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Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:05 am PST

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9/11F-16 Pilot Was Ready to Give Her Life on Sept 11

H/T Fr. John T.

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9/11 Generation

9/11 America Born Into Fire
This essay reflects much of my own thought today. I attended a remembrance ceremony this morning and saw such a sharp contrast between the "moving toward an enlightened society" group and those who believed in meeting adversity with courage and action. Those of us who call ourselves the 9/11 generation fall into the latter group. Many have found their way to serve. Some of us are still trying to find our niche fourteen years later, but we are still marked by that drive. We will serve. We will protect. When the time is right, we will get out of our seats and GO. The past fourteen years have been training for the next.
Ready, set...
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Truth of Lies

9/11The key points of the recent Seymour Hersh article on Pakistanís government and the Bin Laden raid have the ring of truth. While I have no inside information, the best of my recollection says initial unconfirmed reports of the raid gave credit to the Pakistanis for support of the mission. The Hersh story is consistent with my knowledge of international politics, operational security and politically motivated cover stories. Jack Murphy at SOFREP agrees.

Read the full Hersh report if you are able. Also, if anyone remembers more specifics on those initial reports four years ago, please get in touch.

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13 years


13 years. It doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed, except that most of us are becoming "former" to whatever we were back then. Yet the fight continues. In 13 more years, will it be our children doing the fighting?

Will they see that diplomacy and hatred and warfare all have limits?

Will they learn from the Greatest Generation and go all-in to stop the evils of terrorism and the devaluation of human life, a devaluation that is not limited to the Middle East?

For those of us who were adults on 9/11/01, our role is changing. I think we're feeling our age this year. We're becoming the teachers, the foundations for those who will carry on this fight. A lot of moms talk about how they still see their sons as little boys when they go off to war. I look at my little boy and see the man he will become. I have my work cut out for me in directing his iron will, but he's fearless. He loves a challenge. He barely notices pain. And he tries to make everyone his friend. He amazes and scares me because he has so much potential.

Thirteen years is nothing in the Middle East. Neither is sixteen years.

So let's get smart about finishing this fight. Our memories should fuel us to new strategies and greater self-denial. We want our kids to be ready to serve, but maybe, just maybe, it will be less necessary.

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For the Years Ahead

9/11Twelve years.
And one year since Benghazi.
They have been marked by wars, new goals and adventures, successes, failures, and too many funerals. Too many beloved hearts not beating.
But other hearts still beat, and the fight for the people we still have with us grows stronger. New beloveds do not usurp the old, but they give us the strength to remember. They make sure we live in the present, and not in the past.

This is what I've learned in these twelve years: We honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 best when we live with love and courage. No man left behind. No gift ungiven.

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A New Day


This AP image will forever be in my mind when I think of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. There's something horrible and yet so beautiful about the seawaters rushing over Ground Zero. The site is no longer the same, and at some level I'm sure that remains have been washed away.

Ground Zero has been cleansed. Yet remains have permeated Manhattan and the Atlantic. The victims are part of us in a new way until the trumpet sounds and the sea gives up its dead. We too are changed as we walk through Manhattan or watch Atlantic waves.

We shall not forget.

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Negotiating with the Enemy

9/11Apparently Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette agrees with me in regard to negotiations with the Taliban: Surrender in Afghanistan

"The losers would be those Afghans who don't want to live under the thumb of a brutal reactionary theocracy, especially those who trusted us and sent their daughters to school. But they don't vote in our elections.

Mr. Obama supported the war in Afghanistan during the 2008 campaign, but I suspect he did so only because he so vociferously opposed the war in Iraq and didn't want people to think he was soft on national defense. His heart was never in it.

So I wish he'd decided to bug out sooner. About two-thirds of the 1,864 American servicemen and women who have been killed in Afghanistan have been killed since Barack Obama became president. They appear to have died in vain."

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9/11Boatlift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

The video is about 12 minutes long, and yes, some of it is like reliving 9/11. But it also relives the incredible oneness Americans experienced on that day. Take a deep breath and watch.

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9/11Well, I made it through the anniversary. I'm hoping I didn't bite too many heads off; it was a tough day to give anyone grace. (Apologies if you were on the other end of that!) But how do you explain to people that you were driving distance from the attacks, or, most poignantly, that if you had just looked up to the sky at a particular moment you might have seen Flight 93? I've visited Ground Zero, visited the Pentagon memorial, but I haven't made it to Shanksville yet. I was basically on the Ohio/PA border...eight minutes of government/passenger indecision may have saved my life. How do you come to grips with that? How can you ever be confident that you are making full use of that gift of life?

I still struggle to piece together my personal timeline in that first hour. I know there was a delay in getting the first news. I remember that the first report made me think that it was just a small plane that had hit. I couldn't access the news at that time, but a little while later someone came in with the news about the second tower and the Pentagon. And I believe that when I got to a TV, the first tower had fallen and I saw the second tower go down "live." Then we heard that a plane had gone down in Pennsylvania and many more were still unaccounted for. That was when I realized that no one knew whether we'd see Wednesday morning.

I've been given ten more years. I hate that number because I don't feel I've done enough with it. Yes, I've done some good work, but as I flash back to that day I don't know what would ever feel like enough. Maybe it's good that we can't identify the finish line; it keeps us moving. But after facing the anniversary, I think I'm just glad to have my sanity intact.
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9/11The moon was red tonight. I kept thinking how fitting that was.

While the five-year anniversary brought a level of peace, this ten-year anniversary rests heavy. At ten years, you start thinking about what percentage of your life has been this "new" reality.

And my role in this fight has not been all I wanted it to be.

I'm spending this weekend working myself to the point of oblivion. Well, not that it will ever make me forget. And this weekend's schedule would be the same without the anniversary.

But too often it has seemed as though Americans have forgotten 9/11. Certainly our political machinations and the current administration's foreign policy are far removed from the realities of that day. And this sudden remembrance doesn't quite ring true. Also,one of my particular struggles is that there is a West Coast/East Coast divide in the experience of 9/11. It wasn't the first news of the day or the phone call that woke us upon the East Coast... we were already well into an "ordinary" day. And West Coast remembrances just aren't the same. Suddenly people are talking about "do you remember where you were when you heard?" and I cannot comprehend how a person could ever forget. I don't want to condemn them for not living the full horror...I should be thankful that many were spared the scarring experience. And I too must step aside for those who were in Manhattan or the Pentagon.

So much I could say but shouldn't. It's going to be a tough day. But those of us who have no hope of forgetting what happened ten years ago will probably fare better if we use the day to pray for the victims, their families and friends, and our national security. Because remembering only goes so far.