This Is Long Overdue

Yesterday Fox News reported that President Trump has awarded the posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla. Rick Rescorla was one of the heroes of September 11, 2001. This medal is long overdue.

The article reports:

The U.K.- born Rescorla worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley, which had its headquarters in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 bomb attack on the Trade Center, Rescorla designed and implemented evacuation drills to prepare employees for another attack.

Rescorla was born in Cornwall and served in the British army in Cyprus. He also worked as a policeman in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before coming to America at the age of 24. He enlisted in the Army and fought in Vietnam before leaving active duty in 1967. He then studied at the University of Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in English. He also earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University and taught at the University of South Carolina. He retired from the Army in 1990.

The article continues:

After the first plane hit the towers on 9/11, Rescorla ordered Morgan Stanley employees to get out of the South Tower and ignore building announcements telling people to stay at their desks. As he directed workers in the stairwells, Rescorla went right on singing his hymns. One of Rescorla’s last phone calls was to his close friend, Dan Hill, who he had known since his days in Rhodesia. Rescorla told Hill to get to New York to help with the aftermath of the attack.

The article concludes:

Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs on the 10th floor of the South Tower. He is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people that day. He was 62 when he died.

Rescorla’s wife Susan, who has spent the last 18 years preserving her late husband’s memory, accepted the honor from Trump.

“Of all the accolades… and all the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man than I had during our short time while he was here on earth,” she said. Susan and Rick had been married for fewer than three years at the time of his death.

In his remarks, the president recalled Rescorla’s last words to his wife, spoken in a phone call from the South Tower: “I’ve never felt better in my life. I love you so.”

For more of Rick Rescorla’s story, see the article posted here on September 10, 2008.

Remembering The Children

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article telling the stories of some of the children who lost their parents in the September 11 terror attacks.

The article reports:

For the widows of 9/11, some of whom were profiled by The Post on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, some had no choice but to put their grief aside in order to raise their families. As for the babies they were expecting and the newborns they cradled in their arms: Now turning 18, they’ve grown up dreaming of a parent they’ve only heard about.

“I believe he’s up there, helping me with my success,” says Allison Lee, born two days after her father, Dan, was killed in the terrorist attacks. Next month, she’ll move to Los Angeles, where her father grew up, to begin a dance program.

Allison says she can picture him giving her a thumbs-up, just as he’d done in the photos she’s seen. “I know he’d be telling me, ‘You’ve got this. Don’t give up on your dream.’”

The article continues:

NYPD detective Joseph Vigiano had just three months with his infant son, John, before he ran into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, trying to rescue the people trapped inside. Their father-son time was short, but precious.

“I have a picture I took of John sleeping on Joe [on] the couch,” says his wife, Kathy, who met Joseph when they were police officers stationed in Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct and is now retired from the force. “I guess that’s the best bonding you could do with an infant.”

With his older boys, Joseph Jr. and Jimmy, Joseph was a hands-on dad, says Kathy, now 54 and living on Long Island. He made his sons mini NYPD uniforms, cutting up one of his leather belts to fashion holsters that held flashlights and other tools.

…Although Kathy’s youngest child grew up without knowing his father, he says he’s felt his presence all his life. “He’s looking out over me,” John, now 18, says. When he learned his dad started a lacrosse league with the NYPD, he took up the sport, playing it throughout his time at St. Anthony’s High School. Now, a Marine Transportation major at SUNY Maritime in the Bronx, John says he’s doing everything he can to make his dad proud.

That includes his aspirations for service: His late uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather were all FDNY firefighters. When John finishes at SUNY Maritime, he intends on applying to both the NYPD and the FDNY.

“[My dad] pursued the things that he was passionate about, and earned the respect of the people around him while doing it,” John says. “He would be proud of me looking to better myself.”

The article continues:

Early in September 2001, Dan Lee was preparing for one last business trip before his daughter’s birth. He and his wife, Kellie, had even picked out a name: Allison.

“I remember him talking to her through my belly before he left,” says Kellie, now 50.

In Boston on Sept. 11, Dan boarded American Airlines Flight 11 for the trip home to Los Angeles. It never arrived — diverted by terrorists into the north tower of the World Trade Center, killing all those aboard and, after a second plane hit the south tower, some 2,600 others in the towers and on the ground.

Allison was born on Sept. 13. In the couple of days that followed, the hospital placed Kellie on suicide watch.

“I just felt hollow,” says Kellie, who also had a 2-year-old daughter, Amanda, at home. “But I had babies to take care of.”

With time, the family began to heal. They moved to Las Vegas, where Kellie remarried, and her second husband, Chris, came to be like a father to the girls. Every Sept. 11, the family visits Dan’s favorite restaurant, Islands, which has an outpost in Vegas. And while her sister has vague memories of their father, it was different for Allison. “All you get are stories,” Allison says.

…Allison, who’ll move to Los Angeles next month to study at the Millennium Dance Complex, says that dancing helps her deal with the loss that’s shaped her life.

“Anything I’m feeling, I can express through dance,” she says. In 2016, she and her dance troupe performed a tribute to Sept. 11, with her family’s story woven throughout the interpretation. It was an emotional experience, she says.

“Once we danced through it, I realized a whole part of me is missing,” she says. “It helped me process it.”

Most days, though, the strongest feeling she has when she thinks about Sept. 11 is one of gratitude, for her mom.

“I think about how strong she was to go through that and still do all these things for us,” Allison says. “She’s the most positive person I know.”

And finally:

There are signs that Joseph Reina is deeply connected to his late father, Joe.

Joe was an operations manager for Cantor Fitzgerald, working on the 101st floor of the north tower when the planes hit. His wife, Lisa, was almost 8 months pregnant. She gave birth to Joseph in a haze on Oct. 4, still dreaming, she says, that her husband would find his way home.

…Lisa still sees her son look up and smile, although she’s yet to tell him what happened to his father: Joseph, who’s on the autism spectrum and has difficulty communicating, wouldn’t be capable of comprehending the tragedy, Lisa says.

But she sometimes feels she doesn’t need to tell him. “He just has a feeling,” she says.

She saw the strong physical resemblance between Joseph and his father — “the kind of guy who could light up a room” — as early as her baby’s first Christmas, when she took his picture and saw his daddy’s funny smile. Back then, Lisa didn’t know how she was going to raise him alone.

These are just a few of the stories. To many American children, the events of September 11th are something in history books (if they are told there). They are too young to remember the horror and uncertainty of that day. Before 9/11 there were supposed to be rules of war–attacking civilian targets was considered uncivilized. In a sense, 9/11 ended that myth.

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.

Using The American Court System Against Americans

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a ruling by Federal Judge Anthony Trenga.

The article reports:

Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee ruled on Wednesday that the US government’s watchlist of over 1 million people violates the Constitutional rights of those placed on the list.

Terror-tied CAIR [Counsel on American Islamic Relations] filed the lawsuit in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of the US government’s terror watchlist which currently has over 1 million people in a database the FBI has labeled “known or suspected terrorists.”

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror funding case in US history, and they are now trying to force the US government to dissolve a list of people deemed to be dangerous terrorists.

The article includes an portion of an AP report:

The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies. Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the government’s no-fly list.

The watchlist has grown significantly in size over the years. As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit. In 2013, the number was only 680,000. The vast majority are foreigners, but according to the government, there are roughly 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the watchlist as well as of 2017.

First of all, I would like to point out that people who are not American citizens do not have Constitutional rights. The American Constitution applies to Americans. CAIR was named an an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case (the largest terror funding case in US history). If you are unfamiliar with the case, please look up the government exhibits in the case. Those exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to use the freedoms we have as Americans to undermine our government. CAIR has many questionable ties to groups that do not have the best interests of America as a priority. CAIR has been using our court system against us for years. If this ruling stands, Americans will be less safe. We are slowly sinking back into the naivete that we had before September 11, 2001.

Our Representatives Need To Speak More Carefully

The New York Post today posted an article about some recent comments by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding the events of September 11, 2001.

Congresswoman Omar recently stated the following in a speech she made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month– “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–before September 11, 2001. Second of all, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial. That is the trial where the government exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to undermine the government of America. The government exhibits are on line. Please look them up if you haven’t yet looked at them.

Meanwhile, The New York Post today posted an article that I believe is the correct answer to Congresswoman’s statement.

The article states:

On 9/11/01 my son, firefighter Jimmy Riches was murdered along with close to 3,000 American citizens by Muslim terrorists.

I rushed to Engine 4 in Lower Manhattan when I heard what was happening. That’s where my son worked.

As I came over the Brooklyn Bridge, the towers had both already fallen. All the rigs at the firehouse were gone, so I knew they were all at the World Trade Center.

When I got there, I saw the death and destruction — people lying there dead and mangled.

We picked up the bodies and saw how gruesome it was. Those people died a horrible death.

We were there for 9 months picking up body parts, pieces.

We found my son’s body six months later, March 5, 2002. He was at the North Tower. We got to bury him.

People talk about closure, but that’s not closure. I’ll never get closure until my son walks through that door again.

It was the worst day for me, to lose my son and all those other people. They went to work that day to help people and they ended up murdered.

My son died doing his job, helping others in distress. The American public said NEVER FORGET 9/11!

Now, we have people who were working down there getting sick and dying. It hasn’t ended.

Congresswoman Omar owes a lot of people an apology. Unfortunately Congresswoman Omar represents her district. She will probably be in the House of Representatives for a while. This is what happens when immigration without assimilation is allowed.

The Teardrop Memorial

This is an update of an article that was originally posted on September 11, 2009:

Remembering 911

Above are pictures of the Teardrop Memorial, Russia’s gift to the United States in memory of 911. The monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated on September 11, 2006, by President Clinton.   It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey, at a place where the twin towers were visible.   To read the entire story of the monument and how it came to rest there, please follow the link to 911monument.com.  The website tells the story of what inspired the monument and how it came to be.  I stumbled on this monument in an article at the American Thinker posted on September 7, 2009, and visited the monument when I was in New Jersey for a High School reunion.

The Day Before

This is an updated version of an article I posted on September 10, 2008:

Today is September 10, 2018. Seventeen years ago, it was the day before. We were all going about our business, enjoying a beautiful fall, and making plans for the future. I wonder, if we could have seen into the future, is there anything we would have done differently that day.

There was one man who was living in a different world than the rest of us–even on September 10. His name was Rick Rescorla. He was the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a brokerage house with 2,700 employees in the World Trade Center in the south tower on floors forty-four through seventy-four and 1,000 employees in Building Five across the plaza. Because of the foresight of this man, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost only six employees in the bombing of the World Trade Center. His story is told on his website, RickRescorla.com.

Rick felt strongly that the terrorists who had attempted the first World Trade Center bombing would try again. He asked his company executives to move from the towers, but the company’s lease went until 2006. Rick held evacuation drills on a regular basis in spite of the grumbling of his fellow employees. Every few months all 2,700 employees would march down the stairs and out of the building in an evacuation drill. On September 11, 2001, by the time the second airplane hit the second tower, most of the company’s employees were already out of the building. There were three employees missing, and Rick and two other people went back into the building to find them.   All six were killed when the building collapsed.¹

I tell this story today for two reasons. First, Rick Rescorla is a hero whose foresight saved many lives. Second, Rick Rescorla understood that there were terrorists who wanted to destroy America even before there was a “war on terror”. We need to think back to September 10, 2001, and remember what our innocence was like and the price we paid for it. Thank God for a man who chose not to be innocent.

  1. Most of the information in the above two paragraphs is from the book BREAKDOWN by Bill Gertz (subtitled “How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11”).

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.

The Truth Has A Way Of Showing Up

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the early intelligence reports regarding the attack at the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi. Michael Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, wrote a book entitled The Great War of Our Time.

The article in The Daily Caller quotes his book:

In Morell’s 2015 book The Great War of Our Time, he writes that while the CIA knew “the demonstration and violence in Cairo were sparked by people upset over a YouTube video,” intelligence “analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks.” (p. 205-206).

It has also been shown that Mrs. Clinton told the Libyan President on the night of the attacks that Ansar as-Sharia was responsible. She also emailed her daughter stating that the attack was carried out by an “Al Qaeda-like group.” The Egyptian Prime Minister also stated on the day after the attack that the attack was not related to the video–it was a planned attack. So we are left to wonder why the American public was given an account of the events of September 11, 2012, that was very different from the facts as they were known almost immediately after the attack.

Mrs. Clinton made the following statement before the Benghazi Committee hearing last week:

When asked at last week’s Benghazi Committee hearing why she blamed the You Tube video when she knew very well it was not the cause of the attack, Clinton proclaimed, she “needed to be talking about the video.”

“None of us can speak to the individual motivations of those terrorists who overran our compound and who attacked our CIA annex. There were probably a number of different motivations,” she said, adding that the intelligence community “took the lead” in analyzing the information at the time.

“We also knew, congressman, because my responsibility was what was happening throughout the region, I needed to be talking about the video, because I needed to put other governments and other people on notice that we were not going to let them get away with attacking us, as they did in Tunis, as they did in Khartoum,” she said.

It is becoming very obvious that Mrs. Clinton has been lying about Benghazi since it occurred. It is unfortunate that she has chosen to involve other people in her lies–sending Susan Rice out to do the Sunday talk shows to spread the lies. However, even in the Obama Administration, the truth has a way of coming to the surface.

Fourteen Years Ago This Was The Night Before Our Lives Changed Forever

As we approach the anniversary of September 11, 2001, I wanted to remember that day with something positive. There was a time in 2006 when America and Russia were at least acting like friends. The story below reflects that time.

Remembering 911

aaaaasespt11This is a picture of the Teardrop Memorial, Russia’s gift to the United States in memory of 911. The monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated on September 11, 2006, by President Clinton.   It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey, at a place where the twin towers were visible.   To read the entire story of the monument and how it came to rest there, please follow the link to 911monument.com.    The website tells the story of what inspired the monument and how it came to be. This is another picture of the monument.    I stumbled on this monument in an article at the American Thinker. I visited the monument a few years ago. It is a sobering sight. You stand at the foot of the monument and look across the river at lower Manhattan to where the twin towers once stood.

911 Monument Dedication Ceremony, Sept. 11, 2006

Received In My E-Mail Today

I think this is a really good idea:

Friends,

Over the past several months we have been reaching out to you, asking that you support a National Day of Prayer and Repentance this 9/11. The response we have received is overwhelming. With over tens of thousands of people signed up, we continue to receive an outpouring of support from across the nation. We come to you as fellow Americans and believers in Christ.

As we approach the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and the first anniversary of the attacks in Benghazi, we understand that our need for the presence of God in this country is greater than ever. We continue to witness tragedies occurring within this country; the fire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters, the West Fertilizer Company plant explosion that killed 15 individuals, increasing interracial violence, murders, abductions, and much more. We need God’s presence in our country more than ever.

Christ once said, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

We need to call upon our fellow believers, fall to our knees, and seek God’s face. We have the power to change the dynamics of this country. So long as we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. It is up to us, believers in Christ and children of God, to humble ourselves, to seek God’s face, and to repent of our wicket ways.

Will you join us? Will you open up your churches, your homes, on 9/11 to those who feel called to participate? Will you pray with us for the sake of the nation?

There is a Facebook page you access to show your support. The e-mail was from World Net Daily.

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Some Strong Words From Retired Adm. James A. Lyons, Former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations

On Sunday, the Washington Times posted an article by Retired Adm. James A. Lyons, former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations, about the September 11 attack in Benghazi.

The Admiral did not mince words, and as a retired military man, he had a better understanding of how the military chain of command works than most of us have.

The article reports:

We now know why Ambassador Christopher Stevens had to be in Benghazi the night of 9/11 to meet a Turkish representative, even though he feared for his safety.  According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.”

What in the world are we doing? Didn’t we learn our lesson when we created the Taliban regime in Afghanistan?

The Admiral concludes:

Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what’s right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only in incomprehensible, it is un-American.

Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable. According to a CIA spokesperson, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.” We also need to know whether the director of CIA and the director of National Intelligence were facilitators in the fabricated video lie and the overall cover-up. Their creditability is on the line. A congressional committee should be immediately formed to get the facts out to the American people. Nothing less is acceptable.

I suspect that the truth of this event will come out after the election. It should come out before. The events of September 11 reflect very badly on the people in the Obama Administration who were making decisions that night–whoever they were. They need to be held accountable.

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