#856 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I was in my home-office working and my wife, who usually watches some news before getting out of bed around 7am (Colorado time) came up and told me a plane hit the World Trade Center. I blew it off as some beginner that got lost or lost control of a private plane, but still could not believe someone could not MISS the towers.

She turned on the news upstairs and commented that the tower was burning immensely - that was strange, and then she said it was an airliner - she had my attention. I went in the living room just in time to see the second plane hit - but I thought it was a replay of the first plane. When I noticed that one tower was on fire and what I just saw was a tower hit that was not on fire - and a huge explosion. I was in shock -- the second tower was also hit, and intentionally. I told my wife that the planes were hijacked and we were being attacked. The news started in with other events (some true, the Pentagon, others not true - more planes along the Potomac, etc.).

She asked how that many people could hijack two planes and get guns on them. I told her knives or shanks, nothing fancy, just kill the pilots and threaten the passengers. Having lived in the DC area, a Navy brat and with friends that were stationed in the Pentagon at times, I knew that any aircraft nearing DC would be shot down and was really terrified that this was only the beginning.

A cousin flys for US Air and lives in Pennsylvania, not far from another crash -- this one because the heroes on board chose to die rather than be killed and be weapons. We were all worried about him -- but he was safe in Florida, and he could see Air Force One leave for safety.

I was on the phone constantly with relatives - none of us could believe what we saw. It is a memory that is embedded within all of us forever.

How have I felt since? This is what a wrote a few days later...and much of it is still how I feel. I still cry for our heroes -- alive and killed, found and buried, rescuing and rescued.

Pain. Frustration. Shock. These are but a few words that describe how I feel. This attack on the people of our country and what we represent – and therefore the entire free world, is still beyond my comprehension. I am in my home, assuring my wife and daughters that we are safe – and I truly hope we are.

There are many things that have happened and will happen as a direct and indirect result of this attack. We will never know the cost of lives, to businesses or governments – personal and financial. Our financial backbone has been halted, but not destroyed and it will rise again Monday (09/17/2001). Our air travel has been halted and is rising again. Our postal and delivery services have been hindered, but still continues with the delays we will soon become used to again. Our citizens struggle with the death and loss of fellow citizens, co-workers, friends and family. The stories of survival, struggle and heroism are sad and incredible. We are a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Our strength is in our unity as a nation and world coming together. Some have referred to us as a “Sleeping Giant” – but read that carefully – we have been sleeping, but in many more important and different ways. Our citizens and representative government bicker over differences that are meaningless. Our military has been reduced to dangerous levels. Our freedoms have been under attack – but from the inside as well. During this time of rescuing victims, rebuilding the damage done and restoring our Republic, we must also do this within ourselves. There is more at stake than lives – our freedoms; and not just from outside attack. We must fight enemies to our Republic – both foreign and domestic.

For many years we have become secretly and gradually ashamed of our patriotism and any reflection of that. Today we now openly and proudly shout and display our patriotism. That must never fade away again, as our freedoms must not ever fade away – we must not succumb to surrendering our civil liberties and freedoms for any reason. Once lost, as with the lives of this attack, we will not have them again. We are uniting to support our President, not Mr. Bush – our President and Commander-In-Chief. Only a short time ago our population and leaders were divided in support and criticism. Our leaders must support us and we must support them.

Our Nation has been the “Melting Pot” and was founded by those not indigent to the land. Our Nation, as it is today, has existed for about half of the nearly 500 years since the first permanent settlements were founded. Many came to this country for a new life and new freedoms, and since our Declaration of Independence, we have been a free people and symbol of the world. We are the strongest – in spirit, financially and with force, than any other country. We must use that strength to preserve and persevere. We have freedoms and liberties that other countries do not, and do not want there people to realize. Terrorists that lead and conquer by fear and intimidation have attacked us. We must overcome and win by the strength and unity within ourselves.

Our “Pot” is “Melting” – from the inside. Let this be a time to realize our short-falls, to strengthen our resolve and unity. Our borders are open, and we are being asked to excuse those who have trespassed against us – but at what continued cost? Our infrastructure has become weakened, as was our unity. Let us restrengthen our infrastructure with the unity we shout of today. Our ancestors came to this country to find opportunity and leave oppression. They had laws to abide and procedures to follow – to protect them and the growing population, they have taught us to abide the laws we create and ask for. Why, then, do we allow lawbreakers to enter and stay, only to take away from us without returning our generosity? Do not get me wrong, we cannot be the country we are without the influences and refugees of other countries.

In the interim we are going to rebuild many things. Let us rebuild who we are and protect ourselves. We need to close the borders – allowing movement across the borders, but legal movement. This is for our protection and to rebuild where we have failed in our policies. We need to allow civilians, our citizens, to secure themselves and protect each other. We need to assure that benefits and liberties of all kinds are preserved and made available to those that yearn to be our fellow citizens, and not for those that skirt the procedures, yet drain the resources of our infrastructure.

The support offered from other nations, both citizens and leaders, has been overwhelming. These countries deserve our support and the support we have provided them. For once our country is being aided in our time of need – what goes around comes around. However, we must cease supporting those opposed to us and our way of life – our freedoms. As has been said – this was an attack on all freedom loving people and countries of the world, and this will be a war against those that do not embrace this position forced upon us. Our enemies are many, our allies are greater.

While we prepare to fight, and we will, by land, sea and air – we must fight within to preserve all that is America. We must not fight with our guns, fists or words – but our actions and beliefs. Those that are not citizens and are here illegally must be deported. Those that are opposed or do not support the country they live in must leave or be deported. If you are not eligible to vote and are not eager to adopt this country, please leave. With this we must cease sharing our education, military strategy and technology with those that are not beside us at all times, peace or war.

In our schools they try to change history, or not teach it all together. I now spend time with my daughters – one recently graduated from high school and the other a senior in high school – teaching them about our government, civics and other things. I talk to them and listen, but I am listening to how their teachers have told untruths as facts, scared them and even discouraged them. At only 34 years old, my generation is not experienced with war – a true war. The generation of my parents experienced a Cold War and several conflicts – none of which had the patriotic support deserved and seen today. The generation of my grandparents, quickly passing, fought alongside many countries to oppose the same enemy we are preparing for today – those that oppress their people and oppose our freedoms. The next generation is confused and scared, and I understand why. We must comfort them and prepare them, for everything changed on September 11, 2001, but that is only the beginning.

I have cried every day and night since this attack on innocent citizens and our country, oftentimes alone. I have cried in pain, confusion and frustration. I have saluted our President, as a former member of the military and military family. I have saluted the rescue workers, the fallen and our heroes. I have cried for all of them.

I have been angry every day and night. We have been willing to surrender our rights and freedoms – the same we want others to have – for our safety. We have reduced our military and succumbed to the desire to have less, but at a great cost. Let us come together and fight for our way of life – Let Freedom Ring!

Our Constitution is not just a document – it is the backbone of our way of life. I think it ironic that Barbara Olson, a Constitutional attorney whose opinions I respected, died in the plane that was used against the Pentagon, the symbol and backbone of the military that defends the Constitution. It is under attack, and has been. While we fight to regain the losses recently experienced, and prevent future losses – let us include our Constitution. Let us not give our freedom away – to anyone. We must, as I do, value each freedom and right we have – even if we disagree or do not exercise that right individually, as they are for us all as a whole.

I will die fighting for your right to say anything you want – whether I agree or disagree. I will die fighting for your right to practice your religion in a country of many religions – although I practice none. I will carry a firearm to protect you – even if you do not want to. I will vote for leaders – even if you do not. I will support our leaders, even if I voted differently then the outcome. I will do anything to preserve our – your – freedoms. We are all Americans – not hyphenated Americans. Being Republican or Democrat, Catholic or Jewish, White or Blue collar – it does not matter to me and should not matter to others.

This attack on America has brought forth many comparisons to past wars and events. There are many similarities – but not necessarily for the reasons supposed. This attack was another Pearl Harbor, only because we were attacked on our land. The enemy of today is much like the enemies of the past wars – they oppress people and find our freedoms to be dangerous, as their people would revolt. The enemy of today is but a small representation of an overall group – not all Japanese were evil, not all Germans were evil and not all Muslims are evil, but we cannot easily recognize friend from foe and must be restrained enough to not bring terror to our own brethren. This attack, upon New York City, has temporarily crippled our day-to-day lives. This simply because NYC is a vital element to our financial and national/international interests. Adolph Hitler, whom I would compare both Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden with, targeted NYC and had prototypes of a stealth flying wing designed to bomb NYC, and was simply waiting on the full development of an atomic bomb. Our invasion and liberation of France was necessary to end this theater of the war, just as our use of the only two existing atomic weapons on Japan was necessary to end that theater of the war. Most importantly, WWII was the last era of patriotic unity for the United States of America, and that time has come again for the very same reasons. With that, we must expect to experience much of the same excitement, fear and change in lifestyle that our parents and grandparents did – and with that we will experience the same victory.

Finally, I want to somehow thank the countless heroes – firefighters, medical personnel, police officers, volunteers and donors. I also want to share my deepest sympathy for those that were victims. Even the victims that were heroes – those that valiantly fought to control a plane, and saved many lives; or those that helplessly called relatives for comfort.

We are an “Angry Giant”! Freedom must and will prevail, but not at any cost to those freedoms!

Dean A. Beers
Sunday, September 15, 2001

Dean A. Beers | 35 | Colorado

#857 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
Here is an essay from my collection of Sept. 11, 2001-inspired essays, poems and meditations published at http://www.geocities.com./inspirationpress/cupofinspiration.html

Temporary Troubles, Eternal Glory: Do Not Lose Faith

Christmas time is the time to be together with loved ones and with those who matter to us a lot. This year’s Christmas season will be more meaningful for many of us in this country and around the world. It’s a time when we can truly count our blessings in light of all the conflicts, acts of violence, diseases, the terrorist spread of anthrax in our mail system.

The tragedy of Sept. 11 is still fresh on our collective minds. There is no way we can’t forget those who laid their lives at the great altar of service. The first celebration of Christmas after those horrible acts finds us more meditative and mindful of our position in the larger community. We are the keepers of our brothers and sisters. We become more united than ever before despite all the things that existed out there to divide us. The enemies might have tried to divide us, but we did not get into their traps. We stood tall and united in the midst of our calamities and tribulations.

The temporary troubles of our lives are nothing in comparison with the eternal glory we are called to have in the Father of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 2:3-4). In these days of tremendous pain, it is good to go back to the things that bring us comfort, the things we are familiar with. Family, friendship, religion, strong sense of community, flag and patriotism are all the things that become important in our lives since Sept. 11. This is why our officials encouraged us to go back to our normal routine despite all the changes that suddenly became part of our world. Our world changed on 9-11.

No matter how much change we have lately witnessed, we want to stick to the constant points of our life. There is no doubt that we were truly shaken by the anthrax scare. We knew that we had to be careful with something that has become part of our lives. For far too long, we have taken our snail mail for granted. When we saw that our mail men and women start becoming victims of the terrorist acts, we knew that those changes would affect us personally. This is why we need to be more appreciative and thankful for these people in our lives. How many times have we taken the time to purposefully say a few words of thanks to these brave men and women who deliver our mail to us in good and bad times? How many times have we personally thanked our dry cleaner workers? How about the men in uniform, the firefighters, rescue workers, police officers, emergency medical workers and even the rescue dogs? It makes sense that these people did not think twice to rush to the burning towers to help, guide, comfort others who were facing certain death? They rushed in to humanize and diminish the suffering of complete strangers. They REACHED out to them. They did something to alleviate their excruciating pain. As a grateful society, we respond by recognizing their heroic acts. In a matter of minutes, days and months, they have reclaimed the title that surely belongs to them.

These ordinary men and women did not become our heroes because of their excellent beauty (even though most of them are beautiful), they became our heroes for their unselfish, altruistic acts on behalf of thousands. Even on earth, their recognition and rewards are greater than most others.

From the smoldering rubbles rose goodness. It’s true that the hearts of many people in this country and all over the world ache, they have become witnesses of history. It has been history in the making ever since these tragic, horrific days befell our country. Goodness surely germinated and rose from the ruins of such major losses of lives and property. Grief took over our mind. The level of atrocity is unimaginable. Men have become their own fiercest enemies. They are bent on destroying themselves for each time a man dies, a part of another man also dies. If anything, the heinous acts of Sept. 11 make us realize the value of being connected to our community and the value of interdependence.

All over the world, prayer vigils were held. Churches saw an upsurge in attendance. Neighbors who never said hi to each other finally realized that they had so much to share. They are talking. Even major cities’ crime rates decline for the few days after the tragedy. Once for all, people matter. Relationships matter. It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to look for public comfort and inspirational or spiritual matters. The stock market becomes less relevant. Our materialistic ambitions are set aside for a while. Our selfish ways become the antithesis to this kind of 1-for-all sense of community.

Compassion becomes more than a simple word. Seize the day. Live today and forget the past and even the future. How many of us wouldn’t like to sustain this kind of spirit of America at its best? Even on busy streets, complete strangers take time to say hi. They don’t seem to be peering down your throats without even nodding your way or recognizing you are around. Our hearts become open to the needs of our neighbors. That’s how it should have been all along! We may have finally realized that we are all on the same boat of life.

Life is too short for us to waste it. Let’s use it to contribute to our world and matter to others. Our life is like a flower. Job 14:2. No matter what may have come our way, we know that victory, glory awaits in the near future. 2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-8, 17-18;

Please meditate over this passage: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea..” Psalm 46: 1-2.

Let’s sustain the spirit of America at its best! We are a nation of strong faith, conviction and determination.

If you have any comments and feedback, contact us.

Joseph Charles | 36 | California

#858 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I am from England and was on holiday in Samos. I heard about it in the back of a greek taxi cab. The guy said in broken English.'In New York the big house's, the bigggg' house's have plane crash in to them!!! America have fight planes, America under attack!!! We looked at one another in disbelief. America under attack??!! We then watched on CNN...We had been looking at taking a weeks holiday in New York for that week, but never went.....The holiday atmosphere was very quiet that week. It was scarey coming back home on the plane. I do not know what words to express to all of those affected, I guess you just keep hanging on dont you?Thankyou for this site..
Alice | 30 | United Kingdom

#859 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I live in Arizona and work later hours, so on September 11, 2001 I did not get out of bed until 9:30am. My radio alarm had gone off and the first thing I heard was the dj say was that both of the WTC towers had collapsed and the Pentagon was on fire. My first reaction was WHAT!!!! I ran to the television and turned it on just in time to see a replay of the first tower going down and then the second one. I was frozen in my tracks. Emotionally I was stunned. I got dressed and went down to work, my employer was letting anyone go home if they did not wish to stay. They also had the psychologist on hand if anyone needed to talk. I ended up going home and a friend came over and we just talked. We tried to talk about other things, but we never could get away from it. Later in the day some other friends and I met at a local coffeehouse. All around us was quiet. A lot of people were at the coffeehouse and talk was very subdued. I was to young to remember when Kennedy was killed, but I imagine that it was the same way then.
Nancie Weinberg | 42 | Arizona

#860 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I left my home for work about 5:15 A.M. early the morning of September 11, 2001 for the 1-1/2 hr drive. I listen to an all news/traffic station in the morning and when the announcement was made, I thought it was a horrible accident, but as things developed, my mind wouldn't accept the fact that this was not an accident, it was deliberate. I am a Reservation Sales Associate and work for Amtrak. Our call center covers the entire nation and my job is to make train reservations. I talked to people all over the country who were stranded and trying to get home. The overall demenor was one of sorrow and shock, people were tearful and there were a lot of "God Bless Us" phrases. The train system was the only form of public transportation available during that horrible period, and I talked to a young couple in Florida that was trying to get back to Philadelphia, they had gone for an extended weekend, and their child was with a babysitter, they were frantic. I talked to a businessman in Seattle trying to get back home to Boston and the businessman in Boston trying to get back home to Seattle. There were adults trying to get to elderly parents and students trying to get home. I talked to men in the Military trying to get home/or to their base, they sounded so very young and I thought they sounded scared, but it was probably me. However, everyone I talked to was very calm and very patient (we were so swamped, and had no train space), they all were amazing. I cried with the woman in San Louis Obispo who had a sister working at the World Trade Center she hadn't heard from and she couldn't get thru to. I saw my coworkers crying with other passengers they were speaking to. After a week I was unable to go to work and took off three days, but then sat in front of the TV watching all the news channels, trying to get some answers as to what kind of god wants you to kill in order to get to heaven??? I never found an answer, and I never will. The American people are strong, and we will be much stronger in the years to come. I now tell people that I love them and care about them, this made me realize how quickly I may lose that chance. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Jeannie O'Regan | 61 | California

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