Sometimes We Forget That Manhattan Is An Island

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some of the unsung heroes of September 11, 2001.

The article reports:

On this year’s anniversary, one relatively unsung 9/11 story deserves retelling. It is the story of ordinary citizens who risked their lives to save more than a half-million people trapped at the southern tip of lower Manhattan — a rescue effort that would become the largest water evacuation in recorded history.

After the first of the Twin Towers collapsed, there was widespread confusion and panic. We were suddenly at war. We didn’t know what was coming next. Tunnels, bridges and highways leading out of the island of Manhattan were shut down.

There had never been a plan for how to conduct a mass evacuation from the most populous city in America — that was unthinkable. For the first time in more than 100 years, the only way on or off the island was by boat.

And then unexpected saviors came to the rescue: American mariners.

It started slowly as random boats and ferries already in the water voluntarily turned around and started loading people, as many as possible. It was instinct at work — patriotic Americans not wanting to leave each other stranded and vulnerable to whatever was coming next.

But the initial fleet of boats could fit only so many. The US Coast Guard, our nation’s maritime first responders, knew it had to organize. Officers got on the radio and called out to all nearby mariners: “Come help!”

And come they did. Tugs, party boats, water taxis — if it could float, it was steaming toward lower Manhattan, despite the risk of additional terror attacks and exposure to smoke and debris.

These mariners simply were not going to leave anyone behind. They loaded up as many individuals as could fit, dropped them off and sailed right back to the island, over and over again, all day and into the night.

In all, nearly 500,000 people were evacuated that day, more than the 339,000 rescued at Dunkirk. Some 150 different vessels, crewed by more than 800 American mariners, improvised and successfully executed this extraordinary feat of bravery.

Long-standing maritime traditions — safety, commitment, courage — guided these heroes.

Long-standing maritime traditions — safety, commitment, courage — guided these heroes.

Men like Vincent Ardolino of Brooklyn, captain of the Amberjack V, who passed away last year but whose stirring words can still be heard in the 2011 Tom Hanks-narrated documentary “Boatlift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience” as he recalls what could’ve been his final farewell to his wife: “I’ve got to go do something … I’m going to take the Amberjack up into the city and help … I have to do what I have to do … Even if I rescue one person, that’s one person less that will suffer or die.”

America’s maritime industry is accustomed to working in quiet anonymity to protect the nation and keep the economy moving. Yet, to those familiar with us, the actions of men like Vincent Ardolino on Sept. 11, 2011, come as no surprise.

In times of war and in times of peace, the American mariner will step up to serve without thinking twice.

And on that awful day, their aid — like that of so many brave first-responders — proved indispensable.

Fact is, this nation is blessed with many heroes willing to rush to help their neighbor, even at risk to themselves and without any desire to be singled out for their heroism.
Our mariners demonstrated that with crystal clarity on 9/11. As a maritime nation, we should count ourselves fortunate.

We are grateful to have such people as our fellow Americans.

There Is Something Upside Down About The Charges Made Here

CNS News posted an article today about  a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports what Speaker Pelosi said in a statement issued Sunday:

“Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” of Rep. Omar’s comment.”

This is the full statement:

“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

So what is this disrespectful and dangerous video? It is simply a video of Congresswoman Omar stating that “CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11 because they realized that some people did something.”

So wait a minute. I am missing something here. First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–not after 9/11. Second of all, how is showing a video of a person making a speech disrespectful and dangerous? The Congresswoman has stood by her words–she has not apologized for them or backed down in any way. Why is the video disrespectful and dangerous when it simply shows Congresswoman Omar making a speech? If the video is not edited in any way (no one is arguing that it was altered), whose speech is dangerous–the one saying the words or the one reporting the words? Is the problem with the speaker or the one reporting the speech?

The Role Of Iran In 9/11

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the role of Iran in the September 11 terror attack on America.

The article reports:

Iranian officials, in a first, have admitted to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. by secretly aiding the free travel of al Qaeda operatives who eventually went on to fly commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City, according to new remarks from a senior Iranian official.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran’s judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language remarks broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television that Iranian intelligence officials secretly helped provide the al Qaeda attackers with passage and gave them refuge in the Islamic Republic, according to an English translation published by Al Arabiya.

“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” Larijani was quoted as saying.

The remarks represent the first time senior Iranian officials have publicly admitted to aiding al Qaeda and playing a direct role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks.

This is really not a surprise–Iran and Saudi Arabia have often been cited as the two major financiers of terrorism. It is truly unfortunate that as part of the Iran nuclear deal, America paid Iran $400 million in cash which has been used to further the cause of terrorism around the world. The argument can be made that the money was simply Iran’s frozen assets in America (with interest), but the fact remains that the money has been and will be used to fund terrorism and weapons to be used against American soldiers.

My Daughter Who Was Living In New York City On September 11, 2001, Posted This On Facebook Today

Never Forget seems like a funny slogan to those of us who couldn’t forget if we wanted to. How about Always Remember?

Always remember the first responders that run to danger while the rest of us run away.

Always remember to hug your loved ones because you never know when they will leave this beautiful earth.

Always remember that there are people working very hard at this moment to keep you safe.

Always remember that every day you spend on earth is a blessing and should be treated as such.

I will spend today in a state of gratitude and remembrance.