Mitt Romney issued the following statement today, on this tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks:
Ten years ago, we were visited by a human darkness so evil that it plotted and then rejoiced in the murder of innocent lives. We cherish the bright memories of the fallen, and keep our hearts open to the loved ones they left behind. As for those who seek to inflict more harm, understand this: you will never find rest on this earth so long as you threaten our peace and freedom. America will always be strong in defending liberty at home and around the world.
America is ten years removed from that never-to-be-forgotten September day when mass murder rode in on silver wings…
Peggy Noonan recalls 9-11:
[...] [I]t changed everything. It marked a psychic shift in our town between “safe” and “not safe.” It marked the end of impregnable America and began an age of vulnerability. It marked the end of “we are protected” and the beginning of something else.
When you ask New Yorkers now what they remember, they start with something big—the first news report, the phone call in which someone said, “Turn on the TV.” But then they go to the kind of small thing that when you first saw it you had no idea it would stay in your mind forever. The look on the face of a young Asian woman on Sixth Avenue in the 20s, as she looked upward. The votive candles on the street and the spontaneous shrines that popped up, the pictures of saints. The Xeroxed signs that covered every street pole downtown. A man or a woman in a family picture from a wedding or a birthday or bar mitzvah. “Have you seen Carla? Last seen Tuesday morning in Windows on the World.”
The bus driver as I fumbled in my wallet to find my transit card. “Free rides today,” he mumbled, in a voice on autopilot. The Pompeii-like ash that left a film on everything in town, all the way to the Bronx. The smell of burning plastic that lingered for weeks. A man who worked at Ground Zero told me: “It’s the computers.” They didn’t melt or decompose, and they wouldn’t stop burning. The doctors and nurses who lined up outside St. Vincent’s Hospital with gurneys, thinking thousands would come, and the shock when they didn’t. The spontaneous Dunkirk-like fleet of ferries that took survivors to New Jersey.
The old woman with her grandchild in a stroller. On the stroller she had written a sign in magic marker: “America You Are Not Alone, Mexico Is With You.” She was all by herself in the darkness, on the side of the West Side Highway, as we stood to cheer the workers who were barreling downtown in trucks to begin the dig-out, and to see if they could find someone still alive.
I remember trying to process the magnitude of events on that surreal day: orange-hot fireballs, raw fear in a sea of eyes, imprint of an airplane wing in the side of one of the twin towers, the look on President Bush’s face when he heard the news, images of nursery school teachers, clutching babes-in-arms, frantically pushing grocery carts filled with toddlers down NYC streets to get to safety, ‘jumpers’ who had to choose between burning to death, being overcome with toxic smoke, or plummeting to the street, collapsing towers, New Yorkers – big men – and policemen and reporters flat out running for their lives, bent over, ash-covered, ghostly people choking and coughing to clear their lungs, waiting ambulances which remained empty, wanting so desperately for passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 to be safe, Barbara Olson’s calm phone call to her husband Ted (she was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 which crashed into the pentagon), and the goodness of oh, so many volunteers. An especially poignant memory was the plaintive, high-pitched chirping from the many activated emergency locator devices echoing eerily through the cavernous, debris-strewn NY streets – reminders of the heavy loss of so many firemen. Such a bewildering day of uncertainty, sorrow, and angry resolve… I knew our nation had forever changed.
What 9-11 memories remain with you?
On this special day, we pause to reflect on the nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives so suddenly ten years ago, their loved ones, all the rescuers, and those who currently work to keep us safe – especially our United States military.
by doing all we can
God bless America.
(Border issues can wait for another day.)
VIDEO: President George W. Bush’s dedicatory remarks / Flight 93 National Memorial Park, Shanksville, PA
Photos of National Sept 11th Memorial/Ground Zero
National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial (scroll down to read Sept 11th events)
Photos – Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
UPDATE – Tweet from Gov Romney:
On this 10th anniversary of 9/11, we cherish the bright memories of the fallen, and keep our hearts open to the loved ones they left behind
► Jayde Wyatt