Five years later

I don’t have anything especially profound or insightful to say about the fifth anniversary of 9/11.  You’ll have to look elsewhere for that.  If you find it, let me know.

Is anyone else a little creeped out by the fact that the weather today – a spectacularly gorgeous clear, crisp New England fall day – is almost identical to the weather five years ago?

CNN (among others, no doubt) has a list of the 9/11 victims.  The list of victims from Massachusetts fills three pages.  A lot of people from our state died that day.

This post was originally published with Soapblox and contains additional formatting and metadata.
View archived version of this post


26 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Thanks for the Links

    I knew Doug Gowell. I worked closely with him for about two years at Polaroid Graphics Imaging. About the nicest guy you would ever meet.

    It wasn't until I received my first Ulowell alum newsletter after 9/11 that I learned he was also Ulowell grad like me (about five years ahead of me). Believe me, I was shocked to see his picture in the newsletter and learn that he died on one of the jets.

  2. Hard to believe

    five years have gone by.  My next door neighbor's daughter was a flight attendant on Flight 11.  I don't know how her parents survived that day.  They built a beautiful garden in the back yard in her memory. 

    It's so sad that 9/11 has been so abused.  Instead of tranquility and remembrance (which my neighbor achieved with a simple garden), we have an unrelated war with far more deaths than what occurred on that day. 

    • following up on what you said

      The saddest thing about the fact that 9/11 has been so exploited is the fact that I don't feel as though we, as a nation, can really afford to stop and smell the roses and mourn once again. The administration will just snatch at the opportunity to convince tens of thousands of more voters that Iraq is somehow metaphorically linked to 9/11 - we need to get them there so we don't have them here rhetoric - that people are more likely to succomb to at this time of year.

      Furthermore, I bitterly detest the notion that Republicans think this is an issue they should get more points on. Hello!? Have a little respect for the dead! You don't need to look any further than that new Disney/ABC miniseries that is trying to distort the record and blame 9/11 on Bill Clinton. It's disgusting political manuevering and if I have a choice between not recognizing 9/11 at all - or giving the chance to Republicans to somehow blame all this on Democrats, I pick the first. I'd rather 9/11 be forgotten than exploited. 

      Sorry to hit such a touchy subject. I know talking about 9/11 in these terms is never going to win anyone a lot of points. I just think it's an important point and the Republicans must be stopped before - over the next decade - they actually prevail.

  3. I found it

    Here's someone who does: telling the story, getting it right.

    P.S. If you want more people to read that, rate it up on reddit.

  4. Chuck

    Thanks for posting this. One of my scuba instructors, Chuck Jones also died on flight 11. The photo on the page you linked to has him smiling in the sun with his scuba gear on. It is the way I like to remember him. Before entering civilian life Chuck was a Colonel in the Air Force and a shuttle astronaut (though he never flew as his mission was cancelled following the 1986 Challenger accident).

  5. My 2,996 Tribute

    I posted here back in May that D. Challanger Rowe was setting up a blog effort called The 2,996.  You signed up and were given the data on a single person - and on 9/11 - we would all post about that ONE person, that ONE face.

    Here is mine:


    Almost 3,000 different blogs are all participating as a memorial.

    Ryan - I hope you take your own advice and remain apolitical today.

    • Apolitical

      Oh, Peter, I just wish every American had comported themselves apolitically in the wake of this tragedy. What a lost opportunity for national healing and unity.

      Yes, you know exactly who I'm talking about.

      • Pub - I can't control the whole world. Only me.

        And I'm sorry, but it IS appropriate to have the President attend a memorial on such an anniversary.

        It's a Rohrsach thing - if Gore were President and wanted to reclaim the House, would that then be OK?

        You don't like the incumbent.  Fair enough.  But I haven't heard any politicizing done - except by disgrunted BMG members, who choose to read conspiracy into it.

        Are you among those that A.) believe that the government blew up the WTC/Prntagon, and b.) did so in time for the mid-term elections five years hence?  (if we WERE gonna do that, we'd have blown them up in October!)

        It's like the poster who complains that 9/11 'revived GWB's failed Presidency'.  NOBODY'S Presidency has failed only 9 months into it!

        BTW - becuse I know you are a sharp tack - did you notice that the Manning vs. Manning football game did TWICE the controversial documentary in the Nielsen ratings?

        • GWB's Non-Partisan memorial

          included the Republican governor of New York, the Republican mayor of NYC, and the Republican former mayor of NYC, but neither of New York's senators. The man does nothing that is not a political event.

        • No problem with W doing events around 5th anniversary

          But there are a few problems:

          hoping to invade Iraq pre-9/11/01 and then using the attacks as a bogus rationale;

          sending Colin Powell to make untrue case on WMD to UN and the world (take your pick: deceitful sales job, incompetent intelligence, or some of both);

          miserable lack of planning for post-Saddam Iraq, as Rummy's hobby horse of military transformation becomes reason not to use enough troops (assuming that the invasion was going to happen anyhow);

          sliming the character of men who had fought and bled for their country -- Cleland, Kerry, Murtha, and yes, McCain -- for one's own political ends;

          odd coincidence of terror alert levels rising at politically convenient times in 2002 and 2004, and now new rhetorical drive on terror as 2006 mid-terms approach;

          over 2,600 dead American soldiers and many times that horribly wounded and maimed;

          untold tens of thousands of Iraqi dead and wounded;

          unprecedented claims of executive and governmental power to imprison and even torture people for indefinite periods without trial;

          unprecedented claims of power to spy on American citizens;

          hundreds of billions spent on Iraq war without making basic improvements in homeland security;

          America's political capital in the world post 9/11 squandered and its "soft power" at low ebb.

          There's more, but you get the point. There's no need to believe wacko theories about our government blowing up WTC/Pentagon to be angry at a President who has made so many tragic mistakes and who keeps going back to the well of questioning the patriotism and machismo of his political adversaries in an attempt to hold onto power, continue delivering on his core agenda of lowering taxes for the top 5% of the income bracket, and avoiding the reckoning that will come when Dems regain control of the investigative power of Congress.

          I respect true conservative philosophy, Peter. I am not a pacifist, and am rather more inclined than some of my party to support the use of American military power abroad. (For example, those on the left who argued against deposing the Taliban were simply wrong.) But I believe it is you, Mr. Porcupine, who is failing "to stand against rapscallions of all political stripes." And you, sir, are too sharp a tack to blow off my points with your characteristic wit and humor.

          May our country unite and heal and again become a source of civilization and hope in the world.

          Publius will now return to obsessing about matters closer to home.

  6. 9/11

    For my money, good words are here.  I've referenced it before, so if redundant, too bad.

    Interestingly, the financial blow suffered to the US economy was quite benign.  I've heard words to the effect of 'brought the US economy to its knees,' etc...

    It's just not true.  On 9/11, the US was already in recession--the recession started in either Q4, 2000 or Q1, 2001. (depending on where you look).  Certainly, 9/11 didn't help, but neither did it do significant damage (as percent of total economy).  Amazing to see how resiliant and big, the US economy is. 

  7. Why did the 19 do it?

    Any thoughts?

  8. turn off your televisions

    One of the best ways to honor the lives of the people who died on 9/11 is to turn off your television today. The media is hyping up their coverage and pumping fear and propaganda. Turn it off. Have a moment of peace.

  9. I agree

    Maybe that is the best way to recognize and give proper respect to what happened - by not letting those who have an agenda, like Disney/ABC, have their way with it.

  10. Excellent post

    I hate to turn this into a political thing, but George W. Bush is out there today, trying to wrap himself in the memory of 9/11.

    Bush is trying to relive his finest moment, that day when he stood atop the pile and everyone there thought we had discovered a national leader.  Then watch where the support eroded first.  The more of an impact from 9/11, the deeper and faster decline in Bush's approval rating.  It would be interesting to run a correlation between 9/11 deaths/per 100000 residents against the state's vote for Bush in 04, or his current approval ratings.

    The people who are supporting Bush's vision of national security seem to be the ones who are the furthest from the threat and the furthest from the risk.

  11. CNN Pipeline

    CNN Pipeline is free today, and they are broadcasting the original 9/11/01 footage real time all day long. Just an FYI.

  12. It revived Dubya's presidency

    In addition to all the sorrow, horror, anger, etc., that the memory of 9/11 evokes, I also think that it's important to remember that Dubya's presidency was tanking until the horrific event revived it, by providing him and his proxies with the vehicle that works best for demogogues - fear.

    Hopefully, fear won't be the driving factor for voters this November that it was in the 2004 elections.....


    By my count we've got about 50% purely 9/11 related comments and about 50% anti-Bush or otherwise highly left-partisan comments, as well as a few not easily categorized.  I'll tip the scale the wrong way and go political:

    First off, it seems hypocritical to spend 50% of effort waxing partisanly about partisanship over 9/11.

    Second, you do yourself a great disservice if you think that the entire republican apparatus is using 9/11 as a political chip.  You should carefully consider that many or even most of the people who disagree with you about the implications of 9/11, Iraq, etc, actually believe what they say they believe.

    Perhaps you can see them as people who believe differently than you rather than people who exploit a tragedy to foment evil.

    Have a nice day.

    • Tell it to Max Cleland...

      ...who lost three limbs fighting for this country, and was thanked for it by being slimed by the Republican lie machine as being too soft in defense of America.

      Yes, there are sincere and legitimate differences of opinion about foreign and defense policy in our nation. But it's somewhere between laughable and appalling to have Republicans tsk tsking us about politiciziation of 9/11. Last time I checked, Democrats weren't the ones using autographed 9/11 photos as fundraising premiums.

      • A helpful suggestion

        It might be better for Democrats to figure out how to run an effective campaign rather than whine and complain that the Republicans didn't play fair.

        Cleland was a Democrat in a not very Democratic state, and would have been vulnerable in any event.  While the ads that ran against him were awful, he was made vulnerable on the issue by the party leadership that chose to thwart legislation that was widely viewed as extremely important as a sop to the civil service unions.  They paid the price for this miscalculation.

        One hopes that in 2006, the strategy is not another round of begging the other side "Please don't hurt me."

        • I mostly agree with you

          My point was the limited one that you yourself made: "the ads against him were awful."

          My post was about who was trying to take partisan advantage of 9/11, not about how to win campaigns.

      • I've not seen the ads

        ... can you post a link?

        Also, it doesn't make sense to me that just because Max fought bravely for his country and took massive injuries in combat, then he is automatically above questioning on national defense... 

        I think this is something the dems got wrong on Kerry and continue to misunderstand:  strong on national defense comes from strong positions on national defense, not from past military service or personal sacrifice.

  14. Even if you cannot attend in person...

    you might want to know about this positive Boston 9/11 event. It's happening in remembrance of those who died on 9/11/01 as well as on other days as victims of violence, and also to show support for the living: Boston PEACE MARCH IN MEMORY OF HERMAN TAYLOR III.

    United for Justice with Peace is another great movement and community resource that has info about today's march and gathering in Grove Hall along with lots other info about working together for peace and justice.

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Wed 17 Dec 7:41 PM