While it would be easy to default to the horrors of that day, I will leave those memories to the multitude of programs which have been and will be aired on the many radio and television programs dedicated to what has become known in its abbreviated term as 9/11. Rather, I would like to focus on the manifestations of what President Franklin Roosevelt termed "the unbounded determination of our people" in his famous Day of Infamy speech on December 8, 1941. While his commitment to "make certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again" obviously missed the mark, the changes both good and bad that have ensued over the past decade have clearly changed our lives forever. However, our commitment to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice, pick up the pieces, adjust to the circumstances, rebuild and move on clearly embodies that boundless American spirit in times of tragedy and destruction to which Roosevelt referred. It just seems to be part of our national DNA.
There is no better symbol of that quality of persistence than the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial being dedicated today, as well as the new Freedom Tower presently under construction. Not only does the new tower reflect what one person connected to the project termed a "visible symbol of survival and strength", it does so in a truly magnificent and beautiful way. It is also a tribute to our country's engineering genius in that it will withstand any future attack such as that which destroyed the twin towers ten years ago. See for yourself at http://www.nyc-tower.com/category/videos/.
And as if all that has been achieved at ground zero and the spectacular repair of the Pentagon in one year is not enough, the courage and bravery of the passengers aboard Flight 93 that caused it to plow into a Pennsylvania field instead of hitting its intended target is also being remembered with the dedication of a memorial this weekend. Thanks to childhood friends whose son was responsible for raising funds for that memorial, you can hear about it in their own words below which are included with their full permission and consent.
Dear Relatives and Friends,
At 10:03 am on September 11, 2001 United Flight 93 became the fourth plane, out of the quartet of four hijacked passenger jets, to crash in a rural area of Pennsylvania. Forty passengers on the plane made a decision to storm the cockpit in hopes of taking back control of the aircraft. Instead, through their valiant efforts, the hijackers were forced to crash the plane, killing all on board, thus bringing to a close the horrific events of 9/11/2001. At the time of the crash the plane was less than 200 miles from its intended target, our Capitol Building in Washington DC.
Next Saturday, September 10, 2011, the first part of the Flight 93 National Memorial will be dedicated near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. For the last few years our son, King Laughlin II as an employee of the National Park Foundation, has been responsible for the national effort to raise funds to complete the Memorial. Linda and I will be in attendance on September 10th and 11th at the Dedication.
For those of you who may be interested in following the Dedication events on September 10th the event will be streamed live at www.history.com/flight93 or http://www.honorflight93.org/
remember/?fa=anniversary beginning at 11:30am CDT. In addition CBS News will be broadcasting from the Flight 93 Site on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00-9:00am CDT. It is very likely that all the other networks, CNN and Fox News will carry extensive coverage of the Dedication.
You can see more about the Memorial at www.nps.org/flight93 or www.honorflight93.org or www.flight93memorial.org or www.foxnews.com/freedom August 25, 2011 program.
Fly your American Flag next weekend to honor all who gave their lives and especially to honor the Forty Souls on Flight 93 who struck the
first blow against the terrorist and saved our Nation’s Capitol.
Linda and King Laughlin
“God Bless America”