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Some Thoughts on 9-11-01 — on 9-12-10

September 12, 2010

Yesterday I, like many millions of Americans, spent some quality time reviewing and reflecting on the unfolding of  the events of September 11, 2001. My thoughts naturally flowed into how those events have impacted our nation and our world over these last nine years. I was somewhat surprised at the extent to which the magnitude of the attack had been minimized in my own mind. I had forgotten the colossal nature of the twin towers’ collapse and the momentary fear, panic, and stunned paralysis on the faces of  Americans as the diabolical plot methodically played out. You may have had a similar experience but now it is 12 September once again.

Although it was often reported that “3000 Americans were killed” it is important to note that the actual number of victims of the terrorist attack was 2,977. While the majority of these were Americans, more than 90 countries lost citizens to the carnage. This number, like the 2,350 killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is the number that will live in infamy and forever darken what was to be a bright, late summer day in 2001. We should not denigrate the lives of such helpless victims by carelessly speaking of the magnitude of their sacrifice by even one life.

Accordingly, I believe it wise and prudent to review a brief construct of the 2,977. First we must remember the 246 passengers and crew aboard the four airplanes who endured the horrific and torturous ride to their deaths. Then there are the 2,606 men, women and children in the Twin Towers and on the ground who were simply beginning their  Tuesday morning activities. Among these 2,606 dead are 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 8 private EMT/EMS. Lastly there are the 125 who died in the Pentagon attack of which 55 were military personnel.

I can not help but remember the words spoken over another series of killing fields where, during a 3 day battle, 3,155 Union troops and 3,500 Confederate troops were killed in action. We also know that approximately 15,000 were wounded on each side and that, statistically, 15% of these would soon die of their wounds. Accordingly, well over 10,000 were killed at Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg Address begins simply …“Four score and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  These words, rooted in The Declaration of Independence, have been a river of life across the generations and resonate in my spirit and animate my thinking on  this September 12th.  President Abraham Lincoln ends his epoch address with the same profound simplicity …“that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people and for  the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Thomas Jefferson often spoke of eternal vigilance as being the price of liberty. Achieving this high standard is not an easy task. It is, however, the requirement. It can not be achieved by a government program. It can only be achieved in the hearts and actions of those who love liberty. Perhaps one way we could uphold this standard is by being resolute…“that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain” and look humblyand intently to God to “crown our Good with Brotherhood…from sea to shining sea!”

Keep your powder dry…

John R. “Barney” Barnes, CDR  USN®  9-12-10

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 4:56 pm

    Great job Barney, keep it up…my powder is dry.

    • jbarnabas63 permalink*
      September 22, 2010 9:42 pm

      Thanks BG. Welcome ashore! By the way, Did you encounter any pirates on your cruise? Sailing into those waters… I am sure your Captain most probably had you well trained in “stand by to repel boarders”. Good that you were able to return from your arduous sea duty with dry powder. You must keep it dry! Barney

  2. September 22, 2010 9:39 pm

    My first visit to New York City was on 9/11/10. Expecting to see Ground Zero Memorial ceremonies, i was disappointed but understanding that it was for families only. I went back about 6pm to see only the vast fence line, dirt and cranes. It was devastating on a quiet and personal level, since I was expecting so much more.

    Our intended purpose of the visit was to protest the Park 51/Cordoba Mosque being built on Ground Zero. We were right up front and took great pictures that close to the speakers.(see for videos of the speakers. (Please take time to listen)

    Many victim’s families do not havea bone fragment left of their loved one. They feel that the ash and dust that spread out over Manhattan makes ALL of that are sacred ground. The ash is everywhere; they are everyhere; they are nowhere.

    I researched the Cordoba Initiative. Hundreds ofears ago Radical Muslims “conquered” Cordoba, Spain. They built, and continue to build, ON THE ASHES (Quran Chapter”51″ 44-48) of places they conquer. Did they conquer USA at WTC?

    Every Jihadist in the world will want to come pray at the Cordoba mosque. The Sharia La College as it should be called, will be in full swing. The “NEW MECCA” will be a destination for them.

    That night as we rode the ferry in the dark back to Staten Island, the two blue columns of light shone upward into the atmosphere. They only do that on the anniversary. It was a memorable trip for me, hard on my body but breathtaking in many ways. My thoughts? I am shocked that the WTC footprint is still a mess. Shocked that NYC would allow Park51..

    We are being infiltrated, taken over, stomped on and silenced. Can you imagine that the 9/11 9th Ann. was put back on page 13 of the New York Times? Guess what was on page three? Ramadan, what else?

    • jbarnabas63 permalink*
      September 22, 2010 9:55 pm


      Thank you for your insightful comments, very well said. Please take some comfort knowing millions of Americans stand with your position. Here is an overarching perspective whose truth will carry the day come November 2…”The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a limited period, to representatives of their choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”—George Washington

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