“On September 11th 1973, US-backed General Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvadore Allende. Pinochet ordered an air strike on the Presidential Palace, labor activists and famous folk guitarists were rounded up for torture, disappeared, and killed. Pinochet converted the national football stadium into a detention facility like Guantanamo Bay. Chile’s economy was turned into a plantation for the 1%, as inequality and poverty skyrocketed under the imposed Milton Friedman-style economic model.
Over 40,000 Chileans became victims of Pinochet’s terror. In response, the Nixon administration committed more money, more training, more torture equipment.
The world didn’t begin on September 11th, 2001. Rather, for the first time in modern history, Americans were visited by the same violence the US has imposed since its creation. In Chile, the US murdered tens of thousands and impoverished millions. This wasn’t America’s first foray in international terrorism, nor would it be the last. The United States security state is a terrorist and a plague on the people of the world.”
My uncle had a job interview at 8:30am in New York City inside the first tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 (I know, what are the odds). On the train ride into the city, around 7:45, my uncle received a phone call from the boss saying the interview was moved until 10 am. When my uncle got into the city, he decided to have lunch around Penn Station and wait until 10 for his interview. At 8:46 AM, the first plane hit the tower he was supposed to be in. If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.
What i’m trying to get at is we have to start counting our blessings and stop taking simple luxuries like family and relationships for granted. Everyone tonight, especially Americans, should reflect on the 3,000 innocent lives lost on that horrific day, and realize that it could have been YOUR family inside of that tower, jumping 70+ stories onto solid concrete because the idea of sudden impact sounded a lot better than burning to death. Don’t take family for granted, don’t take life for granted, and please realize how fortunate you are that it wasn’t you or your family inside those buildings. And if it was your family, just know you are in my, and millions of Americans prayers tonight.
James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy. After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love. She darted away into the darkened hallway. Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later, Daisy comes back along with James’ boss, Who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112
On her first run of the building, she leads James, James’ boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building. But she wasn’t through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James’ wishes she ran back in the building. On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses. James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears. Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. “She led us right to the people, before she got injured” the fireman explained. Her final run saved another 273 lives. She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.
(probably not a true story but it made you cry didn’t it?)
Pass it on to all animal lovers Rob Lowry’s photo.
Al-Qaida spent about $500,000 executing the 9/11 terror attacks. The U.S. government has spent up to $5 trillion fighting back. One expert estimated we’re spending about $400 million per life saved.
In other words, for every dollar the bad guys spent, we lost 10 million. And that’s not even counting the money lost due to the economic slump that followed. That, friends, is one hell of a return on an investment. Also: The 9/11 attacks killed 2,996 people. The response has killed 224,475 and displaced another 7.8 million refugees….
Keep in mind, a tsunami killed a quarter-million people in 2004, and another one killed 16,000 people in 2011, but neither caused us to refer to a “post-tsunami world.” Only terrorism can utterly dominate our thinking that way.
I refuse to share an image of what it once was or the devastating attack that took place 14 years ago tomorrow. Rather, I will share an image of what it is today, what it stands for, and remember all of those who we have lost and those who rushed to the destruction to help while others ran away.
I’ll share this tonight because tomorrow I can’t bring myself to watch the news or be surfing the internet - only to see loops of billowing fire and the worlds of others crumbling to the ground. My eyes well-up and my chest feels heavy even thinking about it.
My dad lost around 30 friends in the firefighter community that day and has not returned to NYC since.
Take a moment today to be thankful, to be appreciative, to be kind. Take a moment to spread love to the people in your life - even if you already tell them every day. Hold the door for the woman carrying too many bags. Buy a water for the homeless man begging on the corner. Listen to a new song and whistle along to it while you walk down the sidewalk or drive in the car. Because you’re still here. Too many people died for no reason that day, but you’re still here. We complain about the most stupid things every single day, but we’re still here.
Remember that those we have lost will live on through you setting the example and being the best version of yourself. They will live on through your remembrance, your kindness, your open mind, your one small act of good-doing that could set-off a chain reaction of even more good-doing. So do it.
We can’t rewind. We can’t bring any of them back. But we can, through remembrance, make this world a much better place. And we can do it for them and for us and for those in the future.