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It has been almost a decade now and there's much to remember when it comes to the tragedy that befell New York, The United States and the world at the hands of Islamic terrorists on September 11th, 2001. The catastrophe itself was a real horror for those killed and injured as well as for the family of those attacked in New York City, in planes, in the air, and at the mighty Pentagon. Those people should not ever be forgotten. Pain fades but it creates scars and scars never disappear, but for those who survive, it takes plenty of help to move forward. In light of the apparent death of Osama Bin Laden, there is some closure in regards to the actual crime that was committed against humanity that day, but from every great tragedy, there comes stories of extraordinary heroism, bravery, hope and humanity. September 11th was no exception. A decade later I want to remember the good that came from the aftermath of this tragedy, the help, solidarity and compassion shared by New Yorkers and the rest of the United States in the face of such a tremendous man-made catastrophe.
Most people know the heart breaking details of what happened on 9/11. On a cool, crisp autumn morning, a handful of terrorists kidnapped several commercial jetliners. One crashed on its way to Washington D.C., killing all aboard, including a few brave passengers who tried to take the plane back from the terrorists. The plane plunged into the ground, thus saving hundreds or perhaps thousands more lives than if the aircraft had reached its destination. Two more planes flew into the World Trade Center, toppling and forever destroying the wondrous man-made towers. Many that were inside, simply going through a seemingly normal day at work, died in their attempt to escape the destruction or in their efforts to save people from the catastrophe. A third plane plunged into the Pentagon, killing many more people working to protect American lives and interests.
When all was said and done, 2819 people died in that tragedy. Over 400 firefighters, policemen, paramedics and civil servants died saving many people, and trying to save many more. We have been at war with terrorism ever since. This was an unabated attack on innocent civilian lives, affecting many more than those killed or wounded in the attack itself. It also affected many more than just New Yorkers. Over 100 different nationalities lost citizens in the attack. The Twin Towers were more than just a few extremely tall buildings. The World Trade Center complex was a beacon illuminating hope in the city from 1973 to that fateful day in 2001. The designs were finalized in 1964 for the 7 building project with the Twin Towers to be the heart of the finished complex. Construction began on August 5th of 1966. The completed towers were 1368 and 1362 feet tall respectively, 110 stories in height, once and the tallest buildings in existence. They housed approximately 50,000 employees and saw 20,000 visitors per day. People came to see the grandeur of New York. The towers were part of the financial hub of the country and the world. To many around the planet they were a symbol of freedom. Many people from many nations went there to build a better existence for themselves, as well as for their families and their communities.
That is America in a nutshell, opportunity and hope, where anyone can come and enjoy the freedom. We are a nation built of immigrants, and New York is the epicenter of the melting pot. This was no more evident than when such a large number of people from so many nations died along with thousands of New Yorkers in those buildings, and when the intrepid New York public workers, firefighters and policemen went into that building facing death or injury, they went to save anyone that they possibly could, not just New Yorkers. People from around the nation streamed to New York in the days that followed, making extensive attempts in whatever way possible to offer their help, as well as searching for survivors and victims. America always has unified in times of crisis, even if we squabble when there is no crisis. However, that's the beauty of America. We argue and fight to find the best way for all, so we can each enjoy our own freedoms without hurting others, and if need be when push comes to shove, we will even help each other out. America often gets a bum rap, as do New Yorkers. We are often labeled burly, loud, grumpy, and so forth, but September 11th perhaps more than any other tragedy exposed the true heart and character of Americans and New Yorkers. The love and sympathy and unity that grew from that tragedy showed who we are.
New Yorkers, in spite of their many differences, attitudes, and famous lack of patience, have always managed to come through for each other and the world. Believe it or not, New Yorkers are one giant family of dedicated citizens that help each other out in times of sorrow and need. We always have. Although New Yorkers are accustomed to social, political and economic upheavals, crime, overcrowding, deterioration of neighborhoods, intolerable housing, outrageous rents and high taxes, they accept the turbulence that is associated with daily life as a normal and inevitable way of life. However, it still doesn't stop them from being aggravated with these issues and complaining about them, as well. There are a few rotten apples in the Big Apple too, but then there are rotten apples and chronic complainers everywhere.
But what about all the emergency workers who bravely sacrificed their lives in the face of enormous endangerment that day and what of thousands of other emergency workers and New York citizens who faced the same peril that day and survived? Those terrorists didn't just violently take down the Twin Towers and kill thousands of hard-working people they attacked the American Dream personified.
Keep in mind that when we remember 9/11, we must remember New York and America's response to that attack. The bravery, the unity, the poise that was displayed, and love and human bonding that formed. In place of the victims and the towers that fell that bloody day stood a unified city and nation, united to seek justice against terrorism wherever it might run and hide. The commercial hub of the United States, the epicenter of trade, fashion, entertainment, banking, publishing, and shipping was assaulted, as were freedom and hope. Nevertheless as always, we persevered.
Leaders like Mayor Giuliani displayed resolve and poise. He guided the city through the horrors that we endured. Like him or not, he was a picture of leadership during that crisis. He did not sway but remained calm and focused. He gave the city and the nation the stoic, resolved face that it needed to see at the time. What of the united policemen and emergency workers who lost friends and relatives, who stood together exhausted as the President, addressed them and vowed justice. What of millions of New Yorkers who donated time, energy and resources to help the survivors get through the crisis?
It wasn't just New Yorkers who displayed the unity that the country and the world felt in the aftermath of 9/11. At the first home Boston Red Sox game after the sports world resumed as all pro sports ceased for days and weeks after September 11th, thousands of Red Sox fans stood and sang "New York, New York" to honor the victims of 9/11 and the citizens that survived. The fact that Boston fans, die-hard fans of a team with a 100 year heated rivalry with the New York Yankees, would show such love and support to such a hated rival says a lot about this nation, its true feelings for its fellow citizens, and its understanding of true priority.
Numerous nations around the world held a unified moment of silence to honor the victims. Many nations sent donations and assistance to aid in the recovery. In New York, as in the rest of the United States and most of the world, humanity exists, even in this day and age. We must always remember this.
We must also always remember September 11, 2001. We must remember the 400 emergency workers that gave their lives to save others to protect the symbol and ideal of hope, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. We must remember the brave passengers on flight 93 that gave their lives to stop the hijackers from attaining their goal. The famous last words of a heroic victim, Todd Beamer, who died aboard that plane, were: "Are you ready? Let's roll."
Those words must not have been uttered in vain. Let's roll means to move on, to take action, and they hold more contexts in regards to September 11th and its true meaning than to take a plane back. We must move on and forward. We must learn from the heroism displayed by victims, by New Yorkers and Americans during that tragedy and its aftermath. We must roll on in the name of hope and freedom. We must roll on in honor of those victims. We must remember the unity, support and love that New Yorkers and the nation shared. We must always remember and pay homage to the wreckage and destruction of the symbol of the American Dream that were known as the Twin Towers. We must always remember and pay homage to the victims caught in that destruction and to those that have died since, protecting the very American Dream that the Twin Towers personified. That's the irony of it all. By destroying the symbol of freedom and the American way, the terrorists utterly failed. They united us in the name of those principles, strengthening our common bond. We must continue to build on that strength when we honor and remember those that died on September 11, 2001, and we must continue to prevail.
How about it America, are you ready to roll? Let's go build upon the American Dream that the terrorists tried to destroy on September 11th. Let's continue to protect and honor freedom, and lead the world by our actions and deeds, not our words.
With 12 years of research experience, History in all its manifestations is Miriam B. Medina's passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing what she learns with everyone. So be sure to check it out at http://thehistorybox.com/ny_city/history_box_remembers_9-11_nycity.htm, a one-stop resource center for writers, journalists, historians, teachers and students.
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When you decide to put a flag outside your house, it's critical that the fabric doesn't touch the dirt. Purity is key when considering the well-being of your flag and keeping it pristine. When the displaying of the fabric comes into discussion some people on the street don't appreciate it if the flag is flowing the opposite direction even if it's not on a pole but rather attached to the house. It doesn't matter in the end how it is shown to the world, it's important to maintain the health and wellness of the flag when it is folded and put away for a season.
Once we put these flags are placed in a large circle, in order to respect them in the proper way it is important to salute it and sing the national anthem. Those who choose to not sing the national anthem are welcome to remain silent and can still participate in the ceremony. It is truly an awe-inspiring experience when all the neighbors come and join together to show gratitude to their country and those who have fallen in the past to maintain their freedom.
There are some important points to consider in the storage of the United States flag. The military actually has a special process of folding it in triangular shapes and having one soldier stand on each side and making sure that no part of the fabric touches the pavement or dirt underneath it. The symbolism of this process is very complex, but does not need to be fully understood to do it in individual congregations or communities. Boy Scouts in particular are taught to fold flags in a respectful way.
There have been many wars fought in order to maintain the freedom of the men and women and children that would live as a part of this great nation. In the Revolutionary War there were many Americans who forfeited their lives for the cause. Since then, there have been more than hundreds of thousands of fatalities in a like manner.
Along with this large number of brave men and women who have died, there have always been an even more numerous amount of non-contributing zeros who have repeatedly mocked those who have protected their freedoms. Sadly, this great faction still exists today by the masses amongst the great population of this nation and they have a great political voice which continues to contribute to a great political and economic decline.
Many times people think they can leave this faction of people and show some patriotism by wearing an American flag in order to gain the respect of some respectful citizens so they can get somewhere in life. However, it is not always respectful to wear the stars and stripes on articles of clothing. If they are worn, it should be one or the other.
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