywhere and he didn’t think he would make it.

He volunteered to attend the conference, because other Algorithmics employees could not attend. The conference was scheduled to end that day and Mike would have headed home.

Mike grew up in Smyrna, Georgia and attended Wills High School. After graduating from Georgia Tech, IM ’85, he pursued a master’s degree in finance and marketing from Mercer University. He loved his family, his church and his Lord.

Ed Bolduc, director of music ministry for St. Ann’s Life Teen program:

“He was one of the most humble and sincere guys I have ever met in my life,” he said. “As a music minister I truly believe that you don’t just play music, but you pray music. He was a shining example of that. It was really inspiring.”

A former worship leader himself, Mike loved to share his gift:

In the 80s at Atlanta Vineyard I was spoiled to feeling this almost every Sunday when the late Mike Gann led us in worshiping the Lord. He was definitely someone cut in David’s mold. But since that time I’ve found it very rare to be in the presence of a worship leader who knows how to lead people into the “presence of God.”

The city of Roswell has dedicated a plaque in memory of Mike and the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Mike Gann Memorial in Roswell Park

The Mike Gann Memorial in Roswell Park

His memory lives on.

See Project 2996 for more tributes to those we will never forget.

Many thanks to JustKeith.com, the New York Times 1, the New York Times 2, GTAlumni.org 1, GTAlumni.org 2, the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Endy9Blog.LifeWithChrist.org.

Bloombergistan

Read the whole thing over at WyBlog.

Fausta has a great round-up. Pat and Jill both weigh in on the coward that is the mayor of NYC.

What Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t realize, is HE will be the first one they come for. Because the Muslims believe they conquered him, personally, as well.

Outrageous!

Previously: Gauntlet

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