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September 11, 2001

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removed too

in fact it's impossible to speak about the vctims without speak about the cause of their death

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Sorry to go a little off-topic here, but the terrorists were Muslims under the command of an Islamist madman who was an ally of the Taliban that enslaved an entire country under a stranglehold of fundamentalism.

ok. you deliberately went against a mod's direction.

edit: following people have been PRed for now.






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Tuesday, September 11th 2001 is, when you get down to the abstract basics, just another day like Tuesday, May 29, 1453 for that matter. Let's suppose you add up all the casualties since October 23, 1983, or May 17, 1939, or November 2, 1917, or whatever other day you wish to commemorate for reasons specific to you. It still in many ways pales in contrast to the body counts of the 'Great War', or the US Civil War, or the Cultural Revolution, or other systemic slaughterfests called 'classical war'. I deliberately left the subject's off of the dates, to illustrate the point alluded to previously about the other events alluded to in a previous post.

To some, these dates signify moments of extreme injustice, times when the most vicious, evil, and barbaric elements of humanity were not only unleashed on the innocent, but condoned and glorified by the nations at large. To others, these dates symbolize great victories in throwing off what they observe to be unwarranted oppression. Their actions on those dates to them seen to be the most noble and paiseworthy, benefiting all of humanity for the greater good.

There are any number of ways to consider what your relation to the events surrounding the attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001 are.

Perhaps you may choose a militaristic approach to remembrance, a "Never again", or "This day too shall live in infamy", or even "Death to the uninvincible Great Satan" if you so choose. Perhaps you might join your country's or cult's armed services to change the battlefield from your home to your opponent's home. Perhaps you will fight against war in any circumstance, and let fate dictate your life.

Perhaps, as is interesting prevelant in this instance of an otherwise militaristic or nationalistic occasion, you may choose to consider those individuals who knowingly chose to enter the building knowing that it was very likely that they would not live to exit it themselves, for the express purpose of saving lives on anyone and everyone trapped inside.

Perhaps you would prefer to pause and reflect on those who managed to reach loved ones or their answering machines with cell phones not available to prior generations, and of all the things they could say in their last brief moments among the rest of humanity, left simple messages of "I love you", "Don't worry", or "Everything's going to be fine".

Perhaps you might sit back and wonder what it all means to you...


I was in a remote area of a foriegn country at the time doing some volunteer work with a number of friends from a variety of countries, most notably Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific island nations. When we recieved word that there had been an attack, we were left in all sorts of shock and panic. We had little to no information of even the rumors that were circulating at the time, ordinarily we were usually at least two weeks behind on any news events, and then in very little detail.

A number of my friends had military connections, whether through appointments to a military academy, or ROTC obligations, or family members in active or reserve duty. What little we did know was that it was not an accident, and that there would be a military response, and that it would not be over quickly.

We didn't find out about the resumption of air traffic until about a week after it happened, so we had no idea how we would get home when it was time for us to return. Additionally, the rumor of a fullscale draft, without any information to counteract it, ran rampant through our group. To the community we were living in, they knew something 'big' had happened in America, but they had no idea what or how or why, nor had they any idea what we were going through.

For us, the biggest challenge was not knowing what was going on, and what would happen next. But at the same time, those friends of ours from Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific islands came up to us from the United States and told us individually and collectively "If you guys can stay, we're staying here and finishing our work together. If you guys have to go fight, we're coming to and we'll be right beside you. Don't worry, because whatever you end up doing, we're going to be there too." Until you've been in a similar situation, you won't be able to appreciate the kind of comfort that sort of friendship brings.

I returned to the US a little under a year later. To me, it was like stepping off onto an alien planet. In 2000, while returning home from a university trip to the Middle East, I walked off a crowded airplane from Egypt in full Arab Bedouin dress as a joke to friends and family, and the other passengers and crew all thought it was hilarious. Now in 2002, I saw a level of military presence in the airports in my 'home' country the level of which I'd not seen since I'd been at sites of terrorist massacures in foreign lands. To me, it was though I'd left one country and come back to another. For me, I spent September 11th, 2002 wondering what had happened to my 'home', and would I ever be able to understand or relate to it.

For many people, they can talk about "I was there" when they refer to New York, London, Madrid, Bali, or the many other places that have been struck over the past decades. To a large extent many more people throughout the countries identify collectively with the events in one city. For many including myself though, we weren't there, and we don't quite grasp the impact.

Gone are my childhood days of when my mother would put us in large boxes and dress us up to look like giant presents and we'd run around airport terminals waiting to greet my father on his birthday. Gone are the days when the flight crews thought it hilarious to see a guy putting on a kaffiyeh with a bulging backpack. It's as though I fell asleep, and the carefree world of my childhood disappeared, and I awoke to find myself in a land I didn't recognize, in alien circumstances, unknowning of what was going on or where to go next.

In 2003, as the initial phase of the war in Iraq drew to a close, a close friend of my family was expecting her first children. She found out that contrary to all medical possibilities, she was finally able to have children - at the same time her husband was called to go to war. Her husband had returned with his unit from the gulf to their base in the US after the invasion was completed. One night, as she was about ready to give birth, she called her husband, and he was able to get a medical leave and fly home immediately. My brother and I picked him up at the airport and brought him home at about 2 in the morning.

Again, I was the outsider with only a small glimpse of what was happening in someone else's life. I'm glad to have been privileged to assist in and observe that reunion, but for all intents and purposes it was an event in someone else's life, not mine.

Last year, I was at the IITSEC convention in Orlando Florida where we had a wonderful time promoting VBS. It was a lot of fun, and it was a really exciting opportunity. As we returned home, we received word that Andy Stevens (Warpig) had been killed in action.

Andy Stevens was a strong supporter of FPS's for military tactical training. He was especially supportive of OFP and later VBS, and played a prominent role in developing an interest in VBS across the ground levels of the USMC. Apparently he had been offered a promotion to a desk job in Orlando in the USMC training group, where his job would have been to play and promote games all day, and go home each night. At the same time, his unit that he was in at the time was called up to return to Iraq for their third tour of duty. Andy could have chosen to take the promotion and move to Florida. He could have had a nice house to come home to his family each night. He could have had a fun job that any number of people would have been jealous of.

Instead, Andy Stevens chose to return to Iraq with his buddies in his unit, and was killed by an IED while on patrol. Had he taken the other offer, I probably would have been able to meet him, and we would have had a fun week with video games. Instead, a man I never met or knew about until he was gone, chose to answer a call of duty to serve his fellow man, and gave his life in the process.

I heard another man in person speak yesterday about seeing the fire trucks drive past on the street, watching the towers come down, walking out of the city, finding a rental car, and driving west across most of the US by himself to return home. His son, after hearing of his situation, immediately gathered some friends and headed east, and met his father somewhere in the central states. There wasn't discussion of much, just a happy and sweet reunion, and knowing that they were still together.

So on this day, we can chose to consider it, or we can chose to ignore it. I find it historically interesting and socially encouraging that in contrast to memorials of prior events, that for a great many people reflection on the events of September 11th, 2001 brings a commmeration and celebration of life, of those firefighters and police officers that chose to enter the doomed buildings to save all that they could, of the numberless volunteers that flooded the city over the ensuing weeks, of the victims who first and foremost called their loved ones to tell them what was most important, and of those who in the consequence of those events continue to serve in their various capacities knowing now full well what sacrifice they may be called to bear in their own hour.

From those of us who don't understand, to those of you who do,

Thank you.

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amazingly written my friend... alot of what you've said and described sums up alot of the experiences I went through during the London bombings.

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Well I seemed to have added another thread-kill to my reputation, so before it get's locked into oblivion, here's my references to the public stuff :

(Kotte, I understand and appreciate your point about there being a great many other 9/11's not equally remembered but argueablely just as atrocious, however your vindictiveness honored none of them as you were attempting to exploit them for political reasons as much as those you were accusing of the same.)

Wikipedia : On this day (September 11)

Included in that list also of interest on the relevant subject :

1609 - Henry Hudson lands on Manhattan island.

1609 - Expulsion order announced against the Moriscos of Valencia; beginning of the expulsion of all Spain's Moriscos.

1649 - Siege of Drogheda ends: Oliver Cromwell's English Parliamentarian troops take the town and massacre its garrison.

1683 - Battle of Vienna.

1708 - Charles XII of Sweden stops outside Smolensk heading to the south, culminating in the disastrous battle of Poltava, the end of Sweden as a major power. (Until IKEA. -ed)

1918 - Major League Baseball: The Boston Red Sox won last World Series until 2004, starting the "Curse of the Bambino."

1970 - The Ford Pinto is introduced.

1982 - The international forces, which were guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees following Israel's 1982 Invasion of Lebanon, left Beirut. Five days later, several thousand refugees were massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

1998 - Independent counsel Kenneth Starr sends a report to the U.S. Congress accusing President Bill Clinton of 11 possible impeachable offenses.

2003 - Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh dies after being assaulted and fatally wounded on September 10.

2005 - The State of Israel officially declares an intent to leave the disputed territory, the Gaza Strip after 38 years.

And for the rest of my dates :

May 29, 1453

October 23, 1983

May 17, 1939

November 2, 1917

These four dates, and the four events recorded on those dates, arbitrarily picked from the innumerable list of dates and events relevant to the history of humanity, and more especially the globalized militancy of sectarian violence were picked to remind the reader that the days of tragedy to one people are considered days of glory to others.

To paraphrase an arab scholar on a video circulating from MEMRI.org, "...when [humanity] considers it to be a greater accomplishment to build a Boeing airplane than to blow it up, and when they consider it a greater achievement to construct a building than to destroy it, then we can stand back and be honestly proud of what we have become..."


Last, but not least, I neglected to add a direct link to the memorial thread for Andy Stevens :

Sgt. Andy Stevens


If you're wondering if there's some evil conspiracy behind the fact that I listed the four dates out of chronological order, don't bother, that's due to the randomness in which I thought of and picked the events.

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