The Coming Of The Dawn
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 terror and death fell from the sky on American soil for the first time since Pearl Harbor. Unknown, unseen men steeped in hatred and anger carried out the evil preached to them by a known, elusive, shadowy terrorist. Their despicable act murdered thousands of innocent unarmed Americans, victimizing this great country and indeed, the whole world.
The entire world watched the horrific pictures coming out of New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania last Tuesday. Americans experienced disbelief, shock, and anger at the evil that had dared to attack our homeland. The initial attacks were followed by the subsequent tragedies of the Tower collapses and the unprecedented closing down of the very sky over the length and breadth of our homeland. Regularly scheduled radio and television programming was preempted by constant, mind-numbing reporting of the Attack on America. And we wept. The sight of our land being attacked; the stories of loss and heroism; and the knowledge that an innocence and the perceived sanctity of our homeland was gone forever wrenched our souls and brought tears to our eyes. As evening came and a shocked nation prepared for an uneasy slumber, the darkness that fell reflected the spirit of a nation victimized and violated for the first time on our own soil in 60 years. The night was long; perhaps the longest we have ever faced.
But then came the dawn. And with it came renewal. Throughout the night police and firefighters from all corners of the country had struggled mightily to reach someone, anyone buried in the rubble. We would learn that more than 300 of New York City’s finest firefighters and police, unharmed by the initial attacks, had given their lives to try to save others. Their brother and sister firefighters, hands bleeding and muscles aching, have continued the rescue efforts under the shadow of buildings threatening imminent collapse.
We would also learn, through the marvel of modern cellular communications, that the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania did so because a group of ordinary Americans, alerted to the earlier attacks on the Towers, chose to determine their own destiny and confront the evil amongst them. Their actions cost them their lives, but saved an as-of-now unknown target and an unknown number of lives.
The dawn also brought sights and stories of Americans rallying to support their stricken countrymen. Americans from every part of this land opened their hearts to those whose safe, secure families had so suddenly been torn asunder and offered them their time, money, and blood. Flags suddenly began appearing in unfamiliar places: in windows, yards, and on cranes high above weary rescue workers. Prayers were offered for those lost and those remaining; for our Leaders; and for our Country. A recently bitterly divided Congress began speaking with one voice. An untried President rose to the task of inspiring his people.
The dawn brought victory of life over death; of love over hatred; of good over evil. The lost firefighters chose to value someone else’s life over their own. The brave ordinary Americans aboard the plane over Pennsylvania chose to struggle for their lives and others rather than allow the terror to expand. Americans everywhere have demonstrated their capacity to love their fellow countrymen through their selfless generosity, empathy, and prayers. Our President and Congress have expressed the righteous anger of a wronged nation by committing the vast resources of land to eradicating the evil that befell us. They have warned us that the struggle will not be fast or easy; but they have assured us victory if we have the patience, resolve, and willingness to do what needs to be done. The deep, burning, resolute fury that this attack has awoken within Americans will accept nothing but total and complete victory.
There are contributions to the effort that we all, regardless of age, race, gender, and wealth can make to this good and just cause. The City of Anthony has established a tax-exempt Victims’ Relief Fund account at both the Citizen’s and First National Banks. Donations will be accepted through Thursday, October 11 to correspond with the 1-month anniversary of the Attack on America. All monies will be sent to the Red Cross for victims’ relief. I will also ask the Chamber of Commerce to ask Anthony businesses to set out donation jars for the Victim’s Relief Fund. Please give generously to our fellow Americans.
Sewing World and SW Sidekick have donated their labor and Citizen’s and First National Banks have purchased the ribbons to make 1,000 small red, white, and blue ribbons which will be given out at the banks. They are free, but donations will be accepted, with all monies going to the Victim’s Relief Fund. Please wear these ribbons with pride through Friday, September 28.
On Friday, September 28 the American Red Cross will be in Anthony for a blood drive. If you are able, please donate your blood. You may make an appointment by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.
The City of Anthony will fly the American flags on Main Street through Friday, September 28 as a display of honor and support of our Country. Please fly your flags with us.
Finally, the best thing we can do right now is to display those characteristics that make us Americans. Let others choose death and slavery to hatred; we value life and the liberty of forgiveness. Let others hate because of race, national origin, or religion; we are a nation of immigrants made strong because of our diversity. Let others hide and strike cowardly; we will find them, and bring them to justice according to our laws. Let others murder children; we will embrace the children and nurture them into their full potential. Let others bastardize their own religion until it exalts death and hatred over life and love; we will pray to a loving God and value religious freedom. Let others cower and fear; we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are Americans and dawn has risen.
Last modified: September 23, 2010
Copyright 2002 Anthony 9-11 Memorial Committee
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