By Douglas V. Gibbs
, Radio Host
For the young adults who are newer to the world of adulthood, 9/11 is not as much a memory as it is something that happened when they were little kids, or not born yet. For them it is pictures in a history book; a tragic day in the history of the United States that means to them not a whole much more than Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) did to us, as kids. However, for us older folks, we remember exactly where we were, and what we were doing, on that horrible day.
◎ My memory of September 11, 2001
In California I was on my way to a construction jobsite, listening to CDs, when the events transpired. When I got to the site, a fellow construction worker there to help repair our equipment after a break-down, asked, “Did you hear what happened in New York?”
“No, what happened?” I asked.
“A plane,” he said, “flew into some skyscrapers. Nobody knows why, but one guy on the radio was saying that he believed it was deliberate.”
More and more information leaked to us as the day proceeded, and it became more apparent as the hours passed that not only were the events deliberate, but that they were an act of war.
I listened to the radio all the way home, receiving a little information here and there, but never really understanding the severity of the attacks, or the reality that it was Islamic terrorism.
When I got home, my front door was open. The day was warm, and my wife left the door open to let the air in. As I stepped up on my front porch, and peered into my living room, my eyes caught the television screen. The image was one of a plane flying into an already smoking pair of towers. It was then that I realized the terror of what had happened. My heart crawled into my throat, and my eyes welled up in tears.
What I was witnessing was an attack against America.
I have always been one in tune with politics. If any of my friends ever had a political question, I was the guy they came to. In high school I used to spend my lunches arguing politics with a friend. Often, crowds formed to watch the debate. After high school, I served in the United States Navy, and was medically honorably discharged as a result of an injury incurred in the line of duty. I served aboard a guided missile destroyer (USS Chandler, DDG-996) and a tank landing ship (USS Peoria, LST-1183).
When the September 11 attacks happened, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to understand my anger, and pain. I was, to the surprise of most people I know, speechless. At one point I even attempted to get back into the military, but my injuries were severe enough that I was unable to return to military service.
◎ My Visit to Ground Zero
In 2002 my wife and I visited Ground Zero in New York City. I bought a hat with an image of the twin towers, and the words “Never Forget,” on it. A small painting with the firemen hoisting the American Flag was on sale nearby, and I bought that too.
When I walked up to the green fencing surrounding the hole that used to be the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never seen the Twin Towers in person. This was my first trip to the northeast, and it happened to be thirteen months after the September 11 attacks. I peered through a hole that had been torn in the green fabric on the construction fencing, and as I looked down I witnessed a huge hole with twisted subway tracks at the bottom. To my left, on a building that had sustained a little damage, hung a giant mural of the American Flag, and the words “Never Forget.”
A man standing beside me looked through the hole in the fencing as I pulled away from it. After he spent a few moments looking through the hole, I said, “I never saw what they looked like.”
“You mean the towers?” he asked.
“Yeah, the World Trade Center. This is my first trip to New York. I am from Los Angeles, and I never saw what the towers looked like.”
The man lowered his eyes, and said, “The New York skyline is not the same. They dominated the skyline. It’s not the same.”
“Were they tall?” I asked.
“They towered over the other skyscrapers. Now, when you are outside the city, and you look towards the city, you can tell that something is missing. The skyline is not the same.”
We were silent for a moment, then he asked, “Have you seen the Statue of Liberty?”
“Yes,” I replied. “This morning. She’s beautiful.”
My eyes began to well up with tears as I recounted the experience of meeting Lady Liberty for the first time, even though I couldn’t get close enough to touch her, or go inside, because of heightened security.
“Yes,” he said, “she is lovely.”
“I was at the Arlington Cemetery yesterday. Saw the Statue of Liberty this morning. Then we came here.”
The man turned to face me, his eyes were wet. “I worked in the towers,” he said. “I was running late to work, that morning. I watched the planes fly into the towers from my car. I was supposed to be in them that morning. The towers, I mean. I haven’t been back here since. Today is my first visit to the hole that once was the twin towers since it happened.
“I lost a lot of friends, that day,” he continued. “People were running in all directions. We didn’t know what to think. We just knew that what was happening was horrible. When the second plane flew into the tower, I knew it was no accident. They meant to do this. They meant to kill thousands of people.
“It only took a couple hours for the towers to fall. I was far enough away so I wasn’t in danger, but the white cloud after they fell was horrendous. The smoke and dust covered the entire city. It seemed like there was no escape. The people. All of those people in the towers. All of those people in the streets near the towers. They were dead. All of them. They were dead.”
I didn’t know what to say, but as I looked around I noticed that we were no longer alone. A group of about twenty people had surrounded us, listening to the man tell me about the day the towers fell. Some of them were probably locals, but I am guessing most of them were tourists. Nonetheless, they were all crying. They were crying with him, feeling his grief. Feeling his pain.
Reaching over, I placed my hand on the man’s shoulder, and he suddenly, to my surprise, reached over and pulled me into a hug. He wept on my shoulder like a child, releasing the anger and pain of a year’s worth. Nobody walked away. Everyone remained around us, each with their head bowed, mourning with him. One person reached over, and placed his hand on the weeping man’s shoulder, as if to offer a small prayer, and encouragement.
We stood near that green fence around the hole that used to be the World Trade Center Twin Towers for quite a while, in a tearful embrace. At that moment, something happened that we don’t see often in this country. I was no longer a Californian, and he was no longer a New Yorker. We were Americans. We were Americans grieving for our fallen. We were united in a way that could not have been achieved by any other way.
Afterward, we shook hands, and as he looked me in the eye he said, “Never forget.”
Another tear rolled down his wet cheeks.
I nodded, but said nothing as our hands separated, and the man walked away. The crowd slowly dispersed, and my wife walked up to me after walking up from around the corner asking, “Did I miss something?”
“Yeah,” I said, “But I couldn’t describe it properly if I tried.”
It was at that moment that 9/11 truly became alive to me. The disconnect I had before, being a West Coast Southern Californian, was gone. The image of the hole below became etched in my memory. The tears of the people around me as the man that had lost his skyline wept remains with me still.
◎ History of the Day the Towers Fell
Two hijacked airline jets struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center during the early morning hours of September 11, 2001. When the 110 floors of skyscrapers collapsed, among the missing were 343 firefighters bravely in the process of attempting to save as many lives as possible. In the weeks that followed was an unprecedented recovery effort at a site that became known later as “Ground Zero.”Another jetliner flew into The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington DC., less than an hour later. A portion of the Pentagon was severely damaged by fire, and one section of the building collapsed.
A fourth aircraft never made it to its destination. United Airlines Flight 93 was on a suicide mission as well, but the crew and passengers attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. “Let’s Roll!” was the rallying cry, and once the hijackers realized they had lost control of the situation they flew the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A family member later bought a book for me titled “Portraits 9/11/01,” which is the collected “Portraits of Grief” from the New York Times, and I read each and every one of the portraits of the people listed in that book. Another book, given to me by my mother, titled “Report From Ground Zero” by Dennis Smith, who was one of the firefighters on the scene, served to educate me more on what happened that day, and each day that followed.I have a portrait of the World Trade Center on my office wall. It actually has two images in it, both showing what the skyline looked like before 9/11, with the two towers dominating the scene. At the bottom the words read, “World Trade means World Peace.”
◎ Islamic Terrorism
While we are told it is Islamism
(an allegedly perverted form of Islam that does not represent true Islam), not Islam, that was behind the attacks, and all of the terrorist attacks we’ve seen worldwide ever since, my research tells me otherwise. Even if it is true that the jihadist spirit only exists in a minority of Muslims, the fact is the so-called moderate Muslims were not a factor in stopping 19 Muslim hijackers on September 11, 2001. Religion of Peace? Peace was the last thing on their mind. Instead of peace, on that morning, two hijacked jetliners struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The 110 stories of both towers collapsed, and nearly 3,000 men, women and children died that day.
As for the conspiracy theorists who say the government was in on it too, asking me constantly “what about building 7?” (we’ll get to the conspiracy theory soon enough in this article) truth or not, though I am not one who believes the theory, it was Islam who carried out the deed. It was the teachings of the Koran the hijackers were carrying out. It has been in the name of Islam that death continues to spread and attacks continued to happen.
Islam played a role in the destruction and violence we saw that day, and many times since. The brutality of Islam, for some reason, is an intoxicating way of life the Muslim members of this world drink it gladly and enthusiastically. Islamic schools of thought have embraced Salafi-Jihadism, a desire to use violence to recreate society into the image of early Islam, when Muhammad and his followers first began their cultish assault upon the Middle East.
The first aim of Muslims is to create a worldwide unity of Allah, and to achieve that, they are instructed to repulse any enemy opposition. To reject Allah is to be an aggressor, and therefore the opposition is incapable of enjoying the unity of Allah, and must be removed. It is a holy thing to do. A worldwide unity of Allah is too great of an end to worry about the means. The means is violence, terrorism, and death. Allah commands it.
When the wrongness of killing others, or terrorizing an entire people is verbalized to the jihadist, he simply shrugs away the cries for order and peace. His jihad has been justified by the Koran and Islamic jurisprudence. Therefore, despite the appeasers and apologists, it is glaringly apparent that chaos in the Muslim World, and the terrorist attacks being carried out against the non-Muslim world, has everything to do with Islam.
Also, the appeasers and apologists must remember, because this is a Holy War from the point of view of the Islamic invaders and terrorists, it is also a war dependent upon the will of Allah. When the West appeases and tries to use peaceful means, and when they run and hide or verbalize the idiotic line that Islam is peace and the terrorists do not represent Islam, it is a sign to the jihadists that the opposition is weak, and it is Allah’s will to continue the jihad, and to increase it. However, if the war was fought as a war, and the West achieved decisive military victories that set back the jihad and caused them to cower in the corner, it would be seen as a sign that continuance, at this point, is not in Allah’s will, and would then see the jihadists retreat and plan for their next attempt at achieving a worldwide caliphate someday in the distant future.
We have been foolishly welcoming the invaders into our countries, giving them an opportunity to increase in number, and as history has shown time and time again, as the percentage of Muslims in a country increases, they become more belligerent, more demanding, and more violent.
How is it that we do not believe them when they tell us straight out that they demand death to all non-Muslim civilization? Unfortunately, the enemy is more than merely Islam. A deal was struck. A plan is being carried out. The conspiracy goes deeper than most people are willing to believe.
◎ Axis of Alliance
In the film “Enemies Within,” one of the former-Marxist interviewees explains how when a young Barack Obama met with him, he was ready for a violent revolution. The mindset of many socialists was that America needed a violent Bolshevik-style revolution to change the country’s political direction and allegiances. It was explained to the young Marxist that would someday be the 44th President of the United States that the method for success was different than what Obama was calling for. A socialist takeover of an advance capitalistic country had to be performed in a manner that includes infiltration, and undermining the culture and morality. It was their goal to work from within via “progressivism – liberal ideology.” The plan was already in place. It began long before Mr. Obama was even born, and had already seen success when it came to the infiltration into Islam.
Leaders of today’s Islamic countries were all trained by Russian communists.
According to James Simpson, author of The Red-Green Axis, “During WWII, Islamists seeking to advance their cause in the Middle East joined with the Nazis, but with the Nazi defeat they lost their benefactors. The Soviet Union was quick to step in, creating its own Middle East proxies. In the 1970s, the Soviet KGB sent 4,000 agents into the Muslim world to cultivate connections and lure radical Muslims into the Soviet sphere. The Soviet KGB created the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and supported other terrorist groups with arms, training and anti-Israel, anti-American propaganda.
“It also created the International Association for Palestine. One of that group’s members was Nihad Awad, currently the director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Awad came to endorse the terrorist group HAMAS, and today CAIR is at the forefront of efforts to shut down free speech and intimidate anyone who questions the tenets of Islam as “haters” and “Islamophobes.””
The Soviet/Muslim connection then began its infiltration into the United States. Once, we passed legislation disallowing dissident groups and organizations deemed detrimental to National Security and our country. Today, Homeland Security and the military has been busy purging manuals and documents regarding religious and highly political teachings of radical Islamists and the treasonous teachings and activities of communists. We have given legs to political correctness, and claim we are trying to appeal to the religious sensitivities of Islam. Meanwhile, an onslaught against Christians has been set into motion, both privately and publicly.
◎ The Legacy of September 11, 2001
While an attack against the United States such as the 9/11 attacks by Islam should have quickened the American Spirit into action against the ideology determined to destroy us (as did the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941), instead we have done the opposite. The legacy of 9/11 should be that it was the day we finally learned from history, and took a page out of Thomas Jefferson’s and James Madison’s playbooks when they launched a war against the Barbary Pirates (Muslims from the Barbary Coast). The failed lesson of appeasement should be loud and clear, after examining the most famous case where Neville Chamberlain struck a deal with Adolf Hitler, and then was surprised when Hitler ignored it and launched the world into a second world war. The legacy should be that we finally began to listen to the threats, and stood up against them with our will to keep the fires of liberty burning bright. Instead, if we continue down our current course, the legacy of September 11, 2001 will be that it was the day the West finally surrendered, and Islam began their long-awaited invasion into Western Civilization, dismantling Europe, America, and ultimately Israel under the weight of political correctness and fear that one might seen as being xenophobic, islamophobic, or hateful.
The guilt of the Nazis have Europe bending over backwards to welcome defeat through an invasion by Islam, and America, for some strange and non-understandable reason, is poised to do the same.
As for the conspiracy theories, I do not deny that segments of the government wanted 9/11 to happen, and were in on it mainly by saying nothing when word began to spread that the attack was on the horizon. Do I think explosives were inserted into the towers to assist the event? I don’t know, but the logistics of getting it done leans me towards not necessarily believing that to be so. As for Building 7, which fell without the aid of an attack, per se, when it was built it was designed to contain confidential materials. Since the World Trade Center had been attacked before it was built with munitions in the walls with the understanding that if the World Trade Center was ever attacked again, the building was to be brought down as well to protect the secrets, and other items, contained within that building. That belief is supported by a testimony by a retired SEAL and retired CIA agent that I am good friends with (the name will never be revealed, however; he lives in darkness and fear).
In the end, the legacy of September 11, 2001, for this writer, is that it was a call to arms. It was a blatant and obvious example of what Islam is all about. That said, while targeting the attackers and their sponsors was a good idea, a lingering war in Iraq was not. Unfortunately, one of the things we realize about 9/11, as we look back upon it, and mix in to our minds the current issues of the day, our leaders seem eager to give away our country and our sovereignty. The people of America, however, are not so willing to give up their country. The legacy of 9/11 to historians far into the future may be that it was simply a spark plug, a bright and powerful spark that eventually led to a massive world war that climaxed at the Valley of Megiddo, where Islam was finally defeated for good. One wonders, but in truth, those of us alive today may never know the lasting understanding of the event in the far future. One thing is for sure, however; the hatred for America is not solely on the minds of Muslims who adhere to the teachings of Islamism. Hatred for our liberty and prosperity is alive and well among the ranks of our brethren, as well. The progressive left and their allies hate America just as much, if not more so, than the people who carried out 9/11; and it may very well be possible that they were in cahoots with them, all along.