9/11 links and reflections

This thread is for any comments related to the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I’ve posted statements released by Iowa politicians after the jump. I shared my memories of that awful day on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

I recommend reading Kurt Eichenwald’s op-ed piece based on his research for the new book 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars. The latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine contains an excerpt from the book. Last year Esquire compiled links to all that magazine’s stories about the attacks. This piece based on an interview with survivor Michael Wright was riveting.

Statement from Representative Bruce Braley (D, IA-01):

Dubuque, IA – Tomorrow marks the eleventh anniversary of September 11th, 2001. The following is a statement from Representative Bruce Braley (IA-01) in remembrance of those who lost their lives and for those who survived them.

“September 11th, 2001, was a horrible day that left a hole in this country’s heart that can never be filled. That day the United States lost many innocent people including native Iowans Tim Haviland, Michael Tinley, and Karen Kincaid-Batacan, but today we remember them in the lives they lived, and the people whose lives they touched.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who lost a loved one, and to all of the service men and women who are fighting for peace and for our country overseas.

“We will never forget September 11th, and we will strive to make this country stronger and safer for those who lost so much.”

Statement from Representative Dave Loebsack (D, IA-02):

Loebsack Statement on Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

Washington, D.C. Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today in honor of the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and in observance of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

“Today we join our families, neighbors and friends to stand together to remember and honor those whose lives were lost on this tragic day 11 years ago, the first responders who risked their own lives to save their fellow Americans, and our servicemembers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.  

“Today, we also stand together as Americans to honor our men and women in uniform defending our country overseas and all those who have worked tirelessly to keep our country safe so that we may live in peace here at home.  We are united in renewing our commitment to upholding the principles that make our nation the greatest on earth and in keeping our great nation strong and secure against those who seek to do us harm.  

“We also come together in service to our communities in the same way that so many came together in the days following those horrific attacks.  It is my hope that today’s National Day of Service effort is a living reminder of hope and gives comfort to those whose lives were forever changed.

“Eleven years ago, we were attacked by terrorists seeking to tear our country apart.   But just as the sun was shining bright that tragic morning 11 years ago, it continues to shine bright over our great nation.”

Statement from Representative Tom Latham (R, IA-04):


Washington, Sep 11 – It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in September. I awoke that day already in a somber mood-long before I had heard the first news reports of that fateful day. A memorial service was to be held that morning for the former Chaplin of the House of Representatives, and my good friend, Reverend James Ford. Pastor Ford served faithfully for many years as a trusted spiritual guide to Members of Congress while they were away from their congregations at home.

As I began to make my way towards the door for the trip to the Capitol, I heard the following words broadcast on the television in the other room: “We have reports that a small aircraft has hit the World Trade Center in Manhattan.” I turned to watch the beginning of the coverage of what would unfold to be events so horrific, so painful, and so indescribable that we could not even give it a name. We-for lack of words to describe the events of that day-refer to them with just the numbers “nine-eleven.” Could America accept this challenge?

We all know the answer to that question. America rose to the challenge in the moments after the first plane hit as we saw brave members of the New York Fire Department and Police Department risk, and lose, their lives as they gave everything to help the victims in the Twin Towers. America rose to the challenge at the Pentagon, as colleagues and emergency crews immediately began doing everything they could for anyone surviving the attack. And we saw America rise to the challenge aboard Flight 93, when Todd Beamer’s “Let’s roll” comment led the passengers to take matters into their own hands and, over the skies of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, sacrificed their own lives to block the terrorists from murdering more innocent people that day.

On this anniversary let us continue to remember the innocent victims, the heroes and their loved ones, in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our prayers. And may we never forget that there is no tragedy that we cannot overcome in America where every new morning holds the potential for limitless beginnings.

(The preceding was written by Congressman Tom Latham on the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and it has been released each year in honor and remembrance of the day.)

Statement from Representative Steve King (R, IA-05):

Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement in remembrance of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, when nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children lost their lives:

“Today we remember the innocent lives lost and honor the heroes of the horrible tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001,” said King. “No one will ever forget where they were when they first heard the news and watched in shock as our country was attacked. Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who are still mourning for their lost loved ones. We also owe a great deal of gratitude to the first responders, the men and women in uniform who helped save many lives while risking their own and those who answered the call to continue to defend our freedoms. May we never forget their great service to our country.

Eleven years ago, our Nation was attacked in order to divide the American spirit and try to force us to lose hope in a time of tragedy. Yet, Americans came together like never before in a spirit of unity. Let the remembrance of today inspire us to join together with that same compassion and love and once again renew our sense of common purpose as Americans.”

Statement from Democratic Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack:

AMES, IA – Christie Vilsack released the following statement today, 11 years after the tragic attacks on September 11th, 2001:

“Eleven years ago, we watched in horror as our nation came under attack and 3,000 innocent men, women, and children were killed. Today, the memories of that tragic day have not faded.

“We will never forget the victims of September 11th, the families across this country who lost a loved one that day, and the first responders who bravely rushed into danger to save lives. We also recognize and salute the millions of Americans, many from rural towns and small cities, who serve their country in the armed forces.

“In the aftermath of 9/11 Americans came together as one. On this day and always, let us join together as one nation to confront our common challenges.”

Statements from Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds:

“We must never forget the terrible atrocities of that fateful day, and we must continue to promote this great experiment that is America. Iowans answered the call of duty on 9/11, and have every day since. As our Iowa military service members so bravely responded with their determination, I hope all Iowans will take time today to remember the sacrifices of our service members and their families.” – Gov. Terry E. Branstad

“Today we remember those who perished in the deliberate, violent attack on our nation. The terrorists hoped to tear a hole in the fabric of our ideals, but instead Americans responded with a strengthened resolve as a united country. I encourage all Iowans to take a moment, remember those we lost, and pledge their time and energy to make this country a better place for all who reside within its borders.” – Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds

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  • It was a beautiful day yesterday

    in the DC area. I remember:

    1. It also started out as a gorgeous day in 2001. I remember thinking just that right before hearing the news. It was hard to reconcile the two.

    2. I was doing some work for a DC-based corporate client at the time that happened to have a NY office. Early afternoon I received a message saying that the scheduled conference all was “on” since “everyone’s OK in our DC & NY offices.” I didn’t participate but am not judgmental — some people appreciate normalcy during time of crisis.

    3. That week I took Metrorail (subway) to a client. On the return, I was carrying a box of software. Largish, w/ manuals. A Metro employee lunged in my direction when he saw the box. “It’s software!” I yelled.

    4. A small airport near my house shut down and probably will never be operational again (within 5 miles of WH) in the conventional sense. County police touch down with helicopters 1X/day & plane owners (only) are permitted to take off after a lot of red tape. It’s sad because it used to serve the local schools. Kids would take a field trip and get a plane ride over the area.

    Yesterday, Montgomery County (MD-DC border county) announced high alert for anti-terrorism exercises on the Metrorail. I didn’t catch all of the info alert, but it was something about detecting dirty bombs. I thought it was tacky — announcements in that creepy “reassuring” voice that there were no actual terrorist attack alerts, just precautionary exercises. It felt like more “terra” agitprop given the date.

  • Votes belie statements

    In 2010, Congress passed a law to support the 9/11 heroes. It created the World Trade Center Health Program to provide compensation for illnesses for the first responders and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. It was named The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in honor of police detective James Zadroga who died at age 34 after working at Ground Zero. After three votes, it passed in December 2010. Steve King voted “no” three times. Tom Latham and Paul Ryan voted “no” the first two times and were absent for the December vote.

    King, Latham, and Ryan may say they care on 9/11, but their votes say otherwise.