One never knows where evil lurks! The terrorists of 9-11 most likely walked or rode bikes by our home in Venice, Florida. This was the beginning of their journey to murder as many people as possible and to die.
Venice is a peaceful, quiet place situated on the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S.A. Families enjoy the beautiful beaches that are quiet and serene, especially as the sun begins to set in the West. Yet, evil was among them.
Late one evening, my husband and I walked down to take a look at the sunset. A group of young people from Italy were there. As we listened to them speak in Italian, we asked them if they were tourists. They replied, “No, we are training at the Venice Airport.” It was not uncommon to have people from around the world, who in good faith wanted to learn to fly in the U.S
Yet, no one would have dreamed that evil was lurking there behind the controls of the small aircraft. The pilot trainee was learning to fly in order to murder not only Americans, but thousands from different countries… even people from their own country, who were simply doing business here. On leaving Venice, they planned to go on to other airports in Florida to learn to fly large aircraft. Coming to the U.S. through Hamburg, Germany, they blended in and were like many other foreigners who had trained in Venice.
We were told that the employees at the airport were kind to the foreigners and even offered for two of them to stay in their home until they could find a place of their own during training. Because they were so rude to the employee’s wife, they were asked to leave.
A Christian friend of ours was a flight instructor at the Venice Airport. Unfortunately, he had been given the assignment to train these men. After much frustration with them, he decided to complain to the airport managers. The men wanted to learn to fly, but oddly did not want to take instruction on landing. Another instructor took over. Neither the Venice Airport or local authorities in the area had been warned by federal agents about the men’s possible connection to the terrorist group Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden. Yet, here they were in the small town of Venice, ready and willing to learn, take their time and then strike like great, poisonous snakes for their Jihadist cause.
Do we remember their names? No…a thousand times NO! Their names are not worth remembering!
We do remember, however, the honorable, decent human beings who were the first responders, volunteers, and people from around the world who cared about humanity.
We remember and pray for those men and women who are still sick from exposure at the 9-11 sites and the families of those who will forever grieve here and around the world.
We give HONOR to the victims of 9-11. (Slide presentation)
September 11, 2001 is a date that we must NEVER forget. The world has known evil during World War II and the Holocaust and many other times when the innocent have been destroyed. The attack on the World Trade Centers in New York City is also one of those times.
These are the devastating facts:
- A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
- At the World Trade Center (WTC) site in Lower Manhattan, 2,753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers, or as a result of the crashes.
- Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.
- The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years. Approximately 75-80% of the victims were men.
- At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.
- Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.
- Because of illness since the attack, a number of the rescue and first responders have also died. Others, including the canine helpers, lived on but with some continued illness.
A Personal Note: The men who flew the planes into the towers probably walked or biked by our house many times as they trained at a small airport in Venice, Florida. A young pilot attending our church was in charge of training one of the men. He could not understand why the student did not want to pay attention when he tried to teach the landing techniques of flying. Finally, having enough of the attitude, he asked to be released from his duties as an instructor. The student was given to someone else. Later, the terrorists who had learned the basics in small aircraft went on to south Florida to learn more about flying large, commercial planes. Had our U.S. government officials been sharing information on persons of interest with the local police force, these men who trained here to do their horrible deed would have been caught. How tragic.
Just before 9-11, my husband and I went to New York to celebrate our anniversary. We took in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Sitting near us was a group of young firefighters, having a great time. Little did they know that evil was going to take some of their lives within days.
We rode the bullet elevator to the top of the twin tower to get a spectacular view of the city. It was a beautiful day and at around 9:00 am. We were the only ones up on the top except for a woman who offered to take our pictures. It was only from June until September that we could only imagine that there was probably another tourist standing where we stood to also enjoy the view….when the plane came in for the crash. How tragic and how evil.
There were a number of planes up in the air at the same time on 9-11. Two went into the towers and one into the Pentagon. Little did the terrorists flying over Pensylvania know that they had strong, American men on their airplane who loved American freedom and their lives. They were going to do anything to stop their plane from going into any other buildings where innocent people were living their everyday lives. We’ll never forget the bravery when the words “Let’s Roll” were shouted and the plane was brought down in Pennsylvania instead of their planned destination. Their bravery is beyond what we can say here. To the families of all those who lost loved ones that terrible day, we promise that they will never be forgotten…not this year or any year to come.
In 2017, my husband and I went back to New York City to once again walk around the memorial and read the thousands of names etched in marble. With the sound of the water and flowers laid next to names with a birthday that day, it is beautiful. We also went to St. Paul’s Chapel which is situated next to where the twin towers stood. Amazingly, with all the buildings falling and debris everywhere, it was not destroyed. Even the steeple on the church remained. St. Paul’s Chapel took care of the first responders through their long hours of working in the rubble.
The victims of 9-11 WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN. We would urge all Americans and anyone making a trip to the USA to make this holy place a definite destination.
Men and women from many countries, nationalities and religious faiths were working in the buildings destroyed or riding on the planes on 9-11. With that in mind, it was also an attack on the people of the world. Those who might be tempted to turn a blind eye to what are the goals of terrorists should take a look at the video here as a reminder.
Video 1st video only from 60 minutes Over-time…”rare footage from Ground 0″ (turn on sound and give it a second or two to load) 1st video only Click link below:
Just 90 miles from the state of Florida, USA, is Guantanamo Bay detention facility. This has been a prison for those persons expected of being a part of the 9-11 attack on the United States. Most people don’t know anything about them: where they are from or how dangerous they are to the free world. Over a period of time, many have been released…(to where?)…one may ask.
President Obama has called for the closing of the facility. Here are some facts that should interest everyone about those released. As of March, 2016, 147 detainees have been released by Mr. Obama. It is known for certain that at least 6 of those set free have returned to terrorism and military activity. There are 91 detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Another question one may ask is “How many of those released, that we do not know about their activities, are re-engaged in terrorism toward the entire free world? How many of them have been directly or indirectly a part of the terrorist plots around the world?”
It also may be interesting to know some facts about where these released people from Guantanamo have gone. The New York Times has identified 58 countries as the places the released detainees have been sent. Whether they stayed there is not known. Perhaps one or more of these former prisoners are living in your country and in your neighborhood wherever you live worldwide. There is little optimism that time spent at Guantanamo Bay has rehabilitated any of the prisoners. Those for maintaining the facility believe that it keeps terrorists away from the planning of more destruction and death worldwide. Those opposed keeping it and agree that it should be closed, think that it only hardens the prisoners to become more radical in their beliefs.
Reading this list of countries where the released detainees were sent should make everyone in the world concerned about their homeland’s national security.
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Oman, Algeria, Britain, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, Albania, Tajikistan, France, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Russia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Georgia, Qatar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Spain, Jordan, Turkey, Bermuda, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Somalia, Tunisia, Iran, Ghana, El Salvador, Italy, Libya, Mauritania, Ireland, Portugal, United State, Australia, Senegal, Canada, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sweden, Uganda, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Latvia, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, Montenegro, Chad.
As I walked through the gates of Auschwitz with my students a few years ago, I was reminded of the famous saying that one must remember history or relive it. This is particularly true today with the evil plots to destroy one’s neighbor from within or without. My fellow blogger, Stephen Liddell in England, reminded his countrymen that there is at least one great reason to get out and vote in their General Election. This picture tells that reason. We here in America should be taking as seriously our own future elections.
Voters, here in America and those abroad, were not living during WWI and many were not living during WWII, but that does not mean we can not take our lessons from history. The battles may be different, but they are battles just the same. Complacency may be the road to slavery or death. No one likes to think of it, but it is the truth just the same. A strong nation will defend itself. A strong people will not turn a blind eye to the past…especially when one is threatened with evil and destruction.
I would say to our friends in America and worldwide, teach history to your young people. When surveyed, they seem to not know even basic facts of the sacrifices of their grandparents during times of crisis. They are the future voters and the inheritance of whom we choose now as leaders in the world.
I am writing this on May 7. How many people would know some of the events of history that happened on this one day alone…May 7th? These events changed history and the lives of people, but are they remembered? Multiply this one day by all the days of the calendar year.
- 1727 – Jews are expelled from Ukraine by Empress Catherine I of Russia
- 1862 – Battle of West Point, VA (Eltham’s Landing, Barnhamsville)
- 1913 – British House of Commons rejects women’s right to vote
- 1915 – SS Lusitania sunk by German submarine; 1198 lives lost
- 1939 – Germany & Italy announced an alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis
- 1942 – Nazi decree orders all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed
- 1943 – Dutch men 18-35 obliged to report to labor camps
- 1945 – WWII: unconditional German surrender to the Allies signed by General Alfred Jodl at Rheims
- 1947 – General MacArthur approves Japanese constitution
- 1954 – French surrender to Vietminh after 55-day siege at Dien Bien Phu
- 1960 – USSR announces Francis Gary Powers confessed to being a CIA spy
- 1975 – Pres Ford declares an end to “Vietnam Era”
- 1980 – Iraq bombs a Tehran oil refiner
- 1982 – US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
- 1999 – Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
- 2013 – 55 people are killed by a Boko Haram attack in Nigeria
Then there was September 11, 2001. President Bush and the brave first responders… men and women of N.Y. City step forward as in Washington and Pennsylvania. Leadership was everything!
The importance of leadership cannot be over-estimated. What would England have done without Sir Winston Churchill during the crisis of WWII? Leaders have to have vision larger than themselves and their political careers. They must have a vision for what is right and what cannot be tolerated. Thank you, Stephen, for reminding us of the importance of never forgetting when making choices.
Not on May 7th, but in 1962 was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Leaders could not stand by for they had been elected to protect us …and they acted. Regardless of what party Americans belong, Democrat or Republican, the leadership of a President and the elected leaders makes a difference. Perhaps these thoughts are best said by one of our former Presidents who met his last days by an evil act. History is a warning.as well as a time of encouragement …heed it!
We know that many people put their lives at risk to go into the smoking pieces of debris at Ground Zero on 9-11. Many of these first responders died and later many others became ill. We also know that there were a number of rescue dogs that helped find remains. We honor these brave men and women as well as the canines who helped on that terrible day.
At the time this video was made, Abby was the last living Rescue Dog from the training center. There is, however , another dog, Bretagne is the longest living rescue dog from 9-11. In the pictures above are search dogs that have passed away. We owe them great honor and gratitude.
Bretagne the golden retriever who is now 15 years old and the longest surviving rescue dog today. (2014) shown in this picture with her handler.
Today I would like to share a prayer from 2008 where the Twin Towers stood in New York City.
After reading the prayer, scroll down below to see what the people of New York have accomplished in the past years. Thanks to Yahoo News photographer Gordon Donovan who has taken many memorable images from photographs of 9-11 and found the exact spots today, we are able to see what the American people can do after such a tragedy.
“O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all. “
Pope Benedict XI–Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008
Before and After Pictures of 9-11 and today
The video I am going to share with you is one that speaks of the unanswerable questions of life and death. One pilot lived; one pilot died. I agree with this video about 99%. Steve Scheibner’s life was changed forever…his goals in life were intensified because he should have been in a certain place at a certain time and was not. Another pilot, Tom McGuinness, was brutally murdered because he was fulfilling his duty as the pilot for the day.
One cannot understand why these unanswerable things happen. There are no answers to the ones who were spared on 9-11 and those who were in the midst of it all and died. Certainly there were those who called in sick to work; missed a bus or train; had another event that kept them away. There were also those who went to work and did exactly what they were supposed to be doing on that terrible day…9-11.
The 1% that I do not agree with is that God…in anyway…thought it should be the last day of another’s life. God only received the pilots/crews/(listed below) and passengers into His arms.
The terrorist were the ones who decided to kill those scheduled on American Flight#11, as well as thousands of others who died in the Towers. They and they alone were the cause of this tragedy.
So often, we as Christians, say “God took them because He wanted (him/her) to be with Him”. I have even heard people say, “God needed another angel in heaven.” That is just not God. He is all loving and caring. He does not bring evil upon those who are the target of someone’s distorted thoughts and evil plans. He simply receives them unto Himself.
Having said this, I do not believe that the pilot on this video meant any harmful thoughts about God’s will on Tom McGuinness, the American Airlines #11 pilot…for he honors him throughout the video. One would ask, “What about Tom’s life? Did he not have goals and desires?” Of course he did. He is, for certain, greatly missed by those who loved him.
Nevertheless, the video is inspirational even if it does not answer the unanswerable. Uncontrollable events simply carry us along with them. Thank you, Steve, for sharing your story with us.
We will always remember those who perished. We should never become complacent about those who killed these people and what their mission was that day.
2,976 victims will not be forgotten!
The video below is difficult to watch. Evil is evil and should not be called anything differently. Gallant rescuers did their best and gave their lives. They, too, will not be forgotten. Those who fought in the aircraft were brave beyond belief. In doing so, they most likely saved the Capitol of the United States. September 11 is a terrible day, as are all days, for those who lost loved ones. They will never be forgotten!
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.
For those who were not born or do not know the history of Dunkirk, this is a short synopsis from a historian:
“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 codenamed 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 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 passed our 10th 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.
( A thank you to Gayle Olson who shared this video with me.)
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
August 31, 2010, the President of the United States will speak on the official ending of the Iraq war.
No matter what he has to say or what he will predict about Iraq’s future …or the continuing war in Afghanistan, he can not capture in a speech the suffering that has taken place.
Starting with the tears shed by those who lost loved ones on the USS Cole and in the towers on 9-11, the tears continue. Each day families in Iraq lose loved ones . Every week our finest young men and women are brought home to a waiting honor guard. Thousands are still in harm’s way.
I have decided to share some of the pictures that we have seen throughout the war. It may help us remember that this war, as are all others, is definitely a hell.
There is no way to speak to the grief that has been and will continue to be suffered. We are free Americans because of the bravery of soldiers throughout the world who fought in the World Wars. That freedom is in jeopardy by those who would try to take it away; setting up their own brand of enslavement.
God’s blessings to a world that is trying to find its way.