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9-11, A Year Later

Posted by danlanders

September 11 - One Year Later

     The image above was submitted to me by Captain Hunter. Hunter is a Canadian in his real life and he wanted to show the general feeling of the United States' neighbor to the north. The tragedy is one that has effected all the decent thinking peoples of the world. I thank Mr. Hunter for pointing this out and sincerely hope to someday shake his hand in person to show my thanks.
     Much of America marked this day in a vareity of ways. Radio station did commercial-free programs all day long. Some playing music, others merely talking to citizens or citizens children to let them air their thoughts and feelings about the tragedy. Television stations devoted their programming to mark the one-year anniversary.
     I personally spent the day listening tot he radio. I also found that the sorrow felt for the lives lost was just as astrong as it was one year ago. Possibly because I am a firefighter and feel FDNY's loss as all firefighters do. Possibly because I am a sensative person who still cries over sappy movies. Possibly because I can still go home and hug my children and tell them I love them. I can still watch them grow and share their joys and sorrows. There are so many fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who will no longer have that option.
     I invite all fo SFI's members to share their thoughts and feelings. All of these will be posted here. VAdmLanders@aol.com to e-mail me your thoughts.

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SFI Member Comments

From Jim Hunter:
" want to thank Dan Landers for this opportunity to post something on my feelings regarding 9/11. As he stated, I am a Canadian by birth. Mr. Landers also stated that he is a firefighter in real life. My real life occupation is an E.R. Attendant, and I am currently completing a Batchelor's degree in Nursing, so like Dan, I have a great deal of contact in the Emergency Services area. I can remember the events of September 11, 2001 as if it was yesterday. I awoke and stumbled to the shower that day. As I dried off afterward, I flicked the T.V. on. My parents were visiting at that time, so both were already up. Downstairs, the sounds of a day getting started echoed up to me. That's when I heard the dish hit the floor, along with an 'Oh My God!!' I stumbled downstairs, where we all watched the tragedy that was beginning to unfold. At first, like most people I'm sure, we thought it was just a tragic accident......a plan that had gone off-course. After all, who would deliberately fly a plan into the Twin Towers???? We watched the newscast, and all three of us nearly choked when the second plane came in. That was followed by the reports of the crash at the Pentagon, then the flight that had crashed while the passengers fought off the hijackers. I'm not sure....but I seem to recall a fifth plane being mentioned that day......one that's never been mentioned since, but I could be wrong, especially as it was such a hectic day that I may have misheard the newscaster on CNN. The events that unfolded are unlike anything in recent memory. To watch those buildings burn, to see the people so struck with terror that they jumped out the windows, and finally, to witness the death of the mighty Twin Towers themselves, it is beyond words. As I'm sure Dan Landers can attest to, in any type of career with Emergency Services, you develop a thick skin in order to deal with the daily grind. September 11, 2001 totally stripped me of that skin. It was like a raw wound to one's soul. As there was a chance that U.S. casualties could be air-lifted to Toronto, then divided to other area hospitals, I was called into work as we put our Disaster Plan into effect. Mostly, for us, it involved setting the facility up to receive the trauma patients an event like this would produce. We worked to prepare, and we listened to the news channels. I remember that long, first night. We were all kept there till the morning, when a fresh crew came in to take over the waiting game. As it turned out, we didn't receive any patients, but a large number of us also applied to be volunteers in New York should extra hands be needed. Likewise, that also didn't happen due to the ban on border crossings at that time. Mostly, I remember feeling that I wish there had been more that I could've done. It is a feeling that came back with a vengence on this first anniversary. I have also come to feel a great sense of anger towards anyone who could even suggest that the U.S. is to blame for this attack, or worse, deserved it. I have been a student of history in the past, and I can honestly say, that those of you who live in the United States of America are the kindest and most generous people on the face of the Earth, bar none. What other country helped its enemies rebuild after World War II?? What other country spends as much in Foreign Aid each year?? I am sick and tired of hearing about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Vietnam War!!!! What about Pearl Habour....another cowardly attack perpetrated against America?!?!?!?! In its history, the U.S. was never the one to fire the first shot......but it was always the last player standing at the end. Those who would pan your great country are the ones jealous of what you have. America started with nothing, and built itself up to be the most powerful nation in the world. Those who would malign America are the ones who covet what you have, and, knowing that they will never possess what you have all rightfully earned, they badmouthed and insulted your country......and then they flew airplanes full of people into the sides of buildings. My feelings are unchanged from one year ago. You are a great nation, that was struck a cowardly blow. But......and this is your greatest strength......you haven't been beaten. They thought they could hurt you....and for a time, you were hurt. But you have come back, stronger and with closer ties of unity than ever before. Like the mythical Phoenix, the American Eagle has risen from the ashes of the World Trade Center to fly higher and prouder than it ever has, over the Land of the Free, and the home of the bravest souls on Earth!!!! I want to thank the American people for being who and what you are. Don't ever change. God Bless you all!!!!"

Jim Hunter

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