Five Years Waiting: The Un-built Bridge

On a beautiful September day in 2001, the veil of innocence was torn away from the eyes of our nation. We were introduced to a form of murderous barbarism that has been the norm for centuries in other parts of the world.


On a beautiful September day in 2001, the veil of innocence was torn away from the eyes of our nation. We were introduced to a form of murderous barbarism that has been the norm for centuries in other parts of the world.

Once again, each of us is pausing to mark a sad date this week. On a beautiful September day in 2001, the veil of innocence was torn away from the eyes of our nation. We were introduced to a form of murderous barbarism that has been the norm for centuries in other parts of the world. We were attacked by criminals, the likes which are rarely seen amongst civilized people.

Ah, but there is the difference. We are not like those people. We never were and never will be, and for one simple reason. In spite of our many flaws as a nation we still place a strong emphasis on the life of each individual person who occupies space in our great nation. Yes, I said great.

A recent article in the American Legion magazine addressed this very topic. We have always been different in the way our military seeks to preserve the sanctity of human life in the midst of that crucible of destruction known as war. We will eventually triumph over these murderous thugs because of the value that our nation places on life.

Many have been the words expended on this, the fifth anniversary of the senseless murder of thousands of innocent people in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Many are the ways in which this infamous date is being recalled, remembered, and commemorated. Many have been to the memorials erected to this tragedy and the sacrifice of our brothers on the New York City Fire Department. All of the actions are fitting and proper. That is how America is.

However, like I said, we are different from most of the world. In every one of these instances we have been celebrating the lives which were lost on the sunny September morn. We have focused on the people and their sacrifices. We remember the accomplishments of those who were torn from the buxom of our bountiful realm that day. We do not celebrate that they died, like some cultures might. We mourned their loss and gave thanks for the lives they lived and the things that they accomplished.

In the years since that fateful day, many have been the prayers, songs, and eloquent speeches. All of these acts have made us feel like something has been accomplished in the wake of this life-altering event. Yet my friends, I personally am greatly disquieted within. It is one thing to sing and pray for the deceased. It is another to ignore the plight of those whose lives were irreparably damaged by the effects of the toxic poisons which swirled around Ground Zero.

The bridge from that terrible time to a better future for the living victims of that madness has yet to be built. Thousands upon thousands suffer daily the effect of that sad day. Our government (at all levels) needs to own up to the fact that these suffering souls deserve more than our gratitude. They need our constant, on-going support to live what remains of their disaster-shortened lives with dignity and security.

There is a reason for my feelings, and I want to share it with you. Maybe you will begin to feel as I do that many fine and brave people have been left high and dry by the powers that be in our nation, or perhaps you will think that I am off base. Your call there my friends.

Think about it my friends. Do you know what has not yet happened? No one in authority has stepped forward to assume the responsibility for the thousands of people who did not die on September 11, 2001, but whose lives have been irretrievably damaged or destroyed by their personal involvement in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.

Being in the New York metropolitan area, I watch my news on the New York media outlets. Over the past several days I witnessed the sorry conduct of the City of New York. Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared clueless as he spoke of doubting the findings of the reports on the source of so much misery amongst those who worked at Ground Zero or lived in the nearby neighborhoods.

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