by Justin Smith
“I just remember looking up and thinking, ‘How bad is it up there that the better option is to jump?’” ~ New York Fireman, September 11th 2001
The days of our lives so often rush past us like a torrential waterfall and before we realize it, years are gone in the blink of an eye, leaving us only memories, however good or bad. And September 11th 2001 bears some of the worst memories Americans still hold in our hearts and minds, a morning that started magnificent, clear and beautiful that was soon transformed into a morning that forced all America to see thousands of their countrymen die the most horrific deaths, unthinkable and beyond one’s imagination at the time.
Nineteen years will have soon passed America by, from that awful, fateful day of September 11th 2001, when nineteen hijackers flew jet aircraft into both Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Six thousand nine-hundred and forty-one days will have passed, by September 11th of this year, in which one, thousands or millions of Americans will have, at some point, during any one of the 9,993,600 minutes, thought about one of the victims of this horrific attack and someone they loved who died as a result of “some people [doing] something”, as Representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali Muslim immigrant, so callously phrased the attack. All of us remember exactly who and why Islam and Islamic fundamental jihadi terrorists attacked America.
If anyone has been lulled into a false sense of security over gains made in the Middle East “peace process” between Israel and the United Emirates with more promised to come, they should re-examine all that is known about Islam and how it operates, understanding that too often any agreement is only entered to buy time for Islam’s larger goals, and it’s never a good faith effort. And if one objects and notes we haven’t had a massive Islamic attack like 9/11 since then, it still doesn’t negate the fact the Muslims still seek to create one; it also doesn’t negate the fact that Muslims have entered the current riots in our major cities and used them as cover to commit acts of Islamic inspired violence seeking to strike more terror in the hearts of Americans.
One Bosnian Muslim, Dzenan Camovic, is currently being held on three federal indictments for committing a planned Islamic terrorist attack against three New York City police officers, in Flatbush, on June 3rd 2020, that authorities assert wasn’t any chance encounter. Essentially, Camovic ambushed them during the riots that were occurring at the time, and he stabbed one officer in the neck and shot two others, after taking the first officer’s firearm. During the attacks, he shouted “Allahu Akbar” three times. And, in the investigation that followed, Camovic, also an illegal alien, was found to be in possession of a large quantity of materials that exhibited a strong interest and support for violent Islamic jihad and the Islamic State.
Make no mistake. Islam still remains one of the growing number of existential threats that America faces today, as we now must also include the communists of our nation in that category, due to an active ongoing insurrection. As noted by Diana West, renown investigative journalist, Edward Klein draws a clear connection between America’s Anitifa and Islamic jihadis. In some of the recent “mostly peaceful protests”, the riots, they were chanting, “Allahu Akbar, smash these Nazi scums.”
Americans have been eyewitnesses to Islam’s evil, soulless savagery. We know that most Muslims would destroy the West and kill all who refused to bow to Islam and Allah, if they could, although too many in our country promote the lie still today that Islam is “a religion of peace”. Those who deny that Islam is an evil ideology do so for anti-American political reasons, or they are true simple-minded idiots.
Must I really go through the long list of Islamic terror attacks America suffered after September 11th 2001 to drive home the point? San Bernardino, Orlando, Chattanooga, Boston anyone? Ft Hood?
With all the madness currently underway in the country, it doesn’t make anyone who has ever lost a loved one stop thinking of that loss. No one has ever really forgotten this day of terror, panic and the trepidation that followed, and neither have they forgotten the nearly 3000 Americans who were murdered by acts of Islamic terrorism in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the desolate field in Stony Creek, Pennsylvania, near Shanksville.
But now, for those Americans who once relaxed in a self-assured idealistic innocence and a notion of America’s invincible nature, they lost a certain balance in their lives they’ve never been able to recover. It’s hard even for me to completely accept that real evil exists in this world today, so diabolical and pure it very nearly defies any real explanation. It simply exists and it always has.
Who will ever forget the image of Chaplain Mychal Judge being carried from the rubble of the collapsed South Tower, that killed him as he stood praying in the lobby of the North Tower? Two worn and shocked firefighters, Christian Waugh and Zachary Vause, former NYPD Lt. William Cosgrove, John McGuire, a West Point grad and former soldier, and Kevin Allen, an emergency management worker, carried him from the shadow of the North Tower, eventually placing his dead body in a chair, a scene that was captured by photographers, much to the anger of those whose grief was so fresh.
Chaplain Judge was the first official victim of the September 11th attack. And as Waugh would later state: “We knew he was dead. But we wanted to get him out.”
Roger Anglen was on the scene that day too, as a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Here is his remembrance from last year: “I saw once again the bodies tumbling through the sky; heard the concussive thumps that I told myself were gas explosions. I remembered the face of a firefighter emerging from the debris with a decapitated head, hysterical about not being able to find the rest of the body; cadaver dogs exhausted on the smell of death; severed limbs sticking out of the ground like obscene shrubbery. I recalled the fires and the taste of the tannic-laced air through the paper mask.”
Who can possibly erase the image of ‘The Falling Man’ as he was captured on film by photographer Richard Drew, head down and knee bent, falling without any apparent panic over his impending death?
A steady procession of people leaped from the North Tower, through windows they broke themselves. They either had to jump to escape the smoke and flames or they jumped as ceilings collapsed atop them and floors gave way under them, hoping for just a few more moments of precious air and precious life, holding death at bay for as long as possible. For more than an hour and a half, frightened people jumped from above 100 stories and all four sides of the tower, one after another, as they gathered the courage to take that final plunge to their deaths.
Many prayers to God went to the Heavens that morning, for the souls of these poor, innocent people caught in so dastardly a thing and the blazing inferno that ensued.
During one speech commemorating the victims of September 11th 2001, last year, President Donald J. Trump poignantly stated: “It’s the day that has replayed in Your memory a thousand times over. The last kiss. The last phone call. The last time hearing those precious words, ‘I love you.’”
In the aftermath of it all, I recall that the very next day, American Flags were flying everywhere in my neighborhood. Cars and trucks had them flying in every way imaginable, and some people carried and waved small hand-held American Flags while others sported the Flag sewn into clothing or store-bought American Flag clothing.
I recall my own tears for America, from the love of country and the white-hot anger I felt then … an anger that has never quite subsided ….. never subsided at all, in reality.
No — I’ve not forgotten the lessons from September 11th 2001, as I was slapped awake to the fact that what I was seeing on the television that morning wasn’t some new version of H.G Wells ‘War of the Worlds’; rather, it was a new reality for all America, a war that has yet to end. I haven’t forgotten the burning towers, their collapse and the newscasts exhibiting the black, gray and white clouds of smoke amid mangled masses of steel and flesh and so many thousands of survivors covered in white ash and choking, chalky dust, the ashy, burnt remains of people incinerated by the flames, the flames that burned for days.
Last year, after reading victims’ names, Nicholas Haros Jr. used his turn at the podium to remind the audience it was Al Qaeda Islamic terrorists who committed this act, and in the process, he also castigated Representative Ilhan Omar for her remark, referencing 9/11, that “Some people did something”, as he stated: “Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. Our constitutional freedoms were attacked, and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian values was attacked. That’s what ‘some people’ did. Got that now?”
For all practical intents and purposes, no matter some Islamic countries’ success at modernization, their pretense to civilization is belied by their continued adherence to the barbarism and Islamic supremacy inherent to Sharia Law and Islam itself, and their attacks against America will never cease. America must never forget that Her enemies are still watching and waiting abroad and here stateside, for that one lax moment in our security, and for this and many other valid reasons, America’s only dealings with the Middle East should be limited to some small trade — Persian rugs and such, halting all Muslim immigration, ensuring the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire are never reconstituted, and that the power houses of Islam are unable to continue to export terrorism around the globe, especially to our homeland ever again. And, until Islam dies off of its own accord or is eradicated by the few free nations still standing, America will remain one of Islam’s foremost targets for the rest of this century, and beyond.
So many millions of Americans, the true patriots of the country, will share their remaining grief, on the 19th anniversary in a few days, with some feeling their grief just as fresh as though September 11th 2001 was only yesterday. They will grieve together as a people who will never forget the tragedy they experienced that morning. They will grieve for all the good and decent Americans, friends and family members, taken from them this day, as they wish and pray that every single second they’ve missed with them could be restored.
Justin Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on for most of his adult life, graduating from Smyrna High School (1975) and Middle Tennessee State University (1980) with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography.
Early in life, he worked eight years for the LaVergne Fire Department, two years as a clean-up boy and actually fighting fires from the age of sixteen on, working his way through college and subsequently followed by a stint in the U.S. Army. Since then, he has primarily contracted construction and traveled, especially to the Columbia River Gorge, Whidby Island (near the Puget Sound) and South Beach.
Currently, he writes a weekly column for The Rutherford Reader in Murfreesboro, TN, which he calls home, and he spend as much time as possible with his two intelligent and beautiful daughters and his six grandchildren. And, last but not least, his faith in God and our Wonderful and Exceptional America.