Archive for September 11th, 2011

11
Sep
11

9.11.2011 … so where were you 10 years ago … where are you today?

where were you when …, 9/11, kith/kin:

My 911

 It was normal day, a beautiful Tuesday.

We lived in Chicago (which is CST), and the kids had just left for school.  As was my habit at the time, I turned on my computer to check e-mail and do a little research.

Shortly after that, I received a call from John on the cell. He told me to turn the TV on, something had happened in New York.   I then spent the rest of the morning glued to the TV and internet … and we had dial-up internet. I never thought about getting our children from school, just never dawned on me. Although talking to my neighbors, I realized they had all called school to see if school had been closed, and if they should come get their children

I just thought about what was going on in New York. Around mid day, I finally got off the Internet and my phone rang immediately. It was my brother Edward.  Edward had been traveling and was in the air at the time of the New York event. His plane with rerouted to Chicago, and everyone was removed from the plane and hustled off. He had spent several hours trying to reach me by telephone, but of course I was using the old dial-up internet line.

He was going to come to my house. Sorry, but I don’t remember whether I went to the airport or he took the train, etc.  But he got there

Next to arrive home was John.  His office was downtown and the central business district near the Sear’s Tower had been evacuated.  The authorities thought the Sear’s Tower might be another terrorist target.

Finally the children came home.  We calmly let them unwind and tell us what they knew.  We really did not know much more.  Over the next several days, we just let them ask questions, and we tried to answer with facts.

Interestingly, I really enjoyed the 48 hours with my brother. He had never been to my home in Chicago.  We enjoyed just sorting things out and trying to put it in perspective.   And  Lindseys are news junkies, and we devoured every piece of information trying to make sense of it all.

Thinking back … In Wilmette, my favorite visual image is of Janie and Tim Jenkins, our neighbors, hanging a huge flag from their upstairs windows.  I remember going to church “religiously that fall.”  I needed that comfort that things were under control.  I also remember specifically two articles that were published shortly thereafter which put 9/11 in perspective.  One was by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek (The Politics Of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us? – Print View – The Daily Beast.) and the other by Joseph Hough in the NYT (Q&A; Acknowledging That God Is Not Limited to Christians – New York Times).  In addition, I remember several photographs … one of the second plane going in to the South Tower, another of a man in a suit covered in ash, and finally, the ones of folks who choose to jump rather than burn.  Horrifying images to reconcile with our lives in a civilized world.

Over the next few weeks and months, I continued to talk with friends and family trying to make sense of the world. I was impressed with the renewed sense of faith, of patriotism and of unity

One of the most meaningful conversations took place at Thanksgiving.  We traveled to Atlanta where the children and I had dinner with Rev. Debbie Shew, a college friend of mine, and an Episcopal priest in inner city Atlanta.  Debbie succeeded in giving my children a very real sense of what had happened.   Debbie had volunteered to go to Ground Zero where she worked for approximately two weeks. She described this in detail to my children. And I saw in their expressions that they were really beginning to get it. We got in the car and my middle child Edward said, “she is so cool.” He never said anything like that about anyone other than a sports hero. I was thrown because it was the first time I felt like he had really gotten in touch with the World. It was memorable. It was a turning point in his perception of the world. That meeting impacted all three children, but to the largest extent Edward.

Going forward, we all had the same changes … we take our shoes off at the airport and take a lot longer to get from point a to point b.  My children probably can’t remember what it was like before.  This is their world.

We, “older Americans” want to go back in time, but we cannot … now we must make good of this new world for our children.  We can’t live in the past.  This is the new normal. As we travel through life, let’s pray for safe travel, travel in God’s care and consistent with God’s plan.

Godspeed,

Dennard

9/11/2011

And from my brother, Edward Lindsey …

Dear Friends and Neighbors:I hope you will forgive me if I deviate from my normal discussion of politics and policy in this e mail.  This weekend requires a different focus.Often at holiday times I send out an e mail to staff and lawyers in my firm to invite them to remember and share stories of good times from their past holidays.  This weekend is different.  There were, of course, no good times to share from 9/11/2001.  I dare say, however,  that we can all remember that day.

 

I was headed to California that morning.  My children were in an unusually good mood for a Tuesday morning school day when I woke them early to say good bye.   The sky was brilliant blue without a cloud in the sky.  Traffic getting to the airport was nonexistent. The line through security was uncharacteristically short.  No one was in the two seats next to me.  The headline in the AJC heralded my hero Michael Jordon buying the Washington basketball team.    A perfect day to fly cross country. 

 

My plane lifted off from Atlanta at just before 8 a.m. bound for California. That was approximately the same time as the two flights from Boston took off that ended up colliding into the World Trade Center. My plane was safely diverted to Chicago as the FTA scrambled to ground all flights in the U.S.  I remember the shock of the other passengers in my plane when we discovered what had happened, the eerie silence in O’Hare as they evacuated us off the plane, the stunned looks on everyone’s faces as we waited for our bags (no one really cared about their bags), the grief we all felt for our fellow travelers that day when we learned off the crash in Pennsylvania, and the desire of everyone to connect with loved ones. 

 

I eventually made it to my sister’s house in the Chicago suburbs (she had only moved north a few months earlier and I had to scramble to get her address).  Four days later I was able to share a ride home with other stranded travelers — one trying to get home to Louisville and the other to Nashville. Strangers were family that week and everyone just wanted to go home.

 

I left home on September 11, 2001 for an ordinary nondescript business trip and safely returned with a moderately interesting tale to tell my friends and family.  Three thousand innocent people did not have that good fortune.  For the next several months the New York Times published a short bio on everyone who perished that day.  I made a point of reading each bio. I was taken by the number of extraordinary lives who perished on a day that was supposed to be ordinary for them.  The deserved to go home to their families as well but fate dealt them a different hand.     

 

Remember.  Cherish the moment.  Even the ordinary nondescript ones.  We never know what fate God has in store for us in the next sweep of the second hand. 

 

May the peace of the Lord be with you.   

  

Edward Lindsey 

where were you when …, 9/11, perspective, oral history:  Apocalypse?  This is a great article because it takes people’s memory bites and orders them with the timeline for the day.  Worth reading.

Witness to Apocalypse

Days after the 9/11 attacks, researchers at the Columbia Center for Oral History began asking New Yorkers to describe their experience.

via The 9/11 Decade – Witness to Apocalypse. A Collective Diary. – NYTimes.com.

where were you when …, 9/11, Lucky Penny: “Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, … “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.” ”

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

The events of September 11, 2001, left a lasting impact on the small town of Shanksville, Pa. In the decade since Flight 93 crashed in a field nearby, the community has worked to construct a memorial that honors the heroes and victims who perished that day, and offers closure and a place of healing to those who visit.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about her experiences on Sept. 11 (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington’s suddenly highly restricted airspace).

But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: how the first counterpunch the U.S. military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission.

via F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11 – The Washington Post.

9/11, media coverage:  I always wondered how the morning news show hosts felt about the change in their day … they became real journalists, at least for a day.  10 Years Later: ‘GMA’ Anchors Remember September 11th Terror Attacks | Video – ABC News.

9/11, oral history, aviation tapes:  Lots of ways to tell the story.

For one instant on the morning of Sept. 11, an airliner that had vanished from all the tracking tools of modern aviation suddenly became visible in its final seconds to the people who had been trying to find it.

The 9/11 Tapes: The Story in the Air

It was just after 9 a.m., 16 minutes after a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, when a radio transmission came into the New York air traffic control radar center. “Hey, can you look out your window right now?” the caller said.

“Yeah,” the radar control manager said.

“Can you, can you see a guy at about 4,000 feet, about 5 east of the airport right now, looks like he’s —”

“Yeah, I see him,” the manager said.

“Do you see that guy, look, is he descending into the building also?” the caller asked.

“He’s descending really quick too, yeah,” the manager said. “Forty-five hundred right now, he just dropped 800 feet in like, like one, one sweep.”

“What kind of airplane is that, can you guys tell?”

“I don’t know, I’ll read it out in a minute,” the manager said.

There was no time to read it out.

In the background, people can be heard shouting: “Another one just hit the building. Wow. Another one just hit it hard. Another one just hit the World Trade.”

The manager spoke.

“The whole building just came apart,” he said.

That moment is part of a newly published chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released.

Threaded into vivid narratives covering each of the four airliners, the multimedia document contains 114 recordings of air traffic controllers, military aviation officers, airline and fighter jet pilots, as well as two of the hijackers, stretching across two hours of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the report provides a rare 360-degree view of events that were unfolding at high speed across the Northeast in the skies and on the ground. This week, the complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review, and selections of it are available online at nytimes.com.

“The story of the day, of 9/11 itself, is best told in the voices of 9/11,” said Miles Kara, a retired Army colonel and an investigator for the commission who studied the events of that morning.

Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August.

Mr. Kara tracked down the original electronic files earlier this year in the National Archives and finished reviewing and transcribing them with help from law students and John J. Farmer Jr., the dean of Rutgers Law School, who served as senior counsel to the commission.

At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. At 9 a.m., a manager of air traffic control in New York called Federal Aviation Administration headquarters in Herndon, Va., trying to find out if the civil aviation officials were working with the military.

“Do you know if anyone down there has done any coordination to scramble fighter-type airplanes?” the manager asked, continuing: “We have several situations going, going on here, it is escalating big, big time, and we need to get the military involved with us.”

One plane had already crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Another had been hijacked and was seconds from hitting the south tower. At F.A.A. headquarters, not everyone was up to speed.

“Why, what’s going on?” the man in Herndon asked.

“Just get me somebody who has the authority to get military in the air, now,” the manager said.

via Newly Published Audio Provides Real-Time View of 9/11 Attacks – NYTimes.com.

Post 9/11, media coverage,  Fareed Zakaria, faith and spirituality, Joseph Hough:  I still remember these two articles:  Fareed Zakaria’s article and Joseph Hough’s editorial, both cited above.  Here is some followup … these issues are still issues I think about frequently.

I guessed instantly who had done it. I had followed Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for a few years, through the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Africa and on the USS Cole in Yemen. In my previous job, as Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, I had published a commentary on bin Laden’s then-little-known fatwah against the United States by the eminent Princeton historian, Bernard Lewis. But I was still stunned by the attack – by its audacity, simplicity and success. In one respect, I was thoroughly American. I imagined that America was an island, a rock, far away from the troubles and infections of the rest of the world. And like most Americans, I felt a shock, an intrusion, a violation.

I put my book project on hold and spent all my spare hours reading and thinking about what had caused the attack.  What explained this monstrous evil? I wrote my columns for Newsweek on it and then, a couple of weeks later, I was talking to Newsweek’s Editor, Mark Whitaker, and we decided that I would write a full-length essay explaining the roots of this rage against America. I spent three days and nights in a white heat, reading, researching and writing. The result was a 6,000-word cover essay that ran in Newsweek worldwide titled, “Why They Hate Us?” It got a lot of attention – more than anything I had ever written. It was a moment that Americans – in fact, people around the world – were deeply curious for answers, explanations and understanding. The piece did deal with America and American foreign policy in small measure, but it was mostly about Islam and the Arab world in particular. It was mostly about them.

That’s how 9/11 was discussed and analyzed at the time – mostly with a focus on them. Who are they? Why are they so enraged? What do they want? What will stop them from hating us? That discussion of Islam and the Arab world had its problems, but its was a fruitful discussion, especially once it was joined by Arabs and Muslims themselves. I have often said that the most influential piece of writing of the last decade was a United Nations report, the UNDP’s Arab Development Report, written by Arabs, that documented in granular detail the decay of the Arab world. Once Arabs began to focus on how stagnant and repressive their societies had become, it set off a chain of ideas and actions that I believe has led to the discrediting of al Qaeda and its philosophy and the rise of the Arab Spring.

But if 9/11 was focused at the time on them, ten years later the discussion is mostly about us. What is America’s position in the world today? Are we safer? Are we stronger? Was it worth it? Some of these questions are swirling around because the United States is mired in tough economic times and at such moments, the mood is introspective not outward looking. Some of it is because of the success in the war against al Qaeda. The threat from Islamic terrorism still seems real but more manageable and contained.

But, in large part, the discussion about the United States is the right one to have. History will probably record this period not as one characterized by al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. That will get a few paragraphs or a chapter. The main story will be about a rapidly changing world and perhaps about the fate of the world’s sole superpower – the United States of America. History might well record 9/11 as the beginning of the decline of America as planet’s unrivaled hegemon.

The day on 9/11, the world was at peace, and the United States strode that world like a Colossus. It posted a large budget surplus. Oil was at $28 a barrel. The Chinese economy was a fifth the size of America’s. Today, America is at war across the globe; it has a deficit of $1.5 trillion and oil is at $115 a barrel. China is now the world’s second largest economy.

Al Qaeda will be forgotten. Few people today remember what the Boer War was about. But what they do know is that, around that time, the dawn of the 20th Century, Great Britain spent a great many of its resources and, more importantly, its attention, on policing the world and sending its troops to Africa and…Afghanistan and Iraq – some things never change. But Britain forgot that the real threat to its power came from the economic rise of Germany and the United States, which were challenging its industrial supremacy.

America needs to get back its energy and focus on its true challenge – staying competitive and vibrant in a rapidly changing world. That requires not great exertions of foreign policy and war but deep domestic changes at home. The danger comes not from them but from us.

via Zakaria: Reflections on 9/11 and its aftermath – Global Public Square – CNN.com Blogs.

“The End Times and the Times of Ending” – a sermon: Joseph C. Hough, Jr..

Bill Moyers talks to Joseph C. Hough, president of the Union Theological Seminary, where his teaching and research interests are in social ethics, theological education, the Church and ministry. Hough discusses where politics and religion intersect and why he thinks it is the duty of Christians, Jews and Muslims to join together and fight growing economic inequality in America. Hough has sharp words for politicians who tout their religions, but don’t apply its teachings to actions that could help those in need. “I’m getting tired of people claiming they’re carrying the banner of my religious tradition when they’re doing everything possible to undercut it. And that’s what’s happening in this country right now, ” says Hough, “The policies of this country are disadvantaging poor people every day of our lives.”

via NOW with Bill Moyers. This Week | PBS.

9/11, history, children:  How did you tell your children?  This is an interesting take … A Sept 11 Story for Children …

The Washington Post (@washingtonpost)

9/9/11 10:39 PM

#Sept11 story for children:http://t.co/oC53hFh

On September 11, 2001, 19 members of a terrorist group called al-Qaeda (al-KYE-da) hijacked four U.S. airplanes and used them to strike various targets on the East Coast. The carefully planned attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, making it the worst attack on the United States in history.

Al-Qaeda is a small, very violent group of people who practice the Muslim religion and who want to create a Muslim state independent of other countries. Al-Qaeda considers the freedoms that U.S. citizens have to be evil and doesn’t want the United States to spread those freedoms to other countries. Most Muslims don’t share al-Qaeda’s beliefs.

Under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda has carried out many terrorist attacks all over the world, but the attacks on September 11 were the deadliest by far.

Two of the hijacked planes hit nearly identical skyscrapers, known as the twin towers, at a complex called the World Trade Center in New York. The buildings collapsed, and thousands of people died. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, where the U.S. military is headquartered, killing 189 people. A fourth plane, thought to be heading for the Capitol in Washington, crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers onboard fought the hijackers. All 44 people on the plane were killed.

The United States responded by attacking al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, one of several countries where the group had operations. The government in Afghanistan was brutal and supported the terrorists, so less than a month after the attacks of September 11, the United States invaded Afghanistan to break up al-Qaeda and the Afghan government.

During the years after the attacks, the United States was involved in another war, one in Iraq. The main reason for this war was because many countries, including the United States, believed that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons that could be used in terrorist attacks. No weapons were ever found, and no link between Hussein and bin Laden was ever proved. There is a now a new government in Iraq.

U.S. forces finally located and killed bin Laden in May of this year. Al-Qaeda is much weaker without him, but there are terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda that want to harm the United States.

Since the September 11 attacks, the government has greatly increased security around the country, particularly at airports, government buildings and public events. The government has also worked to improve the way it shares information. (Some people think the attacks of September 11 might have been prevented if groups within the U.S. government had communicated better).

Before September 11, 2001, a massive terrorist attack against the United States seemed unimaginable to many Americans. But 10 years later, the events of that day continue to affect the way Americans live.

via What was 9/11? – The Washington Post.

Post 9/11, Super Bowl Ads, Anheuser Busch, kudos:  This was not an ad but a tribute.  It made me cry then … and now.

post 9/11, Rebirth, documentary film, rebuilding the World Trade Center:

As filmmaker Jim Whitaker stood at Ground Zero, amid the rubble of the World Trade Center one month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he felt a palpable sense of anxiety. Yet he knew that some day, something different would take shape in that bleak landscape.

“I thought, Wow, wouldn’t it be great to be able to give an audience a feeling of going from this dread and this anxiety to, in a very short period of time, a feeling of hope,” he said.

Whitaker decided that the way to do that would be with cameras: multiple cameras filming at Ground Zero every day, capturing on film the cranes and construction workers tackling the site’s ongoing transformation. Today, the result of all that filming — time-lapse footage from 2001 to 2009 — is featured in Whitaker’s new documentary, “Rebirth.”

Though the film debuted earlier this year, Whitaker’s cameras, now 14 in all, will stay focused at Ground Zero for years to come. The footage will be provided to the Library of Congress and used for a permanent exhibit at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum located at Ground Zero.

The cameras “will be there until there’s some ceremony that happens or someone says, ‘O.K., we’re finished here,'” Whitaker said.

“Rebirth” also turns the lens on the lives of five people affected directly by the terrorist attacks. Each person was interviewed once a year, every year, until the film’s completion.

via Rebirth: Film Captures Time-Lapse Transformation of Ground Zero, Rebuilding of Lives – ABC News.

Post 9/11, President George W. Bush, FL 2nd Grade Class, followup:  Have you ever wondered what happened to the teacher and kids in the classroom with President Bush when he learned the news.  9/11: Florida Students with President Bush Grow Up; Discuss George W. Bush’s Reaction to Attacks | Video – ABC News.

Post 9/11, photo icons:  What pitures do you remember?  I rememeber the one of the second place hitting the WTC, of the suited man with briefcase covered in ash, and of the suicide jumpers.  Newseum’s Photos | Facebook9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most – LightBox.

Post 9/11, international relations, US decline:

But then came 9/11 — a mass-casualty terrorist provocation on an unprecedented scale — and the Bush Administration convinced itself, and much of America, that the world had changed. The new president had found his “calling” in a campaign to “rid the world of evil doers”, declaring a “war on terrorism” that would become the leitmotif and singular obsession of U.S. foreign policy for the remainder of his presidency — a presidency that despite massive, kinetic displays of military force, left the U.S. strategically weaker at its close than when Bush entered the Oval Office.

“We’d always treated terrorist attacks before primarily as a law enforcement problem… going after and finding the guilty party, bring them to trial and put them in the slammer,” Vice President Dick Cheney told TIME in an interview published in this week’s edition. “After 9/11, you couldn’t look on those as just law enforcement problems anymore. It was clearly an act of war. And that’s a significant shift. You’re going to use all of the means available…”

But while the scale and brutality of the attacks might have been akin to an act of war, 9/11 was the work of a tiny network of transnational extremists, founded on the remnants of the Arab volunteers who’d fought in the U.S.-backed Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union.

via How 9/11 Provoked the U.S. to Hasten its Own Decline – Global Spin – TIME.com.

Post 9/11, perspective, faith and spirituality:  What have we learned?  Articles are interesting … perspective varied!

        via On Faith: A forum for news and opinion on religion and politics – The Washington Post.

Post 9/11: “You’ve got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.”

Many heartbreaking things happened after 9/11 and maybe the worst is that there’s no heroic statue to them, no big marking of what they were and what they gave, at the new World Trade Center memorial.

But New York will never get over what they did. They live in a lot of hearts.

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.

via We’ll Never Get Over It, Nor Should We – Opinion – PatriotPost.US.”

Post 9/11, movies, entertainment, define: terrorist: Terrorists …

The 1985 film “Invasion U.S.A.” starred Chuck Norris, who single-handedly defeated an invading army of Communist fighters out to terrorize Americans and destroy our way of life.

Terrorists had become a standard and reliable villain for Hollywood action movies, but when real-life terrorism struck within America’s borders, the game changed.

via Terrorism in movies, pre- and post-9/11 Pictures – CBS News.

9/11 10th anniversary, kith/kin, FPC, Ordination of Mary Bowman, senior pictures:

Text from my sister – “God is my refuge” – Psalm 46, Obama read it at Ground Zero

Church: “Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven,” Psalm 46, ” I Believe in the Sun,”, Mark 15: 25-32, Katie Crowe’s Sermon – “Remembering,” “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” and “Now Thank We All Our God.”

Mary’s Service: ‎… Attended the Service of Ordination for Mary Henderson Bowman … What a blessed and joyful event!

Senior Pictures:  I just realized that Molly was the same age as the students in the room with the President when 9/11 occured … they are all grown  as is my baby!  All beautiful.

9/11, graphics:  My favorite graphic commemorating 9/11.

From Linda – I don’t know who created it, just found it on someone’s page – I loved that it incorporates the WTC towers, the Pentagon and even the farmland in PA with the flag’s stripes.




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