On 9-11, 2011, I wrote this blog. I felt that today, I would like to revisit what was written this many years ago and view a video of the ordinary people of New York who reached out to save thousands from the disaster of an attack by terrorists.
While watching on C-Span, the honors given to those who were passengers on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, I was impressed that there is a church just down the road from the site where the plane went down. The members of this church go there on a daily basis to stand and pray for those buried where their bodies are now entombed where the plane crashed. They have promised that this tribute will continue.
There were brave men and women on this flight over Pennsylvania. . Considering where the other planes crashed and the knowledge that they had from phone calls about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, they believed that Flight 93 was headed to crash into the nation’s Capitol building to destroy a symbol of a free America and everyone in it. They voted to fight back and not let the terrorist take the plane. It has been said many times about the fact that they took a VOTE was “the American thing to do.”
At the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, other planes had already done their evil deeds. Ordinary citizens dropped everything they were doing to rescue those trying to flee this terrible disaster. Here is the story of two BOAT LIFTS…9-11 and Dunkirk during WW II.
“Few people know that the all-volunteer boat lifts, that happened on 9-11 in Manhattan, NY, were greater lifts than the boats of Dunkirk during World War II. 339,000 soldiers were rescued over 9 days at Dunkirk. An amazing operation. The boat lifts of civilians on 9-11 in the NY harbor were over 500,000 in just 9 hours. It is a reminder of another boat lift in history:
“May 1940, during the battle of France, the British Expeditionary Force in France aiding the French, were cut off from the rest of the French Army by the German advance. Encircled by the Germans they retreated to the area around the port of Dunkirk. The German land forces could have easily destroyed the British expeditionary force, especially when many of the British troops, in their haste to withdraw, had left their heavy equipment. For some unexplained and still unknown reason, Adolf Hitler ordered the German army to stop the attack, favoring bombardment by the Luftwaffe…This lull in the action gave the British a few days to evacuate by sea. Winston Churchill ordered any ship or boat available, large or small, to pick up the stranded soldiers, and 338,226 men (including 120,000 French soldiers) were evacuated – the miracle of Dunkirk, as Churchill called it. It took over 900 vessels to evacuate the Allied forces…The British evacuation of Dunkirk through the English Channel was code-named Operation Dynamo. Churchill’s skill in turning a defeat into a political victory is now remembered in the phrase ‘Dunkirk’ spirit, to describe making the best of a bad situation.
The US Coast Guard, The U.S. Merchant Marine and the private boats available on 9-11 were definitely “Making the best of a bad situation”! They were resolute and fast. In fact, one boat was even named “Resolute”
As did Winston Churchill at Dunkirk, the US Coast Guard made the call for all boats to Manhattan Island. Hundreds of boats answered that call. They did not know if their boat would be blown out of the water with more attacks to come. They just went. They answered with bravery and action.
This is what Americans are made of. It is deep at the core of who we are. One boatman said, ” They looked like zombies“, pouring out of the buildings covered in ash. There were children; people in wheelchairs, executives and more. “Just help me” was all they wanted. “Take me anywhere off this island.”
We have just remembered the 19th anniversary of 9-11. To those who ran to the docks, it will be forever etched in their memories. For the boat captain, who dropped everything and came, a simple “Thank You” moved him to tears. The history and determination of the great boat rescues of Dunkirk and Manhattan Island are forever linked.“
This was a day of great American unity. People helping people. One blind man was trying to find his way down the stairs of the Twin Towers. He was disoriented. A fireman yelled to businessmen, “Take care of that guy!” They did. They never let go of him, or panicked for their own sake, until they got him to the street below.
This is what Americans can be in all circumstances, whether it is a Pandemic, Fires out of control or some other disaster. DIVISION, whether political or personal, will never accomplish what people did TOGETHER on 9-11. This is what the enemies of freedom would like for Americans to do…go against each other! They would also like to see a divided world for their own sick purposes. Let the courage of 9-11 be a lesson to us all.
Hopefully, you will always remember to fly your flag every 9-11 in honor of all those who died and the first responders who gave so much…even their lives in sickness from what they worked around in the towers. The flag is also a reminder that America will not tolerate terrorists? As the years roll by, it is a date we WILL NOT forget.
Blessings, from Boyer Writes.
SPECIAL VIDEO Turn on your sound (shared with me by Gayle Olson in 2011)
The years tick by like the clocks on our walls. At this time we often look back to the joys or sadness that may have come our way. Of course, this is not the approach that is best psychologically, but we all do it. We have hopes and dreams which are part of the human spirit. In order to reach for new goals, we may have to reflect on some of the things that have worked for us and those that have not.
In this blog, I reach out in my thoughts to those whose past year has brought great pain and need to know that they can be encouraged by those in their countries that stand beside them and behind them. People are made by God for great endurance.
Throughout the Middle East, the Christians went to their place of worship in fear that they would be attacked and many were. Yet they went. Throughout the rest of the world, Christians sang joyfully their songs of worship and praise for the birth of the Savior, Who is Christ the Lord. Others mourned at the empty place at the table where their loved ones used to sit. Many ran for their lives throughout the world when struck by Evil: ( Here is an interactive map that gives locations and stories behind the attacks.)
Recently I watched a moving account of the Boatmen in the New York area who responded when called by the United States Coast Guard for help at the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center. I share this with my readers for a word of encouragement for the next NEW YEAR.
The video is also a message to any enemy of the people of the United States of America. Be warned… the people WILL rise to defend and rescue as is so clearly shown in this presentation. These were the STURDY NEW YORKERS…and you haven’t seen the MEN and WOMEN of the U.S. Mountains. They have a strength all their own. I know, for I was born in the mountains and have lived among them. They are quick to action and try to never look back and say “I should have…”
May your New Year be one of JOY….ENCOURAGEMENT…and a true PEACEFULNESS.
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
Who is Gregory N. Hicks?
- A whistle blower who testified at the Congressional Hearings on Benghazi
- Long-time Foreign Service Officer for the United States
- Deputy Chief of Mission for Libya
- Was the last to hear Ambassador Stevens call for help
What happened to him since the hearings? He claims he was intimidated and demoted after the hearings. (See article at end of this blog)
Below are the words written by Gregory Hicks on September 11, 2016. Boyer Writes believes it is important to read since we have just remembered 9-11 and the tragedy of Benghazi also was on a September 11. We must not forget that there were Americans under attack in Libya on September 11, 2012.
When one takes on a high position in government, he or she must declare their responsibilities of the office. “The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. There is no room for passing the buck. We often hear and get caught up in the rhetoric and the words of excuse, but we have until November to make a decision… so read Mr. Hick’s article and decide.
What Benghazi attack taught me about Hillary Clinton By Gregory N. Hicks Published September 11, 2016
“Last month, I retired from the State Department after 25 years of public service as a Foreign Service officer. As the Deputy Chief of Mission for Libya, I was the last person in Tripoli to speak with Ambassador Chris Stevens before he was murdered in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on our Benghazi post. On this, the fourth anniversary of the Benghazi tragedy, I would like to offer a different explanation for Benghazi’s relevance to the presidential election than is usually found in the press.
Just as the Constitution makes national security the President’s highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs “to provide for the security … of all United States personnel on official duty abroad.”
This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.
The Benghazi Committee’s report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure. It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi. Thus, according to the Report, “there were no surplus security agents” to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens “without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk.”
Had Ambassador Stevens’ July 2012 request for 13 additional American security personnel (either military or State Department) been approved rather than rejected by Clinton appointee Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, they would have traveled to Benghazi with the ambassador, and the Sept. 11 attack might have been thwarted.
U.S. law also requires the secretary of state to ensure that all U.S. government personnel assigned to a diplomatic post abroad be located at one site. If not, the secretary — and only the secretary — with the concurrence of the agency head whose personnel will be located at a different location, must issue a waiver. The law, which states specifically that the waiver decision cannot be delegated, was passed after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, when deficient security was blamed for that debacle under Bill Clinton’s presidency.
When asked about security at Benghazi on Sept. 11, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly asserted her lack of responsibility. Initially, she said that she never read any of the reporting on security conditions or any of the requests for additional security, claiming that “she delegated security to the professionals.” More recently, she stated that “It was not my ball to carry.” But the law says otherwise. Sound familiar?
Her decision to allow the Benghazi consulate to be separate from the CIA annex divided scarce resources in a progressively deteriorating security environment. U.S. personnel assigned to Benghazi tried to overcome this severe disadvantage through an agreement that the security personal from each facility would rush to the other facility’s aid in the event it was attacked. The division of our security resources in Benghazi is the root cause of the “stand down” order controversy so vividly portrayed in the movie “13 Hours.”
Notably, one of the primary goals of Ambassador Stevens’ fatal visit was to begin consolidating our Benghazi personnel into one facility, which would have concentrated our security posture in Benghazi’s volatile and violent environment.
There are no punitive measures for breaching these two laws. Mrs. Clinton will not have to appear before judge and jury to account for her failures. Is this why she felt these laws could be ignored? Because she is now the Democratic presidential candidate, only the American electorate will have the opportunity to hold her accountable.
Candidate Clinton and her campaign point to her record as secretary of state as a positive qualification for the presidency.
However, the record shows that Secretary Clinton persuaded the president to overthrow Qaddafi and advocated maintaining a diplomatic presence in Benghazi after the Libyan revolution. And then she abandoned her diplomats by ignoring her security obligations. She sent Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi during the 2011 revolution and then induced him to return in the first few months of his tenure, which accounted for his September visit there. Despite the fact that Sidney Blumenthal had alerted her to the increasing danger for Americans in Benghazi and Libya, Mrs. Clinton apparently never asked security professionals for an updated briefing on the situation in Libya. Either she could not correlate the increased tempo of attacks in Libya with the safety of our diplomats, demonstrating fatal incompetence, or she was grossly negligent.
If Mrs. Clinton was unable to fulfill her security obligations to the federal employees she was legally obligated to protect as secretary of state, how can we trust her with the security of our entire country? I won’t.”
These are the words of one man who has been in the heat of things in foreign places and was willing to bring before Congress what he knew to be true under oath. What did he have to lose? Obviously…a lot. (See article by George Zornick on Gregory Hicks and consequences of whistle blowing)
On the eve of 9-11, 2011, I reached back in the archives of Boyer Writes and found a video that I had used to honor our beautiful Bald Eagle. The song that went with this seemed so appropriate to remember those who would die within the year after this video was made.
Little did those on the ball field and in the bleachers know what was coming to our nation as they marveled over this wonderful bird. The eagle’s handlers did not know that this magnificent creature would also become a symbol, in an even more heart-felt way, to the America that we love and cherish.
“Freedom is not free”. It was paid for by all those who willingly took up arms and fought for her. It was paid for by those who simply went to work; to do their everyday job the best they could, never to return home. They too represent FREEDOM at its best. What the men who flew the planes into the towers, the pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania did not understand is that the American people always put their independence and freedom first, regardless of the enemy or the cost. It is the foundation this nation was built upon. Freedom will not be taken from us because we, the American people, will not allow that to happen. We truly can say with the song writer that we are a land …”that God has blessed.” We are also humbled by this thought.
“I stepped into the elevator. I had my tools with me -– bucket, water, some rags, squeegee. When I stepped into the elevator there were five men inside the elevator. The door closed normally and we went up, and in a few minutes the elevator was going down, it was shaking from side to side, banging. And I said, ‘Something’s wrong!'”
Yes, a terrible thing was wrong. The elevator door opened not to a hallway, but to a wall. Six men were trapped, including a window washer. The entire building had been rearranged by the plane that had hit the Twin Tower on September 11. 2001.
These were the words of John Demczur, who had emigrated to the United States from Poland at the age of 27. He wanted to build a good life for himself and his family. He was not fearful of climbing out on his scaffold thousands of feet above the ground.
John continues. “I was asking for a knife, but nobody had anything. Then I looked into my bucket and I said, ‘Well, let me use my squeegee’. How I have this idea… Just instinct, do something, try to do something.”
Using the squeegee, which is a thin rubber blade with a metal handle, he dug a hole in the drywall. It seemed like a long time before they could knock through to drywall and then the tile on the other side. It turned out to be a bathroom on the 50th floor. This was their way to freedom and eventually out of the building before the tower collapsed.
“I still doesn’t know anything about why this happened, who did this, I’m looking for another building and I don’t see this building. My brain stopped working. After that I just wanted to be with my family, with my children and wife, my head was just focused – be with the family.”
John was not the only window washer going to work that September morning. The smiling face of a window washer, dangling from the scaffold outside the windows of the world trade centers, could be seen by many people working their jobs inside. Some would say “Good morning” or give a wave. It is hard to imagine doing this job outside from 101 floors above the ground. Yet, they did it. High above the street of New York, other window washers worked with their squeegees. They went down with the towers that morning…that terrible morning.
John had placed his squeegee in his pocket as he rushed from the Trade Center. It wasn’t until his story was told that a representative from the Smithsonian Institute came to him asking if the squeegee could be placed in the museum as an artifact of American history. It was only a simple squeegee, but by using it as a tool , for which it was never made, six lives were saved.
Ten years will have passed this September 11, 2011. Will we go our usual way that day? Will we stop to remember that this was an attack on our country and our people?
This is not a time to be “politically correct”. It was what it was and caused by those with great hate in their hearts for America and Americans.
In this deliberate act, people were murdered from every part of the world; with every religious belief and with hopes for the future which they were not given the chance to fulfill.
We must not forget the heroes of that day and those who still suffer from digging through the rubble. We also must not forget that it was not only New York, but the Pentagon and in the countryside of Pennsylvania. It was the men and women taking a flight that did not get them to their destination. The terror that was felt by those who for a split second or for many minutes knew it was their last is hard to imagine. We do not forget them.
Thanks to the use of a simple squeegee and a man who thought to use it, six people are alive to remember those who did not have that opportunity.
This video is of two window washers and their scaffold on the Twin Towers. (Home video in another New York building) http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SBIthneRkE0