Monday, September 11, 2006

Never Forget: 9/11, Five Years Later

[This was posted at 6:35pm, on 9/7. The post date has been set to 9/11 to keep this memorial at the top of the site, so that for the next week it will be the first thing visitors see.]

It's hard to believe that we're coming up on the five year anniversary of 9/11. It seems like only yesterday that those evil Islamic terrorists hijacked four aircraft and turned them into weapons.

Since I am taking part in the " 2,996 Project," I have been assigned, and am honored, to remember Jon A. Perconti Jr.

Jon was 32 years old when he was murdered while working in one of the towers of the World Trade Center. He was from Brick, NJ. Here's a tribute to Jon I found on

Jon A. Perconti Jr.'s prize possession was a green oval-shaped backyard grill that he called the "Egg". As a boy, he spent hours watching his grandmother in her kitchen. As a man, Mr. Perconti, a 32-year-old trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, had become a great cook.

"He was just a natural," said Tammy Perconti, his wife, who is expecting the couple's child next month. "When we ate out he would taste something and say 'I can make this.' And he would come back home and make it even better."

Mr. Perconti's cooking became high art on the Egg. At Christmastime, he cooked prime rib on it. In the summer, he used it to smoke the perfect ribs.

"I am getting hungry just thinking about it." Mrs. Perconti said.

Outside Giants Stadium, people would stop and gape, lured by the sweet smoky smell of Mr. Perconti's ribs cooking on a mini Egg. "Most people do hot dogs at the game," said Alfred Savastano, a lifelong friend. "He was doing roast pork, deep-fried turkey, London broil, ribs, steaks, anything. It was crazy and it was good."

Jon and all of those killed on 9/11 will be in my prayers this upcoming week, and I hope that you too can all make time to remember and pray for those fallen Americans.


CNN apparently will be replaying they're 9/11 coverage in its entirety on their web page, so be sure to surf over there for that.

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One way I like to remember 9/11 is by reading some articles from prominent conservative pundits that came out in the aftermath of those attacks.

Of course, the best of all of these is Ann Coulter's, who on September 14th, 2001, controversially wrote:

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

I find that there is a lot of truth to those words. We can certainly see where Ann Coulter was coming from; thousands of Americans had just been killed, including Ann's friend Brabara Olson, and we seemed to be sitting around doing nothing.

Also on September 14th, William F. Buckley wrote:

It is hardly obvious what it is we are in a position to do. But our movement against the Taliban has to come quickly, and has to be viewed as massive and irreconcilable. It must end in the end of the life of Osama bin Laden.

Peggy Noonan, a massively talented writer, wrote a beautiful article on September 13th. She wrote about her experiences on 9/11, being in New York:

Those Twin Towers, those hard and steely symbols of the towering city: they were the ship that God himself couldn't sink...

At 8:45 as I watched TV I saw the first explosion, and the breathtaking telephone report of a terrified man who had seen, he said, a big plane fly straight into one of the towers. "Oh my God," he said over and over, and it was like hearing the first report of the Hindenburg. I was still watching when something--I thought it was a helicopter--hit the second tower and it blew. And then minutes later the Pentagon...

I ran out, got cash at the bank, walked to 92nd Street and saw, with awe, that the clouds of smoke were visible all the way up here, five miles away. Trucks unloading food at restaurants and grocery stores were double- and triple-parked, their cab doors open, radios blaring. The Church of the Heavenly Rest, an Episcopal church in the neighborhood, immediately taped flyers to utility poles: "On this tragic day, come and pray."

Three hours later, at noon, my son got through. They had heard the explosions; the head of the high school had come in and said, "Please, peacefully, follow me downstairs." Most everyone was calm and purposeful; they gathered downstairs and listened to a radio. My son had a long line of kids behind him wanting to call home and he couldn't speak long. "I'm safe," he said. "We're all completely safe..."

I walked over toward church after noon, and now the scene was silent and jarring. The sidewalks and gutters were jammed with an army of expressionless marchers going from downtown to uptown, silently trudging through the traffic-less city.

Midday mass was pretty full, and people seemed stricken...

In the afternoon I went to the home of a friend in midtown--again stunning silence, and the streets now empty of people and traffic. On the way home, in the early evening, I went to get on a bus, and as I went to put my fare card in, the driver said softly, "Free rides today..."

At dusk, as the sun was going down over the city, he looked over at Manhattan. The rays of the sun hit the smoke and debris floating in the air, hit it strong and at an angle, and it all reflected on the water of the river and the light it produced was beautiful. "It looked golden," he said. "It was all the color of gold."

Even in horror there is beauty to be seen, even in trauma there is strength to be gained, and at the heart of every defeat is the seed of a future victory...

And she finishes with the message:

We must admit that we have ignored the obvious, face the terrible things that can happen, decide to protect ourselves with everything from an enhanced intelligence system to a broad and sturdy civil-defense system, with every kind of defense that can be imagined by man, from vaccines to a missile defense.

For the next time, and there will of course be a next time, the attack likely won't be "conventional."


And I finish with a final request; that you all keep the victims of 9/11 in your prayers forever:

Almighty God, [September 11th, 2001] will be indelibly inscribed in our memories.

We looked with horror on the terrorist attacks of last September 11th.
But we looked with honor on acts of courage by ordinary people
who sacrificed themselves to prevent further death and destruction.

We shed our tears in a common bond of grief for those we loved and lost.
We journeyed through a dark valley, but your light has led us to a place of hope.
You have turned our grief into determination.
We are resolved to do what is good, and right, and just.

Help us to remember what it means to be Americans—
a people endowed with abundant blessings.
Help us to cherish the freedoms we enjoy and inspire us to stand
with courage, united as one Nation in the midst of any adversity.

Lord, hear this prayer for our Nation. Amen.

God bless America!

*** Update, 9/11, 11:19am ***

If any comfort can come from 9/11, it should be that this nation has learned a vital lesson that we hopefully will never forget:

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