September 11

posted at 10:32 am on September 11, 2006 by Allahpundit

What’s changed? Not much, not enough.

Go ahead and use this as an open thread for your remembrances if you like. Here’s my own contribution: a link to an 18-minute film produced by the Port Authority in 1983 about the construction of the World Trade Center. This little curio affects me in a way that not even footage of the attacks manages to do; it comes, I assume, from being a City native and having grown up with the towers as part of reality. To watch film of them being made is like watching film of an old friend, since died, on his wedding day.

I know people won’t watch the whole movie so here are four minutes of highlights. I want to preserve the clip anyway just in case PBS takes it offline.

Lileks, from the NRO symposium:

If 9/11 had really changed us, there’d be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there’s a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don’t. And we don’t seem interested in asking why.

He’s got an alternate-history screed up today too. Teaser: “Why Do They Regard Us With Indifference and Annoyed Exasperation, When They Think of Us At All?” John Howard knows the answer.

Our moral betters are using the occasion, naturally, as an opportunity to note Bush’s failures. They’re constitutionally incapable of devoting an editorial wholly to the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism, even to mark a milestone. The closest any of the major papers comes is this thumbsucker by the L.A. Times, which lays off Bush and instead spoons out some oatmeal about “openness.” The lowlight: bien pensant Andy Rooney on last night’s 60 Minutes, closing with this gem.

Americans are puzzled over why so many people in the world hate us. We seem so nice to ourselves. They do hate us though. We know that and we’re trying to protect ourselves with more weapons.

We have to do it I suppose but it might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us.

Since they insist on partisanship, even on a day like today, I’ll toss this back at them and be done with it:

SAUDI BOMBING — recovered from Friday and looking great
Approve Clinton handling 73-20
Big gain from 63-20 on Friday
Security was adequate 52-40
It’s not Clinton’s fault 76-18

I’m not bothering with the British papers. I saw this last night at the Independent, which I took as fair warning to stay away. If you do choose to peruse, note that they omitted at least one number: 0. The number of attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

I will, however, close with an Englishman — Hitchens, writing in Opinion Journal and somehow avoiding the temptation to which the Times and WaPo succumbed even though he himself was a named plaintiff in the NSA warrantless wiretapping lawsuit. Saith Hitch:

“We”–and our allies–simply have to become more ruthless and more experienced. An unspoken advantage of the current awful strife in Iraq and Afghanistan is that it is training tens of thousands of our young officers and soldiers to fight on the worst imaginable terrain, and gradually to learn how to confront, infiltrate, “turn,” isolate and kill the worst imaginable enemy. These are faculties that we shall be needing in the future. It is a shame that we have to expend our talent in this way, but it was far worse five years and one day ago, when the enemy knew that there was a war in progress, and was giggling at how easy the attacks would be, and “we” did not even know that hostilities had commenced.

We’re getting better. A good note to end on.

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In memory of Richard Ross, who gave far more than he asked. He was one of the first to lose his life that day, as a passenger on American Flight 11. Rest in peace, Richard. And thank you.

Pablo on September 11, 2006 at 10:43 AM

I see Google hasn’t commemorated this day on their homepage.

Ellen on September 11, 2006 at 10:58 AM

Hero is a word we use too readily, but it’s the only word that applies to the firefighters who marched into the towers, knowing better than any lay person that their chances of surviving were not good. The goodness of everyday people is stunning and inspiring.

Eternal rest grant to them oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.

MSNBC coverage this AM was a repeat of the Today Show from 8:40 on. Remarkable.

honora on September 11, 2006 at 11:09 AM

We have to do it I suppose but it might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us.

At the cost of our economic prosperity, independence, and worldwide clout? Pfft. Bring on the hatred. We’ll survive.

Mark Jaquith on September 11, 2006 at 11:24 AM

From that independent link:

72,000 Estimated number of civilians killed worldwide since September 11, 2001 as a result of the war on terror

Notice they don’t break down how many were killed by “insurgents” in Iraq.

RightWinged on September 11, 2006 at 11:44 AM

That PANY/NJ video hits home. The towers were completed in 1972, the year I was born. I grew up with them. And suddenly they were gone. Gone at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The media has buried that last part, thinking that we shouldn’t or can’t be reminded of who perpetrated such heinous attacks against us.

I will disagree with the characterization that there have been no terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11. There have been several – the Beltway Sniper, the Taheriazar suv rampage, and the unsolved anthrax attacks, but nothing of the size and scale of the 9/11 attacks.

lawhawk on September 11, 2006 at 12:07 PM

One other thing. Many of the steelworkers who were seen in those videos assembling the towers were there helping to recover remains and remove the debris from Ground Zero.

lawhawk on September 11, 2006 at 12:09 PM

At Shanksville, on Fox, they just said, “At some point there will be a permanent memorial, but …”

It makes me angry that we are so paralyzed with infighting and indecision that five years later, no site has its memorial. Lileks has it right.

Anybody go to the rally in NY yesterday about the memorial?

Anwyn on September 11, 2006 at 12:13 PM

This is what I was doing on 9.11.01

I’ll always remember what I saw and how I felt. I’ll always remember the victims of that day.

skwired on September 11, 2006 at 12:46 PM


If 9/11 had really changed us, there’d be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today.

Not necessarily. It’s acceptable in my book to wait until the aggressor is and humiliated and defeated, and THEN build the 150-story tower. I don’t even think the new tower should be designed until the apprehensions created by the demise of the first one(s) are dissipated by the certain knowledge of our victory.

His poing about 9/11 is still valid but it needs a better example IMO.

RD on September 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM

His poing
Oops, that’s “his point”.

RD on September 11, 2006 at 12:48 PM

Would prefer is they didn’t rebuild the towers. They were a bad bit of architecture back then,and would be now. Really disproportionate in what had been a more historic and human scale part of town. The drawings I have seen are just awful. Not my call obviously and something is better than nothing I guess.

honora on September 11, 2006 at 12:51 PM

OT alert, sorry but I have to mention a Democratic strategist on Fox news who made one tacky comment after another without even realizing what she was doing. First, when asked what good qualities 9/11 had demonstrated, she offered the point about how Jews and Arabs in her district had gotten together to assure Arabs (not each other, but Arabs) that Arabs were not going to be targets of retribution. Then, in discussing her husband’s decision to remain in the Capitol building that day (and thus render himself vulnerable to Flight 93, unbeknownst to him), she thanked the brave folks on Flight 93 for “landing” in Pennsylvania. Am I the only one offended by what she had to say?

RD on September 11, 2006 at 12:58 PM

We build; they destroy.

RobCon on September 11, 2006 at 2:12 PM

Anwyn, you’re right. I too am saddened that 5 years later there are no permanent memorials at WTC & Shanksville. I hope that they are started and perhaps completed 10 years from now.
RD, I missed that exchange. Sounds pretty pathetic though. Wonder if anyone will have it up later on.

Catie96706 on September 11, 2006 at 2:17 PM

I too am saddened that 5 years later there are no permanent memorials at WTC & Shanksville.

Why are they dragging their feet? how hard is it to build a park, with nice places to sit and remember?

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 2:47 PM

Here’s my humble memorial to the twin towers.

They and the people who were lost there may be gone — but they live on thanks to these inspiring photos.

The Ugly American on September 11, 2006 at 3:07 PM

In memory of Betty Ong, Flight Attendant, American Airlines Flight 11.

Lady Jane on September 11, 2006 at 3:20 PM

American Airlines Flight 11 – I personally knew the co-pilot. I had worked with his wife for 10 1/2 years in Calif. Just one year before this fateful day, they had moved back to their native Boston.

Tom McGuinness got out of the cockpit to help the attendants in need, when they were first attacked. The terrorists killed him before the plane rammed into the Noth tower.

Tom was also a Vietnam veteran – he was a Navy pilot who’s plane had been shot down. I carpooled with a former Vietnam helicopter pilot, who’s crew pulled Tom’s group out of a swamp in Vietnam. By chance Tom’s wife, the helicopter pilot and self ended up working in the same firm for many years.

Entelechy on September 11, 2006 at 5:04 PM