September 11 Wrenches My Heart Again

Twin Towers Clean up
Twin Towers Clean up


This year September 11th is tearing my heart apart…again. I remember the first September 11th vividly. I live in Brooklyn, NY and had charred pieces of paper from offices in the Twin Towers drifting from lower Manhattan and landing in my driveway. I remember the funerals that went on and on for weeks. I live in a middle class neighborhood where many of the first responders who perished lived.


World Trade Center/911 Memorial fountain
World Trade Center/911 Memorial fountain

Now the site of the World Trade Center/911 Memorial has become a tourist attraction. Pedestrians walk through the site unrestricted. I’ve heard this upsets some of the family members of those lost on that horrid day. Most of the family members consider the ground to be sacred and some want it enshrined. I sympathize with them and their pain. I consider the ground to be sacred, but to me, the sacred is part of my life.

If we block off the area, frown on people walking through taking photos while snapping their gum, it will be easier to forget. I think few have forgotten. This year especially I sense that. Feelings are raw. America remembers.

Fireman's Memorial
Fireman’s Memorial



The New York City Fire Department certainly has not forgotten




Twin Towers Cross
Twin Towers Cross



The many volunteers have not forgotten who rushed to help in any way they could in the days after the terrorist attack.

I personally don’t know anyone who has forgotten. And this year, so many say it’s just ripping their hearts apart all over again.

They Dishonor Those Truly Disabled Because of 9/11

9.11, Twin Towers Statue of Liberty 2The morning the planes hit the Twin Towers, I walked from where I had been glued to the television in my kitchen and out onto my front porch. The wind blew from the inferno in lower Manhattan charred fragments of letter head, what might have been accounting forms, and the like. They landed in my driveway and on the sidewalk in front of the house, and in the street.

Weeks and then months went by and every time I drove past a funeral parlor, members of the New York Police Department and New York Fire Department were in dress uniforms for yet another funeral. The funerals seemed endless.

Workers toiled for endless hours trying first to save victims, then switching to recovery. One of my neighbors who is licensed to work with heavy equipment volunteered day-after-day at Ground Zero hoping to find the remains of his cousin. He never did. Many put their own health at risk. These are the heroes.

So, it galls me to no end when a good 100 members of the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department allegedly faked mental illnesses and psychological maladies claiming they were “traumatized” by their work at Ground Zero and then turn around and collect Social Security benefits into the hundreds of thousands of dollars each. And they say more arrests will come.

I applaud New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance for busting these criminal cops and firefighters. If they are guilty of what they’ve been charged (and it appears they are), they dishonor their uniform. They trivialize those who were truly disabled and traumatized by the terrorist attack on 9/11. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

It is said these suspects have cheated tax payer of $21.4 million dollars. I know a million doesn’t go as far as it used to, but that’s still a lot of money that belongs to the people. A 200-page indictment claims these individuals collected between $30K – $50K per year for succumbing to supposed crippling emotional ailments following the 9/11 attack, such as deep depression, post traumatic stress syndrome, severe anxiety, and the like.

As will often be the case, these guys felt untouchable and so they lived openly flamboyant lifestyles. They posted photos on Facebook of themselves living large and dashed off tweets. One of the suspects who claimed to be terrified of crowds was found selling cannolis at the St. Gennaro Festival in Little Italy which always has wall-to-wall crowds. Another was working as a martial arts instructor. The 70-year old ringleader coached them on how to come off as mental patients before hand-picked psychiatrists…this coaching, of course, was allegedly for a nice kickback.

Oh, what a web they wove. But it was a small thing that tripped them up in the end. Many of them applied for gun permits in which they stated they were mentally stable enough to carry a firearm.

Note: Photo courtesy of The Creative Commons.


9/11 ~ A Bitter Sweet Remembrance and a Look Forward

World Trade Center Cross



Today even if we don’t want to remember, even if it’s still too painful all these years later,we remember.




There was the moment of silence this morning observed by the president. The names will be read off at the Pentagon, in a field in Pennsylvania and in New York.

World Trade Center Cross

And now we’ve got to remember 9/11/1012 and the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. For many our minds can’t help but drift to the Boston bombing and the devastation pain and suffering there. This is not easy to do…this looking at horrific events and seeing them for what they are. We don’t want to look at such ugliness. We are a hard working people, trying to provide for our families. And yet a world-wide war of terrorism seems to be creeping up on us. We’re now teetering on the brink of war with Syria.

America needs straight talk to come out of Washington, DC. We need our leaders to have a strategy extending passed next month. What will be the consequences of our actions? Who will benefit? Will our actions bring stability or greater instability in the long term? We need our elected officials to do their homework and answer the hard questions for us. We, the American people have the right to know.