A Decade Since 09/11/2001‒ America is Changed Forever - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2011 Juniper Berry Magazine

A Decade Since 09/11/2001‒ America is Changed Forever

Ground Zero two days after terrorist attack. photo: Robert F. Holden Jr.

I was in Juniper Valley Park recently attending to the continual maintenance of the 09/11/2001 Memorial Banners, which so proudly fly day and night to honor the loved ones and heroes who perished on that bright sunny morning of September 11, 2001

On that beautiful morning, in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania an horrific tragedy unfolded, a very stealth, well rehearsed act of war against the United States of America was being launched, the targets being the World Trade Center Buildings, the Pentagon Building and the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. When you review the time line of these tragic events you realize that this was a well-coordinated military tactic designed to terrorize a civilian population ‒ and it did! The four planes used in this attack all occurred within a forty-two minute period from three different airports and, with the exception of United Airlines Lines Flight 93, struck their intended target within a 42-minute period. Well, what happened to Flight 93?

As a result of the exceptional heroism of some of the passengers on Flight 93 in their attempt to regain control of the plane from the terrorists, the plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and all onboard perished in the crash. Although it has not been proven that the Capitol Building was the target, the only other target that makes sense is the White House. However, I suspect the terrorists knew that President Bush was in Florida therefore the Capitol Building was the obvious target.

While President Bush is scrambling out of Florida aboard Air Force One to take command of his nation that is under attack, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, choking with tears, lined the Brooklyn and Queens Shoreline to watch in absolute horror as incredible bursts of flames with huge black plumes of smoke emanated from both the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. Then, apparently without warning, at 9:50am the south tower just simply collapses like a house of cards. Shortly after in like fashion, the north tower collapses. Together the fallen towers shower a thick toxic miasma across downtown Manhattan that blows across New York Bay into Brooklyn suffocating thousands. Indeed thousands have been sickened by this miasma and, years after, rescuers are still dying from the effect of this dreadful cloud.

I trust that my synopsis of that bright sunny September morning has rekindled your thoughts of 9/11/01, and perhaps you may have relived a personal tragedy because many New York families lost a loved one on what is another day in America's history that will be a Day of Infamy, to quote President Franklin Roosevelt after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Let us never forget 9/11/01 and consider where that day has taken America.

Even while New Yorkers were deeply engaged in the dangerous and sorrowful task of clearing debris and removing twisted steel and mangled bodies, the first step to retaliate for this unmerciful attack on a civilian population that left more than 3,000 dead was being undertaken by President George W. Bush. Hence on October 7, 2001 the Afghan War began with the goal of ending the reign of terror the Taliban had on the Afghan people and destroying the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. Without question, the next item of great significance was the wholesale invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003.

Now when it comes to recorded man-made catastrophes from 2001 we must mention the financial catastrophe and social unrest caused by politicians, inept bureaucrats and unscrupulous bankers that transpired in the latter part of this decade in time. Quite frankly, they created the Perfect Financial Storm which has sunk our economy and caused much hardship and despair throughout this great nation.

I began this article recounting the loss of life and the destruction of the World Trade Center on 09/11/2001. Today, I look at the downtown skyline and estimate the new 1 World Trade Center to be about 80 stories high as it continues to soar to its final height of 1,776 feet. The Freedom Tower will stand tall reminding all Americans that we must be ever vigilant to challenge. We must prosecute and eliminate our enemies abroad and within our own society.

I close with this reminder: On Sunday September 11, 2011 there will be an evening memorial service honoring and praying for all those who perished on that dreadful morning 10 years ago. It will be held at the mezzanine in Juniper Valley Park.