No Snark: Someone needs to remind Obama

A completely snark-free post, because the issue is serious:With the news (and the admission) that the Benghazi violence of September 11, which included the murder of our Ambassador, was not a spontaneous outburst of emotion but a planned attack -- quite possibly involving Al Qaeda -- it's worth reminding the President and the rest of the country of something important:From the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the attacks on New York and Washington, DC, in 2001, Al Qaeda … [Read more...]

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9/11: A Bag of Tomatoes and an Empty Sky

Today is as it was. The day is so perfectly vivid in my mind, that I just don't need to write it again. The phone call; the horror; the waiting to hear from my husband; the abandoned bag of tomatoes; the empty, empty sky:I remember thinking, after a few hours, that New York might be shut down for a while, and that it would be a good time to buy some provisions, the old standbys, milk, eggs, bread, water – and few other things, too. Propane. Duct tape. Tinned meat. I wandered through the n … [Read more...]

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Ground Zero: Out of Darkness UPDATED

My column at First Things is not meant to rile anyone, but I am sure some will be riled and for that I am sorry:At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Robert Kennedy—finding kinship with a doomed heroine of fiction—referenced the loss of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, by quoting Shakespeare’s Juliet:When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the gari … [Read more...]

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"She was the one…"

Joseph Susanka, who last week took at look at how the Twin Towers made regular cameo appearances in our cinema and this week about the dualities inherent in heroism has been killing me by sharing videos about 9/11 heroes.This one, and another that I can't share here, had me weeping like a baby. I'd never heard of Story Corps before, but they do a wonderful job of taking people's stories -- all kinds of people, and all kinds of stories -- and illustrating them for posterity.You can find them … [Read more...]

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On Clergy, NYFD, Bloomberg Not Budging

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was inviting neither clergy nor First Responders to the 9/11 Memorial service in NYC.I thought public outcry might move the mule, but without any push from mainstream media, he is comfortably sticking to his guns. No clergy, no prayer, and there's no room for the First Responders, either. Only a few will be there, by special invitation.Making the point that the first recorded death at the WTC was Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, … [Read more...]

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Down with Reaction Nazis

Shortly after 9/11, Adam Gopnik published an essay in the New Yorker titled "The City and the Pillars." In it, he strolls the streets of New York in the days immediately after the attacks, noting the reactions of the man on the street, as well as his own sensory impressions. Of the smell wafting from the fallen towers, he writes:The smell, which fills the empty streets of SoHo from Houston to Canal, blew uptown on Wednesday night, and is not entirely horrible from a reasonable distance -- … [Read more...]

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9/11, Eight Years On

A longtime friend and blogger related feeling reluctant to write about 9/11 on this anniversary. "Everything just feels so tense and uncertain," this person wrote, "I'm having a hard time focusing on the anniversary, and hasn't everything that could be said about 9/11 been said?"I confessed to a similar feeling. On one hand, one wants to write, "never forget, and never again," on the other hand, one is almost tired of feeling the pain and the anger. It's almost like remembering my … [Read more...]

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Jon Stewart’s first broadcast post 9/11

Very affecting and eye-opening about where we were and where we have come.I know there's a ton of material out there today - you can't keep up. But watch this. Listen to Stewart talk about the privilege of being at liberty to "sit in the back and throw spitballs..." Listen to him talk about why "I grieve, but I don't despair..." as he struggles with his emotions. This is memorable and moving.And when he says, "the terrorists thrive on chaos, and chaos cannot sustain itself..." I … [Read more...]

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What are you doing on 9/11/06?

We have seen their kind before. They’re the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies. Americans are asking, “How will we fight and win this war?”We will direct every resource at our command — every m … [Read more...]

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Affection for the protector lads and He-men

A while back I wrote this confession:"...we all know that while I’m kind of helpless around the olive-skinned Italian and Jewish men…and well, basically all Mediterranean types…I’m also a pretty quick surrender to a Celt... (...one of the best afternoons of my life was spent eating scones, drinking Guinness and dancing with the lovely giant firefighters of the FDNY - in their kilts and knee socks! When a lad is secure enough about himself to kick up his heels in a skirt, I’m all appreciat … [Read more...]

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