Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 - 15 Years Later

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I can't believe the events of 9/11 happened 15 years ago. It feels no longer than a heartbeat. And despite the admonition to "never forget," too many have. They've forgotten the spirit of unity which Americans shared for a brief time. A spirit which transcended race, class, or political parties.

I apologize for even briefly mentioning politics today, but I believe that the beginning of the end of that unity occurred when newly-elected Senator Hillary Clinton took to the floor of the Senate, held up a tabloid newspaper headline, and declared "BUSH KNEW" an attack was likely and didn't stop it.

Years later, as Secretary of State, for purely political reasons Hillary Clinton claimed not to know that September 11th was a day of special meaning to terrorists, and a day when security should be at its very highest level. And four Americans serving in Benghazi paid the ultimate price for her recklessness and folly. This detestable woman must not become our next president.

But enough about that. This should be a day of reflection and contemplation. And to that end, I want to remind readers of heroic firefighter David M. Weiss, the brother-in-law of Jim Hlavac, a frequent commentor here on Hope n' Change.

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Here's how the New York Times described him:

David Martin Weiss, a New York City firefighter, was built like a fireplug. He stood 5-foot-9 and weighed 225 pounds. He was all muscle, with biceps as big as the thigh of a medium-build woman.

He was bulldozer strong. He looked as tough as he sounded. His head was shaved and his body was covered in tattoos. He drove Harleys.

He was an ironworker before he became a firefighter 13 years ago. He blended both experiences to become a member of the Fire Department's elite force. He joined Rescue Company 1 in Times Square about six years ago after receiving a medal for a rescue attempt: a man's car careened off Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and plunged into the East River. Mr. Weiss, off duty, stopped his car, climbed down the iron trestles of the elevated highway and jumped into the river to rescue the driver, whose heart had given out.

"He just jumped, knowing that he was the person's only hope," said Thor Johannessen, a firefighter.

Mr. Weiss, 41, of Maybrook, N.Y., had a mean sense of humor. "If he saw a thread, he knew how to pull it to unravel the whole shirt," said Joel Kanasky, another firefighter. "He was the king of that."  

On 9/11, along with other members of the elite "Rescue 1" group, David raced into a burning tower of the World Trade Center to help as many people as possible. He was last seen on the 31st floor of Tower Two, climbing stairs and rushing towards the danger, when the building fell.

The image below is from a commemorative t-shirt which is a prized possession of mine. A remembrance of both the tragedy and remarkable heroism seen on that day.

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Let today be a day when we step back from the petty distractions and noise of the media, and think about more important things. About what this country is. About who we are. About what we've lost, and what we each need to do every day to live up to a legacy forged by our best and bravest.

Above all, let's remember the many heroes - living and dead - who have made this a country worth celebrating and defending.


George said...

Beautiful tribute. Thank you Stilton.

Jim G. said...

Thanks Stilt.

Those first responders were truly Great Americans. God bless them all.

Peace be with YOU ALL on this most memorable day.

Best regards,
Jim G.

Granny said...

A wake up call that we need to remember. Fifteen years and we are still "debating" about what should be done. FDR would turn in his grave. "A Day of infamy" indeed.

james daily said...

Great tribute Stilt. It does bother me that this nation did nothing to retaliate for this terrorist attack. I would have flatten Mecca as a minimum. Maybe that is why I could never be a politician as doing nothing is as cowardly as the attack. I truly appreciate your fine tribute.

Bobo the Hobo said...

I lived in a little burg in northern New Jersey when I was a child and kept up with the news through the internet. After 9-11 I counted the number of obituaries of the men and women who died in the towers; I stopped counting after 50. Hard to believe it has been 15 years since that horrible day, a day that - for a moment - fused us as a people.

God Bless America.

God, help America ... please.

Judi King said...

I'll never forget that day. I still cry whenever I see an old picture or movie or TV show that shows the the twin towers. I took pictures of it myself four days before it fell. I'll also never forget 9/12 and how we were truly united as a country. Sadly it didn't last long. I agree with James Daily, we need to wipe these animals off the face of the earth. Nothing else will stop them. The first thing that came out of my mouth when I heard the news was "someone just declared war on us". It seems the morons in DC don't get that this IS a war.

BarbaCat said...

You said it, Granny... "A Day of infamy" indeed.
Never forget.

REM1875 said...

God bless them and each and every one of us touched by 9/11

Fred Ciampi said...

Excellent and well stated Stilton. I was four hours away on a sales call when I heard the news. I made it home in two hours and ten minutes..... I was going at about twice the speed limit on I-81 and was passed by no less than 15 state police cars.. And no Facebook during the hours of the tragedy. And I too feel an intense anger and fury whenever I see old pictures of The Towers. I pray that God will bless America again.....

Joseph ET said...

September 11, 2001
I’ll never forget!
I was nearing to end of my work shift when the report of the first plane hit. Everyone thought it was so strange to have that kind of accident to happen in clear weather. Then they reported the second plane hitting the other tower and we said to each other, “oh my, someone just declared war on us.”

Seems like just a few weeks ago and our leaders can’t see that we are at war that started in 1978.
And boy have we progressed! We’ve gone from being united against the Muslims to:
Appointing members and followers of the Muslim Brotherhood (As of 2014, the organization has been declared a terrorist group by Russia, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia) into positions in high places within the Federal government including the White House and the State Department. They are also working to get elected into local government and school boards. Look what happened in London.
They are indoctrinating our children by teaching that Islam is a good peaceful religion and in some schools even having the kids recite Islamic religious slogans and praising their god. They are trying to indoctrinate us by telling us that Islam is a good peaceful religion and has nothing with terrorism. That’s like having a peaceful poisonous snake as a pet and being surprised when one day it bites you and you die.

We have to be careful not to offend them in any way and don’t say negative things about Islam.

We are bringing them in by the boat load, giving them jobs that Americans want and need. We are providing many services to them like welfare, food stamps and free housing. While we have many citizens including Veterans are homeless.

They are expected to assimilate to the American way of life. That’s like trying to mix oil and water, not going to happen. They intend to take us over just like they are doing in Europe. And remember that per our laws once they are here they can request their family be allowed in to join them. And we must change the “anchor baby laws.”

If these folks need a safe place (including all those military aged men) we can create safe places for them in their part of the world where the customs and religions that they are accustomed to is practiced.

Will we ever get rid of these people? Nope! The Progressives are expecting to make most of these people into voting Democrats because they want the power and the heck what happens to the Sheeple. They don’t realize that they will lose their head too, although they may be among the last. Remember, Hillary wants to bring thousands more in.

I’m glad I’m old!

Geoff King said...

I have never been able to swallow the "official" story of what happened on 9-11. Besides the physical impossibility of steel and concrete superstructures being destroyed by fire, how could the world's most secure building in the world's most secure airspace (the Pentagon) possibly be attacked when it was already on high alert, had it's own anti-aircraft battery, and was surrounded by Air Force bases, unless our government allowed it to happen? Otherwise, the billions we spent on national defense was all for naught and the military was run by morons.
In any event, almost 3000 innocent people were murdered on that dreadful day, and it appears that those responsible will never be hunted down and brought to justice.
Truly the blackest day in our great nation's history.

Jim Hlavac said...

I'm just glad I was at my sister's house when it happened -- boy, was it frantic - hundreds of phone calls - worried kids -- and always the question "Where's David?" -- "Where's daddy?" -- it went like that for several weeks -- I stayed a month more, there were things to be done -- like a memorial service at NYC's largest synagogue.

well, I don't comment too frequently anymore, because I just don't know what to say anymore -- and I just feel powerless.

Thanks Stilton for the tribute -- I knew David since he was 14, and me 16 - my sister's husband, sure, but a good friend of mine too ...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@James Daily- I certainly entertained fantasies of turning Mecca into green glowing glass, but that was pure emotion. I don't think our war is with all of Islam - and indeed, one of the terrorists' goals was that we would declare war on Islam thereby forcing over a billion Muslims into opposition against the United States.

That being said, there is a disturbingly large percentage of Muslims whose values are simply not compatible with Western civilization, modernity, or even common decency. To combat those people, we need to use both ideology and - where necessary - lethal force.

@Judi King- Per my comments to James (above), I agree that the "animals" should be wiped out, but believe that the radical "animals" are a subset of Muslims. Unfortunately, one of significant size.

@Fred Ciampi- Every time I see a television show or movie with the twin towers, it just tears my heart out. And it seems like I never fail to look at a digital clock when it's precisely 9:11 - and I miss a heartbeat.

@Joseph ET- Excellent remarks, and I agree with them right down the line. I don't think there's any doubt that there is a deliberate and invidious effort to spread Islamization in Western cultures. And it's a toxin, pure and simple. I'm troubled by Obama's Muslim upbringing, and Muslim Valerie Jarrett's power in the White House. Next in line, Muslim Huma Abedin pulling Hillary's strings.

It's not "Islamaphobia" when we have so many real life examples of societal decline where Islam has taken over.

@Geoff King- Steel doesn't have to melt in order to lose structural integrity or load bearing capacity. If you heat a piece of rebar to the temperature of flaming aircraft fuel, you can bend it by hand. Now multiply that force by the weight of the many floors above the impact sites, and the physics become undeniable. The upper floors were turned into a nightmarishly large wrecking ball which destroyed everything underneath.

As far as the Pentagon's missile batteries, I have yet to see any evidence that such existed. Moreover, flights arriving at Reagan airport must go right past the Pentagon to land on certain runways, so it would hardly be practical to shoot down every passenger jet on approach.

Those things being said, there are still unanswered questions and huge amounts of conflicting data on the Internet. But I refuse to believe that it was an "inside job."

@Jim Hlavac- Thank you for letting me share David's story today. I'm so sorry for your family's loss, and glad you were there to help them at that terrible time.

And regarding commenting here, I understand what you say about sometimes feeling powerless - but then, the purpose of comments here is less about changing the world than sharing camaraderie with like-minded souls.

Fred Ciampi said...

Stilt, excellent analogy on the 'wreaking ball' effect. I am a retired welding engineer and have participated in many structural failures of many types of steel. Structural steel of the type used in the Twin Towers starts to lose its integrity (strength) at about 650 to 700 degrees F. At 1,250 it loses all practical strength and at 1,338 it turns red, the molecular structure changes, and it will bend on its own. (And it becomes non-magnetic). It melts at 3,000 degrees F. I point all this out to show that, like you stated, it doesn't have to melt or even turn red hot in order to fail. And, when I try to explain this to a non believer, complete with isothermal diagrams, and they still say "jet fuel can't melt steel beams", it makes me want to set up a display with jet fuel and oxygen and melt some steel. By the way, a setup like that can produce a flame in excess of 5,500 degrees F. WooHoo, test at 11.

Bobo said...

@ Jim Hlavac....nice to know you're still around. Haven't read you on H&C for quite awhile. Miss your point of view. Hope you can chime-in more often. My sympathies for your family loss.

Death to radical Islam.

Dan said...

Maybe our war isn't with mohammedism, but it sure looks like their war is with us. As many have said, its the moslem extremists that want to kill us. Moderate moslems just want the moslem extremists to kill us. Kinda like looking for the (Godwin alert) moderate nazis.

Oh, and the Crusaders were the good guys.

Judi King said...

No muslim conquests/no crusades.

Wayne said...

I honor all those who died in these cowardly terrorist attacks on our homeland...I think most folks feel much less safe than they did 15 years ago before this happened. But I am also reminded of someone who was killed 2000 years ago, whose sacrifice, unlike the victims in New York, STILL makes life worth living after He rose from the dead in glory.

FlyBoy said...

@Fred Ciampi-

Thanx for your insight into a little understood area; it seems everybody's an "expert" when it comes to 9/11 conspiracies.

Jet fuel (Jet A-1) can burn at up to 980 degrees C (that's nearly 2000 degrees F). One factor that most everybody leaves out of the equation is that they tend to use the strength of steel as used in construction TODAY. The WTC was put up some 40 years ago, using [what I assume] the standard steel of the era. Add in the ever-evolving engineering standards, and you may well have a building that could possibly withstand a collision with a large aircraft today.

I don't think the engineers and architects in the 60's and 70's could possibly have thought that a 767 type aircraft would ever intentionally fly into the buildings.

Fred Ciampi said...

FlyBoy, thanks for the comment. Here's a bit more insight; just burning in the air or in a lab, just about any fuel will burn that hot. Now, think about when you light a wood fire. How do you get it to burn hotter? You blow on it thereby increasing the amount of oxygen that the fire has to aid combustion. First of all, at 700 feet elevation, there's a lot of wind. Second, the building itself acts like a giant chimney allowing a fierce draft to form. It was like a hurricane in there only blowing upwards.

Actually, the steel used 40+ years ago is pretty much the same as today. The 'great leap forward' in steel development was during WWII when most of the high strength steels that we have today were developed for the war effort. The big changes have been in weld process development. And like Stilt said, once the structural members became weak enough, the billions of pounds of steel and concrete acted like giant wrecking ball. Here's a little experiment; drop a light bulb on to the floor from about a half inch elevation. It will just bounce. Now drop it from 6 inches. Big difference.

Shelly said...

Two things come to mind about that wretched day. First, my boss was on a plane to Washington, DC for a meeting and was about to land when the second plane struck the South Tower. In all the confusion, it was some time before I learned whether she was involved or not. That was closest brush I personally had to the attack. Second, my kids and I all gathered at my son's house to watch the coverage. My little grandson, who would turn 1 the next day, learned to walk that day. I will never forget the juxtaposition of that little angel toddling around while all that carnage unfolded on the TV. He will be 16 tomorrow. I've been watching some stuff today, including the movie Flight 93, and I'm a sobbing mess as if it just happened. Watching the opening ceremony for the Dallas Cowboys game with George and Laura Bush, the first responders holding the giant flag, some of them openly sobbing, and I'm a wreck again. I did note all the Giants and Cowboys were standing with hands on hearts.

Walter1694cir said...

Thank you Dr. Stilton for keeping this Mooselum led atrocity in the forefront. Time passes and the recollection fades, yet this never should fade from the minds and memories of Americans!
No hyphenated classification as to what American...just plain and simply American1

God Bless The USA!

Jim Hlavac said...

on melting steel -- the towers had just four sets of columns -- on the outside -- I know this because I worked in them, moving in in 1978 to empty floors - 1 acre of empty space -- and when the planes hit - and went through -- they took out 1/2 the supporting columns -- and so the equivalent of 20 and 40 story buildings stood above the damage -- with just half their supports ... you really can't take two legs off a table and expect it to stand

Geoff King said...

K. I have heard the argument for many years. Sure steel can soften at jet fuel combustion temperatures, but that still does not explain why no skyscraper in history has ever collapsed at near free-fall speed due to fire alone (in fact no other skyscrapers have ever collapsed,even with multi-floor fires that raged for days), either prior to or after 9-11, and on that day 3 of them just happened to do that very thing. Also, there is no explaination as to why both towers, after being hit on their sides, did not fall over after the steel "weakened", but instead fell straight down into their own footprints. Plus, why did the second tower hit by a plane fall first, when it was visibly obvious that it's fires were far less intense than tower one and the fires actually appeared to be going out?
The plane that hit the second tower only caught a small portion of the corner of the building. Someone please explain to me how that minor damage, coupled with the lesser fire could cause that building to fall straight down at free-fall speed before the other tower, which was highly engulfed in flames for much longer, did the same thing.
I won't even go into discussing Building 7, which was hit by nothing, had a small fire on it's roof, yet also collapsed at near free-fall speed.
Either these buildings were constructed of paper mache, or someone has a lot of explaining to do.

Anonymous said...


We REMEMBER...but we don't LEARN.

Hey Yoo

james daily said...

I haven't seen much about adding the weight of the plane to the top floors, but it had to be a major factor.

berferdt said...

Addressing the conspiracy theory proved by a lack of response; Does anyone think that on a casual meeting with the likes of Mike Tyson, that one could land a sucker punch on the unsuspecting man? Of course it's possible. Add an unconventional weapon and he's probably on the floor. He's not expecting that assault any more than we, as a country, were expecting the attacks 15 years ago. The lack of response to fire some missiles, no one has ever proven existed, or were deployed before or after, is not a definitive proof that there was anything more than absolute surprise, which naturally leads to confusion. Confusion rarely instigates the most competent reactions. It was a sad day, but there is nothing gained by placing blame on anyone but the 19 bad guys and Bin Laden's crew.