This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11/01

This  morning, it is probable that at many religious services, the Minister or Priest, or Deacon worked 9/11 into the sermon saying how proud we should be of our fellow Americans who behaved, so valiantly, and times heroically on 9/11 and afterward.The Tower evacuations where possible were orderly. In many cases ordinary office workers risked and sometimes lost their lives to save others. The New York Fire Department rushed in to and rushed up seventy stories to save trapped people  and suffered cataclysmic losses when the building collapsed. In the air captive passengers thwarted  the hijackers.

A friend of  ours in New York, (my wife's maid of honor in fact) took the subway to work at Columbia University that morning, She wound up walking home (to Brooklyn) with thousands of other New Yorkers because the trains had stopped running. Under the circumstances no one seemed to mind. "They sent us home early, " she explained when we phoned.
This refrigerator magnet was a gift from the above mentioned friend. It says "I Love New York More Than Ever 09/11/ 01."

This blog is linked to the Brooklyn Heights Blog which appears just below the Oakland Press news box  on the right side of this page. The news box contains details on local memorials to 9/11.
The Brooklyn Heights Blog also contains memories of residents who were witnesses to and had direct access to the tragic events of that day either by the  river promenade or the Brooklyn Bridge. A picture of the Bridge and the Towers before 9/11 are directly above the  a collection of memories, Remembering 9/11/01 .There are no horrific pictures to scare children or adults. Just words. I was  particularly  impressed by one memory simply called  Me. The first part  of Me appears in the middle  of  the other memories. There is an additional  Me  post script at the end of  all the memories. Me begins with the observation, "Laziness saved my dad that day," and it ends with "I shall never ever forget."

On 9/11/ 01  I worked a combo radio station in Southfield Michigan. I sold advertising and, my presence wasn't always required at the office. Except on Tuesdays  when there was a mandatory weekly sales meeting which began at 8am sharp and was usually quite lengthy.. For whatever the reason there was very little to say on the  morning of  Tuesday,September 11th 2001 and the meeting ended  moments  before 9/11 began. The conference room emptied just in time to hear someone say  that a plane had collided with the World Trade Center. That had happened before in the 1940's when a large military plane collided with Empire State building. Then came word that a second plane had hit the towers. Perhaps an observation plane or something. The news did however prompt many us to wander into the newsroom where a battery of television sets was broadcasting. The replay of the second plane flying directly into the tower  was the first  indication that something unreal was indeed taking place. One viewer  surmised  terrorism and there was the ominous word that other planes we missing. My boss said something like" Holy Moly! Wait until this hits Los Angeles!"  which at 9 am our time was just waking up.  I have  often thought of his words  since then. I think he meant the news but he could have meant more terrorist activity. Who knows was planned and the FAA in perhaps a life saving move grounded all aircraft. I called my wife who works were the televisions  are always turned on and she already knew. I called my father who just came in from fetching the paper. He was little irked at my insistence  that he turn on the television  immediately.Shortly before eleven am when people were still gathered  around  television or radios,  the big boss who ran both stations issued a directive. It said that, with the exception of people who were needed  for broadcast or news, due to the extraordinary and tragic events unfolding people could go home if  they wanted. Business as usual would resume at 8am on September 12th,

The Big boss has gone onto be the General Manger of a Detroit area Television  station. He has appeared frequently on television during the last week promoting special "Remembering 9/11" programming the station broadcast.  His television promos began by asking where were you on 9/11 ? The  Big Boss and I were at the same place at the same time on 9/11. Small world.

At church, this morning the exit hymn was, God Bless America. A newspaper The Michigan Catholic featured a  banner which said "Remembering 9/11 pages 8,10.18" . A rather impressive column however appeared on page 6. It was written by  Father Peter J. Daly, a columnist for Catholic News Services. He said that after 9/11  he hoped things would be different and for awhile they were .  Initially the world was full of sympathy for America and respect for the heroism Americans showed that day. America had  became united in grief and now had  a common purpose. Public meetings began meeting with pledge of allegiance. American flags flew everywhere.People started attending church services in great numbers. On Capitol Hill partisan divisions ended and anti terrorist legislation passed. Some "almost without reflection". But it didn't last. Today that sense of national unity is long gone."We seem to be divided over ordinary things, writes Father Daly"Church attendance is back to normal. We have surrendered some of our privacy and civil liberties. We support our military but our veterans suffer. They suffer trauma of war. Some can not find jobs.Some are homeless and some commit suicide.

Computers have a program which allows you to revert  to an earlier time if your computer is acting oddly  and you don't know why. Apple calls it Time Machine. Microsoft calls it System Restore but it used to be called Go Back. On what date did we start back sliding ? On what date did we start  forgetting what we learned on 9/11 ? What date should we go back to when everyone without condition was intesely proud to be American ? What do you think ?

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