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· MassCops Angel
121,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
US marks 7th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

NEW YORK -- As the nation pauses to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the spotlight from a presidential campaign and a new memorial at the Pentagon are joining the familiar rituals of remembrance on this solemn day.
In New York, four moments of silence were planned Thursday morning to commemorate the precise times that two hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center, along with the times that each tower collapsed. Services also were to be held in a field in western Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon outside Washington, where terrorists crashed two other hijacked planes.
Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama were to pay silent respects at ground zero Thursday afternoon and later attend a city forum on public service. McCain also was scheduled to attend a memorial service in Shanksville, Pa., for the 40 people killed aboard United Airlines Flight 93.
Family members and students representing more than 90 countries that lost citizens on Sept. 11, 2001, were to read the names of the more than 2,700 people killed in New York.
Some mourners wondered if the remembrance would, or should, continue as it has indefinitely. About 3,500 people attended last year's ceremony, a roughly 25 percent decrease from 2006.
"We've kept it alive, and perhaps kept it alive too long," said Charles Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, was killed at the World Trade Center. "How many times do you reopen the wounds?"
Wolf, who lives in downtown Manhattan, attends the ceremony every year but said it has become more painful, especially to stand in silence for the moment that the plane crashed into the tower where his wife worked. "It's one thing to remember," he said, "but it's another to relive it."
Other victims' relatives worry that Sept. 11 will revert to being just another date on the calendar.
"The remembrances have to continue; for how long, I can't say," said Barbara Minervino of Middletown, N.J., whose husband, Louis, died in the twin towers. "But we have to memorialize the fact that this day happened in the history of the United States and the history of the world. The day we forget, then why are we living?"
Minervino planned to attend a noon Mass in her husband's memory after listening to the names being read during the memorial service in New York.
That service moved to a park just east of ground zero last year because of construction at the trade center site. But family members are allowed to descend seven stories below ground and touch the spot where their loved ones died.
The ceremony was to include the reading of 2,751 victims' names, one more than last year. The city restored Sneha Philip, a woman who vanished on Sept. 10, to its official death toll this year after a court ruled that she was likely killed at the trade center.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was scheduled to speak at the ceremony, as he has every year, along with officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Last year's reading by Giuliani, then a Republican presidential candidate, drew protests from family members who said the city was ill-prepared for the terrorist attacks under his leadership and questioned whether he should be there while running for the White House. They had no opposition to McCain and Obama' visit this year.
In Arlington, Va., Defense Secretary Robert Gates was scheduled to speak at a ceremony dedicating the memorial at the Pentagon, the first of three major Sept. 11 memorials to be completed.
The 2-acre park, located at the spot where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon's west wall, consists primarily of 184 cantilevered benches, each bearing a victim's name.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush were to mark the anniversary during a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. The president was then to head to the Pentagon memorial.
In Pennsylvania, bells were to toll and victims' names were being read in a reclaimed minefield in Shanksville where Flight 93 came down after passengers reportedly stormed the cockpit to thwart terrorists' plans to use that plane as a weapon like the others.
Memorials are years away from being built in Pennsylvania and New York. The stalled, complex rebuilding of office towers, a transit station and memorial at ground zero led New York Gov. David Paterson to order a reevaluation of budgets and schedules for all projects. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that owns the site, has said the planned 8-acre memorial might not completed by the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

· I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
19,100 Posts
A very sad anniversary. When the hell will the site be fixed. I've seen large buildings go up in a year or two they haven't even finished clearing the site. Is this the tribute that should be paid to those who lost their lives that day and those who died in the aftermath? I don't think so.

God Bless all those who lost their lives as a result of the actions of a bunch of fanatical maggots....and God have mercy on their souls because I'm damned if I could ever forgive them.

· MassCops Angel
121,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WTC officer remembers 9/11 attacks

By Mike Kelly
The Record

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. - In the silent corners of his meticulous mind, Alan T. DeVona knows he did the best he could at the World Trade Center on that Tuesday in September almost seven years ago.
But his heart pushes him elsewhere.
DeVona, 54, of Oradell, was the Port Authority police patrol sergeant at the command desk in the lobby of the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001, when the first of two hijacked jetliners crashed. In those early minutes, as fire and chaos spread, DeVona helped jump-start rescue efforts by dispatching squads of cops throughout the trade center complex.
Many of the cops assigned to DeVona never made it out, though. About half of the 37 Port Authority officers who perished "passed through my hands," he said.
Yet, he escaped. Today, he still wonders how.
"I should have died at least three times," he said. "I don't know why I survived."
That inescapable truth now weighs on DeVona like a thick anchor chain. Or as he noted one morning last week: "I think I'm going to be in purgatory for the rest of my life."
For seven years, DeVona declined to talk publicly about the critical and, some say, courageous role he played as a liaison between Port Authority cops and New York City police, firefighters and EMS workers. The 9/11 Commission never even asked to interview him and other key Port Authority cops, although DeVona's cool demeanor at the police desk was captured by documentary filmmakers who happened to be in the lobby that morning.
Last week, DeVona sat down with this columnist for more than five hours of interviews.
He readily concedes he suffers from survivor's guilt. He says he understands why he had to assign police to a variety of stairwells and corridors in the trade center complex on that terrible morning. He also knows those cops helped more than 20,000 office workers escape, one of the largest emergency evacuations in U.S. history.
But DeVona draws little consolation.
For seven years, he has devoted hundreds of hours to reading reports, listening to radio recordings and watching video - all in a deeply personal journey to understand what happened and to perhaps find comfort in his heart.
"I wish I could justify it to myself," he said of his survival and the guilt that followed. "I understand it intellectually. But what I feel in my heart is what I feel. It's a struggle, a constant wrestling with myself to try to find the middle ground."
He paused.
"I don't have the answer," he said.
Psychologists say many 9/11 survivors walk a similar emotional path, tracing each moment of the day, sometimes even returning to lower Manhattan just to wander streets that led them to safety.
How did they escape while someone at the next desk did not? Why did they take a safe stairwell and others took one that was blocked by debris? And, perhaps most perplexing, what can they do now with all the mixed-up feelings?
DeVona knows the confusion.
When the first tower fell, he dived under the police desk he ran in the north tower lobby. No debris struck him, but he could not see in the thick, gray smoke.
He pulled out a powerful flashlight. Others saw the beam and DeVona led them, and himself, to safety.
Later, when the second tower fell, he was curled into a fetal position on the sidewalk several blocks away. Again, no debris struck him.
After the attacks, DeVona was promoted to lieutenant. But he left the Port Authority in 2004 on an emotional disability, convinced that he no longer had the coolness needed to order cops on dangerous assignments.
Searching for solace at home, he built a small basement memorial to the 37 Port Authority officers who died at the World Trade Center. Indeed, without a central memorial at Ground Zero, many survivors such as DeVona resort to building their own.
Former Port Authority Officer Eric Bulger assembled a memorial near train tracks in Jersey City. Across North Jersey, other monuments have risen at municipal halls, churches and police stations.
DeVona's basement memorial includes a piece of stone from the trade center plaza and a red electric votive light meant to symbolize an eternal flame. On a nearby shelf, he displays the police hard hat he wore later at Ground Zero and his handcuffs - still open and unlocked, a reminder to a job undone.
"When Osama bin Laden is finally killed, I can finally close them," he said. "Until we can prove that, they remain open."
But none of these gestures worked.
Next, DeVona looked to the back yard of the Oradell home where he and his wife, Doris, raised three children. And then, he began another journey.
It was 2004. DeVona planted a holly tree, then another, then more and more.
Today, DeVona's back yard is lined with 37 Nellie Stevens holly trees, each about 8 feet tall, each planted by DeVona and named for a Port Authority police officer who perished on 9/11. He also planted three evergreens in honor of other Port Authority workers who died and a purple plum tree for all 2,749 victims.
"I dug and planted each one of them by myself," DeVona wrote in a letter to cops' families. "And while on my hands and knees, I was humbled with the thoughts of love, respect and honor for those that gave their lives in valor."
But that wasn't the end.
A former Port Authority officer, Bill Connors, gave DeVona a Celtic cross, cut from trade center steel. Another officer, Louis Solivan, gave him an oversized police badge made with steel from the towers.
DeVona put them in his back yard. But that still wasn't the end.
He designed a 24-by-18-inch brass plaque.
"Through their altruistic deeds of valor, thousands of lives were saved," the plaque says of the dead officers. "Their actions have humbled all and will never be forgotten."
One morning last week, after trying to explain why his survival guilt won't disappear, DeVona walked into his back yard. A recording by the Port Authority's police bagpipe band played "Minstrel Boy" on outdoor speakers.
DeVona stood over the plaque in silence, then placed his palms on the words.
He was silent for a few seconds, then looked up, his eyes tracing the trees he planted.
"This is how I remember," he said. "It needed to be done."

Wire Service

· Registered
361 Posts
We should also never forget another day the will live in infamy: December 7, 1941,

and we need to remind everyone that we need their support to remain ever vigilant so they do not happen again with even more catastrophic results..

· Stirrer of the Pot
4,357 Posts
On a sad note, I observed several flags at businesses that were not lowered in remembrance. :BM:

It's only been seven years, and the threat is still present. But people go on like it is any other day.

Never forget!

As I do every 9/11, I watched a DVD about the events with my Family. I highly recommend "United 93".
It saddens me to see the stats on how many Americans believe that there was a conspiracy involving the Federal Gov't. The dumbing of America is almost complete.

· Subscribing Member
1,832 Posts
Another good one is simply called "9-11." Don't know if anyone else has seen it but its the one with the French brothers who were filming a doumentary about a "probie" firefighter and just happened to be in the middle of the shit. They actually captured one of the few videos of the first tower getting hit.

Another good one is simply called "9-11." Don't know if anyone else has seen it but its the one with the French brothers who were filming a doumentary about a "probie" firefighter and just happened to be in the middle of the shit. They actually captured one of the few videos of the first tower getting hit.
That is a good one to watch. What amazing timing to be creating a documentary.

· Get off my lawn!
4,079 Posts
Another good one is simply called "9-11." Don't know if anyone else has seen it but its the one with the French brothers who were filming a doumentary about a "probie" firefighter and just happened to be in the middle of the shit. They actually captured one of the few videos of the first tower getting hit.
how about the part when they are in tower 1 when tower 2 fell, fricken crazy!

· I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
19,100 Posts
Some say it's not that great a movie, but honestly, I watched "World Trade Center" three times and teared up each time I watched it.

I, like any good American do NOT want to see our military personel face death, but By GOD, I do want to see those scumbag terrorists face certain death. Every piece of garbage who dies fighting the US in another corner of the world, is one less piece of garbage who can come here and kill our citizens. You don't wait and kill the wasps as they come to sting you, you destroy the nest and that is what George W. Bush is trying to do and DAMN these demoncrats and liberal stooges who see reality differently.

Whoa, I'm ranting again.

Bottom line, war was declared on US, now WE have to take that war to them and kill as many as possible. The Patriot Act helps find those responsible and if the government wants to listen to MY cell phone calls, I have no problem with it because I know they'll stop in no time since there's nothing there.

Reality sucks, and reality might save some INNOCENT lives.

Better I stop here before I make this a thesis.

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