The 11th of September:
Planes, Flames and Al Qaeda Plot.
I See No Reason Why Al Qaeda Plot,
Should Ever Be Forgot.....
'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
The morning of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center was a modern day charge of the Light Brigade for New York City policemen, firemen, paramedics who literally stormed the Gates of Hell not knowing that officials in their own government "had blundered" and doomed many of them to death in heroic defense of God and Country.
Ricardo Quinn left behind him a family and many friends who remember him as a kind and honorable man. His service with an elite paramilitary organization -- the NYFD -- was of the highest level. The manner of his untimely and heroic death in the Service of God and Country is something that will never be forgotten.
Furthermore, it must never be forgotten that "Uncommon Valor Was Common" that terrible day on September 11, 2001 when hundreds of New York City's Best charged into buildings on fire and in danger of collapse, so like the British soldiers of long ago who charged the Russian cannons without infantry support because it was their duty and honor to do so.
The last picture we have of Ricardo Quinn is running into soon-to-collapse Building Two of the World Trade Center dodging flames, debris and falling bodies in his mission to save his comrades and the innocent laying about bloody and bleeding. He never returned. How many of us would have the courage to charge the Gates of Hell even if our duty required it? Few of us, I'm sure...very few of us.
This is why we salute men like Ricardo Quinn.
This is why we will never forget the Heroes Of 9/11.
We sleep safely in bed tonight because our professional Servicemen like Ricardo Quinn stand the night watch and defend us from our enemies.
The fatalities were in the thousands, with 2973 people killed, including 246 on the four planes, 2602 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. Among the fatalities were 343 New York City Fire Department firefighters, 23 New York City Police Department officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers. Also, a further 24 people remain listed as missing in the attack on the World Trade Center to this day.
PROJECT 2996: REMEMBERING RICARDO QUINN
Jones Beach may not be the center of the universe, but it was the heart of Virginia and Ricardo Quinn's all-too-brief life together. They met there on a steamy, summer-in-the-city day in 1988 when he put down his blanket on the sand near hers. Both were recently divorced and watching their little boys, who took to each other as quickly as did their parents. "Ric was playing with his son and I noticed him," Mrs. Quinn said. "I was checking him out.”
They married just over a year later and kept coming back to Jones Beach. Their favorite spot was Field Six, where Ric made life-size sand sculptures that drew crowds.
After serving in the Coast Guard as a young man, he held a few different jobs before finding his real calling as a paramedic with the Fire Department's Battalion 57 in Brooklyn. His partner, Joe Sanders, said he had a gentle way with people.
Paramedic Ricardo Quinn was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant after September 11th.
In late January 2002, Mrs. Quinn left their home in Bayside, Queens and boarded a Coast Guard cutter that took her three miles off Jones Beach. There, following her husband’s wishes, she spread his ashes on the waters he loved. Then the cutter returned to port for what was a long, quite ride back.
September 11, 2009
By Straley M. Thorpe
I remember the tower burning; the second tower struck. I remember the horrific vision, surreal, of men and women leaping and falling to their deaths from the burning towers. The only choice left to them, how to die. I remember the scream of sirens, and the screams of onlookers. I remember the resolute faces of rescue workers. I remember the burning towers falling.
I remember three firemen raising our flag on a pile of smoking rubble. I remember the celebrations in the streets of Gaza (before Arafat threatened death to any who dared broadcast such images). And the Palestinians were hardly alone in rejoicing at the death and destruction wrought by the murdering terrorist jihadi that day.
Today we should all remember the innocent victims of September 11, 2001. We should remember the rescuers who gave their lives, and those who now suffer illness because they were there, trying to help. We should remember the heroes on Flight 93 who fought back, armed only with courage in the face of death. And we should remember every member of the armed forces, our defenders, who have given life and limb and the minutes and days of their lives, to protect us.
Since that terrible day, I have struggled to understand. The lives lost that day, and since then in our defense, the suffering of the injured and wounded, the grief of those who lost loved ones, demanded no less.
I have learned much, and I have begun to understand.
The world did not change on September 11, 2001. For most Americans, our view of the world changed. It was as if a monstrous kaleidoscope had been turned, and an entirely different vision of the world was presented to us. In this horrific vision, we were suddenly surrounded by enemies unknown, their evil motives and goals beyond our comprehension. But they had been there all along, and they were not hiding. We simply did not see them for the evil they are or the threat they represent.
We must learn to comprehend these evil motives and goals, and the evil men who advance them. I use the word evil advisedly, for evil exists just as surely as does goodness. These men are truly evil; failing to recognize their essential wickedness, we will suffer the evil fate they plan for us.
These men believe in global jihad and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate under sharia law. In this evil vision, we are all of us slaves. According to the tenets of their beliefs, we have but three options. We must convert to Islam, or we must accept second-class citizenship, pay a tax for the privilege, and submit to their rule and their law. Or we must die. There are no other alternatives.
This war upon the rest of humanity, this jihad, did not begin on September 11, 2001. It began centuries ago. It began even before the crusades. It is a fundamental tenet of Islam that all the societies of so-called infidels should made subject to the caliphate, by any means. And while some would have us believe that only a small minority of Muslims supports this jihad, the silence of so many Muslims in the face of this evil belies such claims.
The Koran itself proclaims that silence is assent. In fact, it is a tenet of Islam that no duty of truth or fairness is due to infidels, and deceit in the service of jihad is no sin. Therefore even the words of the apologists for Islam, those who deny the inherent evil, are untrustworthy. Their protestations of innocence and benevolence cannot be taken at face value. We must judge them by their actions alone, and be not deceived.
Despite the violence and criminal attacks of the terrorist jihadi, and our necessary resort to violence in our own defense, the real war against the terrorist jihadi and their fellow travelers will be fought in the hearts and minds of men and women around the world. Given the choice between freedom and dignity, and slavery to the evil mullahs, there is no doubt that the vast majority of the world's people will choose freedom. It is our task to promote and preserve this choice. To do so we must stand fast in the face of the wickedness and duplicity of our enemies; we must destroy them wherever they hide. We must support and protect the weak, and give them the chance to taste freedom and democracy, so that they can understand the choice before them. If we have the will to do so, we will prevail. If we do not, we will die, and our children will live in
I do not hate Muslims, or Islam. I recognize the threat that blind obedience to an ancient and evil ideology so rife with hatred and intolerance poses to our way of life, and to the hopes for freedom and dignity of all the world's people. I recognize the hypocrisy and duplicity of those Muslims who give lip service to peace and tolerance before Western audiences, with a wink and a nod to the evildoers in their midst. I have pity and contempt for the Muslims who may believe in peace and tolerance, but who cower in silent fear of retribution rather than speak out while their religion is smeared and stained with the blood of the innocent. I reserve my respect for Muslims like Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of al Arabiya, who has risked his life by calling out the murderous terrorist jihadi for what they are, condemning the apologists and silent assenters, and calling upon his righteous Muslim brothers and sisters to join him.
In some ways, I will forever feel unworthy of the sacrifices that others have made to preserve and protect our way of life. Do we not have a duty to do what we can, lest their sacrifices be in vain? I have become so much more proud to be an American. We are privileged to be members of the finest and greatest society that has ever graced this planet. We have many faults, but we believe that all men are created equal; we believe in liberty and justice for all.We sometimes fall short of these ideals, but we have established them to a degree previously unknown.
We must never forget, we must never surrender. It is the only fitting tribute we can give to those who have sacrificed so much.
Straley M. Thorpe is a recovering attorney and commentator on political and social issues.