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.

When Global Warming Just Doesn’t Work

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about what seems to be a recurring event.

The article reports:

Arctic tours ship MS MALMO with 16 passengers on board got stuck in ice on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and North Pole. The ship is on Arctic tour with Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with Climate Change and melting Arctic ice. All 16 Climate Change warriors were evacuated by helicopter in challenging conditions, all are safe. 7 crew remains on board, waiting for Coast Guard ship assistance.

The article reminds us of previous incidents:

In May 2009 two global warming activists were hoping to reach Greenland’s polar ice cap in a solar and wind powered yacht.

Unfortunately, they ran into cold and stormy weather and had to be rescued by an oil tanker.

In December 2013 a Russian expedition ship carrying global warming scientists got stuck in ice. And a Chinese ice breaker sent to rescue the scientists got stuck in the ice just miles away.

I love the irony.

The climate is always changing. There are plant fossils under the ice in Greenland, an indication that the climate there was much warmer in a previous period of the earth’s history. There are sea fossils under the American southwest deserts, indicating that the area was under water at some point. There is an area in eastern North Carolina that is a great place to collect fossilized shark teeth, indicating that at some point it was under water. The planet is always changing. It is pure ego for man to believe that he is important enough to be in charge of weather. We have an obligation to keep the planet as clean as possible, but we also have an obligation to balance that obligation with the well being of the people who live on the planet.

The Coast Guard Will Get Paid

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Concerned about U.S. Coast Guard forces losing a paycheck in the partial government shutdown, President Trump personally urged his team to find a solution that would allow the administration to make this week’s $75 million payroll, according to officials.

Trump stepped in on Wednesday, calling on top lawyers and staffers to determine if the Coast Guard could make payroll despite being included in the shutdown that has impacted about 25 percent of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.

Military personnel under the Department of Defense are not included in the shutdown, because their appropriations were approved earlier in Congress.

Officials said that Trump was keen to find a “way we can fix this” as news media stories about the Coast Guardsmen’s plight started to pile up.

At his urging, the Office of Management and Budget, DHS and the Coast Guard determined that the rules governing pay to Coast Guard forces requires it be made through the end of the year. To make it, the lawyers said that unused funding could be tapped for pay. The service had a bit more than the needed $75 million left over from its past continuing resolution appropriation, enough to make this month’s last payroll check.

“The president is trying to make the shutdown as painless as possible for workers, and this case proved it,” said an official.

Remember that only 1/4 of the government is shut down because President Trump had the forethought to get the rest of the budget passed previously. The Democrats (who in the past voted for a fence (a.k.a. wall) have changed their minds and shut down the government because President Trump wants a wall. At least President Trump is attempting to make the shutdown as painless as possible while Representative Nancy Pelosi (who should be in Washington negotiating) vacations in Hawaii.