That September Day

semper_fi(Z7 GA)September 10, 2006

Ask just about anyone from a previous generation and they could tell you in no uncertain terms EXACTLY where they were and what they were doing on December 7, 1941 or November 22, 1963.

There is no doubt that September 11, 2001 left its mark in our psyche much like Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination became unforgettable moments for generations gone before us.

So do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the world stopped turning on that September day?

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sheepco(MN z4)

Heard it on the radio driving to work, the 2nd plane hit just as I was pulling into the parking lot. We were all glued to a tiny fuzzy black and white TV for most of the day.

My thoughts are with the survivors, the families of those lost, and all the people that combed the wreckage with so much hope.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 10:37PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

We were at the vet. referral clinic to have endoscopy done on Teeb, the cat, to confirm that she was out of remission for her intestinal lymphoma just after the first plane hit. The rest of the day was surreal. A Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I'm not standing here alone.

"Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far.

You see he was a policeman
and died just this past year
When airplanes hit the towers
and taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.

And to her mother's amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far..

They say it takes a minute to find a special
person, an hour to appreciate them,
a day to love them, but then an entire
life to forget them.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 11:29PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Semper, you really know how to make me feel old. I was a young married in 1963, working in a bank in a Washington, D.C. suburb when a clerk in another bank called to tell me. I thought she must be wrong until I tried to get my husband at Ft. Myers and the phone system was crazy. On 9-11 DH called me at home. It was still early and only one plane had gone in but all I could think was it could mean 30,000 people. Then another plane hit, and another at the Pentagon and horribly, the collapse. The bravery of the firemen and police reduced the numbers but it was still unbearable and their losses made it agonizing. In the past we have known people who worked at those places and we have been in and out of that airport so often. The news of hijacked flights throughout the day and so many other scares and imagining other possible targets made it impossible to walk away from the television. Both times it seemed the world should be standing still. Anger came later.
C3D, I have read that poem before and it still brings tears. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 2:15AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

(deep sad sigh)
(wipe eyes)

I was in a classroom full of sophomores. A teacher came in and said to switch on the tv. We had it going just in time to see the second plane hit... Then a while later people realized there was someone from town on the flight crew, and we also had students with relatives in the towers. So we all turned the tv's off again.

:( Mary

PS When JFK was shot I was doing my homework at the dining room table in the afternoon sunshine. I was feeling sleepy and thought I hadn't heard the radio right. When Bobby was shot I was on my way from school to get some french fries, and I thought, why are they transmitting that again? It's years ago but not today? Then I realized it was his brother.
It may have been in another country, but it was still very big news and the people were deeply shocked. The Kennedys were very much loved in Europe.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 7:19AM
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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

I was new on the job. Only my fifth day when I heard one of the women in the cube diagonally from me whose husband works in the FBI whisper to another, "A plane just hit one of the towers I'm going to turn on the TV in the conference room." You know how it is when you start a new job and haven't bonded with anyone yet. After about 15 minutes, curiosity got the best of me and I got the nerve to walk into the conference room shortly before the second plane hit. We watched in horror as the first tower then the second crumbled into ashes. Then CNN reported that the Pentagon was hit, and a 4th plane had crashed. What a way to bond with new co-workers. It was at this time the commissioner walked in and told us all to go home. Leaving downtown Cleveland was sheer bedlam. People were in a panic. There were traffic jams everywhere. My son couldn't make contact with me because they had turned the phones off. At the time I didn't have a cell phone.

Once I got home my son told me when he was leaving work (he works third shift) when he happened to pass the TV where CNN was on. Since he wasn't wearing his glasses when he glanced at the TV he thought it was a movie. He remembers praying "God please let this be a movie, and not the real thing." He said he almost passed out when he realized it was really happening.

My daughter drove in from Lorain and I remember the three of us standing in the kitchen with our arms around each other and just holding each other and crying and praying.

We live near Hopkins airport and are used to constant air traffic. It was so eerie because now there was dead silence. Later when I was out by the pond I heard a plane and my heart almost stopped. What was a plane doing in the sky when there was a no fly order in place. When I glanced up I saw what looked like the Blue Angels (but camouflauge colored) flying in formation. And shortly after a couple of military helicopters. If that didn't scare the daylights out of me.

I think every emotion known to mankind went through mine (and every other Americans' system) that day. It is forever in our memories, we'll never forget......


    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 8:59AM
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I was home that day, as I am today. I used to watch Good Morning, America faithfully, and it was on that morning. They went to a special report about one of the towers being on fire.

My first thought was of the movie Towering Inferno, and I wondered how they were going to put out the fire. There were rumors that a plane had hit it, and I thought of the poor Cessna pilot who might have had technical problems, or possibly even health issues.

Then the 2nd plane hit before our eyes.

General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the most moving speech I've heard yet today, while speaking at the Pentagon this morning.

As always, our thoughts are with everyone affected by the events on 9-11-01.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 11:12AM
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I was at work when we found out. I worked of a software/insurance company and I did technical support for the software and we deal with all of Canada. My cubical partner was on CNN when he read what had happened and the company turned on the big screen in the conference room for us to watch.I say the second plan hit and both towers go down. Later that day....because I had to stay....I answered calls from brokers all over Canada who had partners in the upper floors of the towers when it went down. I also heard about all the precautions and evacuation and shutdowns that happened throught the country and also the US Ambassy being surrounded by our national guard and major sites in our largest city evacuated. My brother is also an RCMP Officer and was in Montreal at the time.....very scary

When Kennedy was killed I was 4 yrs old and I still remember listning to it on the news and looking out the window waiting for my father to come home. He was out in the woods looking for his brother who died in a hunting younger had just come home from the hospital with Mom...she was born on the 4th of november.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 1:51PM
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i was at home, and dh woke me up. when i went to work that day i also found the silent sky eerie. there is always loads of planes in the air. then, one of the jets went over during the grid flights.

during christmas shopping someone set off fireworks. i fought the urge to hit the deck. the urge really surprised me!

when the space shuttle exploded i was sitting in my anatomy class in high school.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 1:53PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

This morning I drove into Morris (pop. 5,366) and passed the local fire hall on the way to work. And on my way home I passed through Cyrus (pop. 347) and saw the little fire station there.

Both had a fire truck out front, with a flag hanging out in front of it at 1/2 staff, with boots and a helmet on the front bumper. No crowds, no noise, just a silent memorial for those lost. I'm sure alot of stations did the same.

Makes me cry now as it did when these guys did it for their brothers 5 years ago. An awe inspiring sight.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 10:27PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

...I try to take some hope from the kids, Tuesday's Children they called them on one TV network. The kids who are trying to cope with their fathers or mothers death by giving back to the world.

I'm not sure I could be that strong. But it gives us all something to strive for and hope for...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 10:36PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I feel totally washed out after the wrenching reminders of the past few days. I couldn't watch the pundits after a while and the dramatizations and speeches one on top of the other began to give me a headache. Pre tv we at least had a breathing space. Turning off the sound and images seems to disrespect the victims and heros. Now I need to think about it all. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 5:27PM
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sandy, i felt that way when it happened...and each year. i feel like an a$$ for it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 6:23PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I don't think it's disrespectful at all to have your own quiet reflection. It makes it that much more personal.

I was home alone on 9/11 - my husband left for a business trip to Joplin on his motorcycle that day. After watching the TV for hours I went out and dug my pond. It was not to get away from it but I needed time for my own thoughts. To me that is a more personnal memorial than sitting in front of the TV.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 9:18PM
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I was at work for Global Crossing. We heard the reports that a plane had crashed into one of the towers. I had CNN up on my computer running streaming video. We watched the whole event unfold. The towers come down. The tears and the tragedy. They closed the office at 3pm afraid that we too would be attacked. We had 2 offices right on Pine Street next to the towers. Of course they were inaccessible. On Thursday, we were asked if we could travel to NYC to get those offices back up and running. I volunteered. So on Thurday afternoon, 8 of us in 3 cargo vans drove to NJ with 400 computers and laptops to get the pine st offices back up and running at the NJ office. We worked non stop friday, saturday and sunday. Those offices needed to be up for Wall Street to function. The guys who worked at the pine st office had to sneak in to get the back up tapes for the servers and email servers. They said it was horrible. I went down there on saturday afternoon to see it for myself. It was surreal. Smoke, ashes, emptyness. Everyone on the street wanted to hug you and it was all God Bless you!! No taxi cabs. No cars. No buses. Firemen, sitting on benches. Crying. I saw the pickup truck that Engine 11 (I think) took over when their engine was buried beneth the buildings. One side of the truck was perfect!!! Blue and sliver chevy pickup. The drivers side.... melted. Scorced. The plastic one that side had melted, including the headlights. One the side hung the only thing they found of their firetruck. The sign that hung on it. Ladder 11. This is the same dept that lost their chaplain. Mike.

I didn't get home for a week. and was so tired by then!! 16 hour days with only burger king to eat was hard. But I'd do it again if asked.

A week I'll never forget.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 11:33AM
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dirt_yfingernails(z3-4 MN)

My DS had a mole (non-cancerous tho' we didn't know that yet) removed.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 4:48PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

INCREDIBLE story Heather. Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences.

One of the things I remember the most from that day is the crowd of Palestinians who had gathered in the streets and were celebrating the attacks as if the innocent people in those towers had anything to do with their demise.

I'll never forget the outstanding sense of unity and patriotism that followed. People flying the flag; Democrats, Republicans, and independents standing side-by-side and working towards a common goal. For once, we were truly UNITED States of America.

Sadly, I think most of that has gone by the way side. I haven't seen a single vehicle flying a flag this week. Five years ago today, you'd be hard pressed to find one without SOME sort of patriotic display. So I'm not sure if I agree that there has been too much coverage or hype this year.

I heard on the radio today that many schools did not even observe a moment of silence on Monday. WHY NOT??? Perhaps it's too traumatic for kids to be reminded of those events. Or maybe it's yet another sign that many (most?) of us are already starting to forget when not all that long ago we had promised ourselves to: "Never Forget".


    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 9:07PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

True. There was a more overt display of patriotism in the days and weeks immediately following that September Day five years ago.

Too much TV coverage this year? Too much "hype"?!?!?!? For this most tragic single event? For WEEKS following the 2001 tragedies 24 hours a day there was TV coverage with no commercials, no respite from reality as we witnessed it all and the workers dug through the pile and those trucks made there way in vast caravans through the streets of New York carrying the rubble from the fallen Towers.

The funerals. The people lining the streets waving the Flag and applause as new volunteers came to replace the exhausted people who worked The Pile. The truckloads of food and beverage donations and the tents to provide refuge for the volunteers.

The "thank you" from strangers for coming to help. The walls that were covered with photographs of the missing people. The dust that permeated everything. The smell of burning wires. Burning everything. The fires burned for months. Images forever burned in the hearts and minds of those who witnessed it.

There are people who will do things. There are people who will sit back and not do anything. There are people who feel the mindless need to critique the TV coverage of the memorial ceremonies. There are people who sit back, do nothing and complain that there was nothing done or it was done incorrectly.

It takes all kinds.

It is important to remember that different people cope with events in their own way. Those who can do something WILL do something.

The patriotism is still there. The uncertainty of the future may have dampened the overt displays but patriotism remains alive in the heart. Patriotism remains alive through the actions of "ordinary" Americans doing extraordinary deeds. They do their work discreetly. Not for their own glory or to gain attention for themselves but to help their fellow American.

One step at a time.

We will not falter. We will not fail.

Kindest regards,


    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 11:37PM
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clarke(7a, Northern VA)

I was at work about one and a half miles south of the Pentagon. My employer's wife had the tv on in the office. When the plane hit the Pentagon, the secondary explosion shook the bay doors of the auto repair shop that I worked at. The smoke in the air and the smell that came with it are something that is perminatly etched into my mind. All the stuff on tv just makes me reflect on what a privilage it is to live in this great country, and thank God for the men and women that put their lives in harms way to give us the freedom that we all enjoy.

God bless America!!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 12:06AM
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a slight sidenote: the mention of flags flying etc is what reminded me. it is my old, worn and torn yellow ribbon on my doorpost. i noticed last week the bow i tied onto the ribbon and torn and fallen into my flowerbed. being the type to want to interpret things, for the worst, i am glad my nephew was already back in the states. on the other hand, i look at it and wonder. shoudl i pick it up and throw it away? no. should i attach it back on there? somehow, leaving it in the flowerbed seems lazy. somehow, it seems it should stay there just as it lay.

it also helps that my friends are still waiting to leave. they are active, just not there yet.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 12:26AM
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It bothers me that 9-11 was only given a "name" (Patriot Day) and a few hours on TV. It bothers me that it's not a federal holiday. It bothers me how quickly some can forget the unity, the anger, the sadness, when families of at least 2,948 people will always remember. The rescuers couldn't walk away, and neither can I.

It matters not to me when it is compared to Pearl Harbor, i.e., there's not a national holiday for THAT day. This is different; this is NOW. This isn't history; it's our lives as we know them at this moment.

There are people continuing to die for this, and the death count of our soldiers is fast approaching the death count of 9-11-01. This is not about politics; it's not about the President. This is about the death of 2,948+ innocent people, their children, parents, spouses, siblings. And this is about more death, because they will attack again, and our soldiers will continue to fight them. Because if they don't, who will?

It could have been any one of us in those buildings, in those planes. To me, they were my family, my friends, my neighbors, because there weren't only Americans murdered that September day. There were human beings murdered that September day.


Here is a link that might be useful: September 11, 2001 Victims List

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 10:38AM
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first before i say this, i wil be honest. i am at times one of those someones who will stay back, detached, and watch. however, i will also help yes, maybe i should start if it hasn't been done already. surely someone has done this already?

and i am referring to petitioning the legislator to make it a federal holiday. how would you start something like this?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 1:38PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

FTM, contact the office of your state senator. They will give you the info to make such a petition legal. I think it is fairly simple. For some things the signers need to be registered voters but the requirements may be different for something like this. I'm sure there are other petitions out there. It's inconceivable that they don't have a dozen or more. Since it would be a grassroots movement, you might just be out of a local groups reach. Possibly your Senator's office will have the contact info for you to get in touch with them. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 3:58PM
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thanks, sandy!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 8:48PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)
    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 10:56PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

Another great story... thanks Clarke. Very well said Brenda. Interesting idea FTM. Since we have a holiday for one (GREAT) president and a minority activist, why not one for the thousands of heroes of 9/11??? Realistically, the fact that it is so close to another federal holiday might be a major fiscal hurdle for Uncle Sam. Though it would make perfect sense (at least to me) to get rid of the passe Labor Day and have Patriot's Day as a day to reflect. Though leave it to retailers to try to cheapen it by having their obnoxious sales.

What a great concept C3D. Not many people realize that the crash site of Flight 93 is less than 10 miles from Quecreek mine where the 9 PA miners were miraculously and heroically rescued a few years ago.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 11:15PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

FTM, I should have said your state's Senator, meaning the one that goes to Washington. The way I wrote it could be read as the Senator in your state's legislature. Oh the perils of proofreading.... Sandy

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 5:34AM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

It couldn't have come at a worse time, one week to the day before Eric was born. I was at home, happily awaiting the upcoming birth of my first grand child. I turned on the tv and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Frantic, I tried calling my husband, at work, with no answer, then I tried my sister, with no answer, my neighbor, no answer. The phone lines were jammed and I kept getting "All circuits are busy." I watched the entire senerio unfold from beginning to end by myself. The worse part was when one of the buildings collapsed and so many people were running and crying. I cried with them as I watched the horror in their faces. Finally my phone rang and the first person I spoke to about it was my nephew.

I'll never forget that awful anxious feeling, even weeks later after Eric was born, that something else was still going to happen.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 3:09PM
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clarke(7a, Northern VA)

Semper Fi,

In my daughter's school they asked the children to wear red, white, and blue. They also had a moment of silence. Living in Northern VA. it still hits close to home. I did see a few flags hanging from overpasses, but nothing like it was in 2001.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 10:34PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

Clarke, it's great to know that at least SOME schools observed a moment of silence that day.

I'm just curious... did anybody go see the movie World Trade Center??? If so, what did you think about it? I wanted to but neither myself or the better-half could bring ourselves to go see it in public. Will catch it once it is released to video.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 7:58PM
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We're waiting until video release, as well, Mark. It's just too emotional for us to see in public. It sounds like it will be a respectful rendition of what happened that day, thankfully. Hollywood has a way of mussing up some things, as you probably know.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 12:18PM
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DirecTV is having a Showtime free preview weekend, so we were FINALLY able to see the World Trade Center movie last night. It was SO well done, not cheesy at all, and very respectful of all concerned. Alternately heart-breaking and heart-warming, definitely a tear jerker to the maximum. It was so good, I'm thinking about buying the DVD, which we don't do very often, if only to share it with family and friends.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 10:22AM
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I saw both United 93 and The World Trade Center and I liked United 93 better.

Both are sad and both made me proud to be an American. Despite what Europe or the rest of the world have to say I love my country and the people in it. I don't always like our leadership, but the average Joe's are good people.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 12:28PM
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One thing I forgot to mention was the complete awesomeness of Dave Karnes, the ex-Marine who was one of the first to show up at Ground Zero. What an incredible human being he is! Yes, he broke the rules by being there, but sometimes, that's how things get done.

My favorite scene in the movie (if I have to pick one...:D...quotes may not be perfect, either) -

"Who are you?"
"Staff Sergeant Karnes."
"Anything shorter?"
"Staff Sergeant."


Here is a link that might be useful: Who is Dave Karnes?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:10AM
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