It  wouldn’t seem right to let this date go by without some words of remembrance for those who perished and the families who now face a gaping hole where a loved one used to be.   I cannot imagine the horror
of seeing a normal day at work turn into a living hell or thinking that a spouse or loved one is safe at their job or on a plane and suddenly having that person taken away forever.  Then there are the heroic
sacrifices by the first responders, many of whom gave their lives so that others might live.  Words can’t do justice to that kind of courage.   Finally there are the many members of our armed forces who have sacrificed to take the fight to the enemy and bring down Osama Bin Laden  and his radical organization.  While I have had my disagreements with both the Bush and Obama administrations about the prosecution of these conflicts, the heroic sacrifices of our young men and women are to be admired.  They are the best of what America is.

As a side note, to all the those who would cheapen those sacrifices by publicity espousing opinions about how the US somehow deserved the 9/11 attacks or believe the people who died somehow had it coming; shut the hell up.  And to those who think that the 9/11 attacks were created as part of some sort of a governmental conspiracy, you’re embarrassing yourselves with this nonsense.  You’re not “Truthers,” you’re Ravers.  Get a grip.  To members of both groups – if you really believe that either of these things are true – please – find another country to live in.  The US will be better off without you.

Everyone thinks about what they were doing on 9/11 when the twin towers fell, the Pentagon was bombed and Flight 93 crashed.  Ironically, on 9/11/2001, I was actually in the air.  I was on terminal retirement
leave from the Air Force and flying a charter flight from Baltimore, MD to Knoxville, TN.  I remember getting the radio call from Washington Center announcing that all airborne aircraft needed to land
immediately.  Another aircraft asked what was going on and the controller said “someone flew an airplane into the World Trade Center.”  We immediately relayed that to our passengers and the rest of the
flight passed in near silence.  We were allowed to proceed to our flight  planned destination and once we landed at Knoxville airport, we went into the FBO there and watched as the twin towers burned.  Then, in
front of our eyes, on live TV, they collapsed.  There were nearly 100 people watching the TV and you could have heard a pin drop in the room.  The effect was devastating.  My wife and I were living just outside
Annapolis, MD at the time and I called her to discuss it and found that she didn’t know anything about it – we had three kids in diapers at the time and Nickelodeon was on the TV.  But she did say she had heard
something that got her attention – the roar of F-16’s above our house – a  sound she knew well since we had lived near Luke AFB, AZ for four years.  Those F-16’s were flying combat air patrol – over US territory.
Think about that for a second.

I was recalled to active duty for four months and was proud to serve through December 2001.  I only wish I could have done more.

For all who have lost someone they know and love as a result of the September 11th attacks, I offer my deepest condolences and prayers.

For  those who are gone – you are the best of who we are and your absence is  felt even more keenly on the anniversary of this tragic day.