Personal thoughts from September 11, 2001: I can clearly see the TV screen in my memory and the second plane striking the World Trade Center in New York City, and the sudden realization that this was not a crazy accident. We, the citizens of the United States were being attacked. As I watched, thousands died. Deliberately murdered. Those visual images will remain with me forever. It is important that we remember those events. I will never forget.
In late December 2004, the larger world experienced experienced the horrific events and loss of life following the earthquake near Sumatra and the extremely high death toll of the tsunamis. In the wake of the tsunami tragedies the people of the United States have responded though both their government and through a spontaneous outpouring of donations from families and individuals. In the USA we've experienced the internal tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, and annual wild fire devastations of numerous communities. In January 2010 we've seen the horrific and lasting effects of the severe earthquake in the island nation of Haiti.
In 2011 Japan suffered a severe earthquake and giant tsunami in what is probably the most visually documented disaster we've seen. In the USA we've had terrible tornadoes, massive flooding and astoundingly huge wildfires. It is a stern reminder about how truly fragile and irreplaceable is each human being!
I've posted a personal message.
The terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001 is still changing the world. A Chronology of events, 9-11-01 for those who wish to review and remember.
A poem by Cheryl Sawyer, Ed.D., Page One
Reprinted with permission
As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes
We become one people.
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.
A look Back: Notes From 2001 after 9-11:
We all want to do something to show our feelings in the wake of the tragic events resulting from the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001. Make it something positive! Become so busy helping others that there is no room for hatred. America will be judged by the world for how we behave in the aftermath of WTC and DC events.
Today would be a good time to remind ourselves of the pledge of : "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Our children will see our every action and remember every deed and copy our actions. Rise above your distress and anger. Help those in need of all races, creeds, colors, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Everyone is the same under the dust and soot of disaster. Let us behave with honor, bravery, and most of all love, charity and compassion. Let there be no stain upon the robe of Freedom, while we seek justice for all.
Do I believe that we, as a nation should take military action? Yes, I do. I also believe the most important action the average citizen can and should take is to refuse to give prejudice and hatred a home in our nation. Terrorists thrive in places where there is hatred and feed on fear. Prejudice is their tool. Give no room in your heart to hatred, remember that love casts out fear, Deprive terrorists of the tool of prejudice. Evil will be destroyed.
I'll quote my favorite passage of scripture which has gotten me through many tough times, "Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends, and all citizens who are affected by the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. We want to especially recognize the many heroic emergency responders, volunteers, government workers, our military -- and their families -- for their many sacrifices to protect and serve the public.
Tough times never last, tough people do. God Bless America,
The Internet was a surprising source of information immediately after 9-11. People set up contact web sites trying to help individuals find loved ones. Government sites and news media all pitched in to help. These are also good information 'start points' in other types of disasters.
The White House : Information and copies of recent speeches and proclamations.
CNN: War on Terror
A stirring report of what happened on Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny
Now is a good time to read about the heroes among us - and sign up for their free e-newsletter, too. Put some good news in your email box, today!
Learn how to display your flag, fold and care for it.
Free Flag Graphics
Add patriotic graphics to your web pages, or documents.
Talking to children about war and disaster...
Talking to Children About War and Terrorism
Talking with Kids about Tough Issues
And speaking of families, now is a good time to prepare your family (and home) for any type of disaster situation. FEMA and Ready America both have lots of resources, checklists and ideas on disaster preparedness for you, your family, and your business. "Shoulda, woulda, couda," are not good words after an event.
A Look Back: FINDING THOSE RESPONSIBLE Post 9-11-2001
The most difficult task Americans face over the days and weeks that follow [9-11] is realizing that the enemy is not the Arab-Americans living among us, but rather the cowardly terrorists of many nationalities, living *abroad* -- and the equally cowardly countries who harbor these terrorists. [Several years later it is known that certain dangerous Al-Qaeda terrorists are American born.]
Be angry. But be angry at *right* people. Terrorists come from many different countries and ethnic groups. Do not lash out at someone just because he or she speaks differently, wears different clothes than you, is a different color or holds a different faith. Don't do something you'll later be ashamed of. Think and act, don't just "react" or the bad guys win. The battle is good against evil. Don't add one single action to the side of evil. There are already enough victims from these attacks; we need to do everything in our power to prevent any others from becoming victims. Do good. Protect the innocent. Uphold the law.
Under the dust and soot of this disaster, all the victims suffer equally, all cries of pain are in the same language. Don't make more victims - make more survivors. Help each other regardless of race, creed, color, religion or ethnic group. Follow the example of the New York Firemen, Policemen and Emergency Personnel who bravely lost their lives while saving others, and the example of those who fought their attackers on the planes in order to save others.
Christ gives us this command: "Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his live for his friends...." (John 12-13). Do not let their sacrifice be in vain. We are one Nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.