9/11 world trade center terrorist attack 20th anniversary
Courtesy 911memorial.org and Kevin Hagen
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Frenzied pounding on the front door woke me; pounding, blended with shouts to turn on the television. It wasn’t even seven in the morning yet in Washington State, and I was alone because my young SAR dog was spending a night being neutered at the emergency veterinary clinic where I worked.

Head muzzy with not enough sleep, I answered the door only to have my visitor push into my living room and flip on the television himself.

The Twin Towers went down.

When it was over, 2,977 innocent lives had been brutally, evilly extinguished.

September 11, 2001.

You remember where you were. Where your loved ones were. We all do. It’s been 17 years, and for some the memories have yet to gain the soft-edged haze typical of most decade-plus-old recollections.

In 1941, FDR referred to Pearl Harbor as “a date which will live in infamy.” Sixty years later, President George W. Bush stood atop the rubble in New York and proclaimed, in response to an onlooker’s yell that he could not hear the president, “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people – the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

9/11 world trade center terrorist attack 20th anniversary
In this Sept. 14, 2001 file photo, President George W. Bush puts his arm around firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the World Trade Center in New York during a tour of the devastation. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says former President Bush will be among the dignitaries at a World Trade Center site ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File)

Say what you will about George W. Bush, but at only eight months into his presidency, he took the defiant stance necessary to respond to what happened on that day.

Too few Americans have held onto the righteous anger and fury of 9/11. As the years have passed, parents have failed to educate their children – the public school system certainly won’t participate – and we have become a nation concerned not with defending our homeland against all comers, but one wringing its softened hands in fear of offending the very group that attempted to take us down 17 years ago.

The group that danced in the streets, laughed in convenience stores, and crowed with delight at our massacred brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, friends, and fellow countrymen. Delight displayed on our own nation’s streets, nonetheless; delight quite literally rubbed in the faces of Americans in shock and mourning within minutes of the attacks. And yet we don’t dare draw cartoons, make speeches – or even offhand remarks – let alone social media posts, or, God forbid, pen articles that might somehow offend Islam.

On September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush firmly stated “None of us will ever forget this day.” Seventeen years later, we are a nation of amnesiacs.

Many of us have forgotten, and we should be ashamed.

You only have to sweep through your newsfeed on Facebook to find examples of supposedly offensive behavior. It isn’t limited only to Americans, either. We have the dead of incidents like Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, Nice, Ft. Hood and other smaller attacks for proof of terrorism based on behaviors deemed Islam-offensive.

With terrorists wanting only to murder people in countries all around the globe – all in the name of Islam – you’d think there’d be more outrage. Molten rage. White-hot fury. Instead, we cower. We cower, and we toe the line.

There is something wrong with a nation that’s willing to bury its head in the sand, literally bending over and taking it from those who have murdered its citizens. Murdered, that is, not in ones and twos or even dozens or hundreds, but by the thousands. All in the name of Islam, at the end of guns, the press of a suicide bomber’s trigger, and the bloody, rusty tip of many beheading blades.

A piece of the blame for this willful amnesia goes to the media. Today’s culture is ludicrously dependent on the mainstream media for its information, soaking in whatever is doled out with disturbing complacency. In the wake of 9/11, the media quickly began censoring the images deemed disturbing, using the type of logic being utilized with rising frequency; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Evil hadn’t just knocked at America’s door, it had kicked it in with one swift blow. Even so, the media became the heavy blindfold many citizens sought out. “It’s okay,” the media machine croons, “it was all a bad dream. There are no monsters in the closet, no terrorists under the bed.” And the nation tuned in at 6 for the 9/11 lite version of what was and is a truly bloody reality.

One image in particular quickly disappeared, an image that should rightly be permanently imprinted on the minds of Americans as a symbol of the cold realities of 9-11. It is a photograph titled simply “The Falling Man”, taken by AP photographer Richard Drew, and although its title accurately describes its content, it fails to encompass the whole of its importance. It was taken at 9:41:15 AM, and in it, the North Tower fills the background – the North Tower, by then filled with the smoke and flames created by American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into it at roughly 440 mph at 8:46 AM.

Searing heat boiled from the tower at temperatures as high as 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, and inside, Americans were trapped, flesh bubbling, hair singeing.

Small wonder some jumped from the tower rather than endure the horrific agony inside. Small wonder some chose to take matters into their own hands in one final display of control.

The man falling headfirst in Drew’s photograph is believed to be 43-year-old Jonathan Briley, an employee in a restaurant on the 106th floor of the North Tower. In the famous image, which is one of twelve shots taken, his back is straight and one leg is bent in an almost casual manner. He is falling to his death, and he is only one of two hundred to perish in that manner on that day.

A person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001 after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

“The Falling Man” received some press early on, but after being criticized as “disturbing” it quickly disappeared. It shows the horror of 9/11 in a way few captured, and it was deemed too upsetting for public consumption.

The general public apparently needs to be handled with kid gloves and not be shown anything that might hammer home the reality of 9/11. Heaven forbid any American be forced or even nudged in the general direction of cold, hard reflection on the evil of the terrorists responsible for that day, and heaven forbid we offend them now.

There are those who suggest rather insistently it’s intolerant to suggest Islam is in any way, shape, or form a problem. After all, some would say, people have been killing in the name of various religions for hundreds – thousands – of years. And while it’s true there cannot be an all-encompassing classification of any group in any one way, it’s also true in cases such as this that silence is as good as consent.

It is past time a change be made. Past time for the truly horrifying, and, yes, disturbing images of 9/11 to be shown again on national television, not only on 9/11, but on a regular basis. This is not just about the failure of adults to remember just what went on 17 years ago, it’s also about the next generation.

We are raising a generation of children who fail to even remotely grasp the gravity of the day, children who watch their elders’ every move and see only a mass of followers carefully working not to offend the very ones dead set on taking our nation down to its knees.

This is not about the classification of an entire group as good or bad, right or wrong. This is about terrorism, plain and simple. This is about remembering our dead, honoring their memories, and fighting for what is right.

Never forget.


This article was originally published in 2018.


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  1. I haven’t forgotten; I think about it frequently. It is just that, now, the terrorists are running the Federal government and they consider us their enemies.

    So, I prepare…daily.

        • Pseudo-FWW,

          You do not sound like the real FWW.
          You refuse to explain yourself.
          You reference to past TTAG posts makes no sense, does not correspond to anything I have ever posted.

          So, it seems you are to be ignored.

        • Kat went on a diatribe against men. On a blog with mebbe 95% male readerships. I was even a fakebook ” friend”. TTAG had several gals write in an attempt to broadens this blogs readerships. If you’re too lazy/inept to go back a few years so be it.Who’s the pseudo poster?

        • FWW,

          You are attributing someone else’s behavior to me.

          BTW, I have never been on FB.

          I do not know who Kat is, and, to be clear, I am not that person.
          I am just a guy who owns guns and likes hanging out here on TTAG when time permits.

          BTW, above, you sounded like yourself, again. 😉

      • The root of the misunderstanding is that FWW’s comment appeared as a response to LifeSavor, when it was intended to be a response to this article in general, referencing another article she wrote that alienated and offended a lot of readers here and led to her departure.

    • In other news, there’s a reason they want a monopoly on the education system, and are always working toward bringing in hundreds of thousands, or in the case of this year, millions, of new, much more compliant people. Pretty soon your memory won’t matter.

  2. Can never forget. On that day I made a promise to my soldiers that I would do everything in my power to bring them home, dead or alive. I promised their Mother’s I would continue to train them and provide every tool possible for thier children’s survival. I promised myself that I would complete my mission regardless of the personal cost I had to bear.

    Knowing what I know now about the disgraceful way we left, I would still not hesitate to do it again.

  3. quote————–This is about terrorism, plain and simple. This is about remembering our dead, honoring their memories, and fighting for what is right.————-quote

    quote———–Too few Americans have held onto the righteous anger and fury of 9/11.————quote

    Stevens would have us perpetuate the hate for generations to come. In his warped view of patriotism it is and should be soaked in bloody revenge.

    quote————–As the years have passed, parents have failed to educate their children – the public school system certainly won’t participate – and we have become a nation concerned not with defending our homeland against all comers, but one wringing its softened hands in fear of offending the very group that attempted to take us down 17 years ago—————quote

    Spoken like a true Right Wing Storm Trooper. Education which teaches peace and tolerance of ones fellow man is Stevens worst enemy and as Hitler said “A big war is necessary for every generation to keep them strong and in fighting spirit”.

    Stevens screams “Never forget and kill your enemies no matter how many decades it takes for we share no blame in what happened”.

    -The only thing Stevens left out of his diatribe against education and his patriotic rant is the National Anthem playing while hordes of storm troopers with fixed bayonets march past clattering their jack boots on cobble stone streets.

    Stevens reminds me of what happened decades ago when European explorers were traveling through the wilds of New Guinea. Each tribe they met warned them of the sub-human beings that inhabited the next mountain fortress. They were warned they were maniacal creatures who would torture them to death and then eat them.

    The explorers could not help compare these then primitive people to the modern day Europeans and Americans who have not broken away from their Neanderthalithic fears, hatreds and prejudices of “the other”.

    To follow Stevens warped view of 9/11 the American were as innocent as new fallen snow while the people that attacked them were wicked beasts straight out of hell. He does not for one moment stop to analyze “what happened and why” and that war always kills many more innocent civilians on both sides of the conflict , than the numbers of storm troopers who perish in each senseless conflict of mankind.

    And so as we study the bloody past of mankind the lust for revenge between clans goes on and on for millenniums, neither side willing to admit that just maybe the fault does not so much lie with “the other” but within ourselves and our brutal primitive nature. The only difference between the Neanderthals and us are the sophistication of our weapons of mass destruction. We still have the same primitive emotions that cannot handle modern technology and that just may have been natures plan all along. Its the way Nature will eventually cause the extinction of a creature that could not live in harmony with its environment and ended up destroying the entire planet because of its evolution that allowed it to become too intelligent for its own survival.

    It must irk Stevens to no end when schools teach peace and civilized tolerance of other cultures, religions and people for people like Stevens see themselves as the Master Race foaming at the mouth and ready to do battle against the infidel and the sub-human who must be destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth. Sounds of jack boots clattering on the cobble stone streets of Europe prior to WWII come to mind. Stevens would have made a good Nazi.

    Rather than educate people as to what caused the tragedy and the senseless brutality on both sides Stevens promotes the idea of the Master Race and that to survive in this world we must crush all before us and listen in ecstasy to the lamentations and wailing of those we have crushed beneath our jack boots while they march on through rivers of blood and carnage. Our might gives us the right to rule the world.

    The infamous picture of the little girl in a Vietnamese village that had her clothes burned off with napalm while two storm troopers walk beside her , ignoring her screams completely as one of them calmly lights up a cigarette comes to mind. Mans inhumanity to man is only inhuman when its not “the other guy being annihilated” rather only when its “your people” being annihilated, then war suddenly becomes inhuman for the warped minds of people like Stevens, waving the flag and screaming for revenge.

    Or perhaps the people in Hiroshima after the dropping of the atomic bomb jumping off a bridge with their skin burned off comes to mind. Then it was acceptable because those civilians were “the other” and of course sub-human.

    “The fault dear storm trooper Stevens lies not in our stars but within ourselves”, we reap what we sow, start a war and do not expect that you will not suffer any losses.

    The biggest humiliation for the survivors and their families was to know that the enemy won in the end but an even bigger tragedy for the entire nation of Americans was the fact that we probably still have not learned our lesson and that is we do not have the right to become the “masters of the world”, nor can we ever “Americanize” the world either. At least the Germans after WWII seem to have learned their lesson and we probably have not.

    After the conclusion of WWII it was unthinkable that we ourselves would become more arrogant and warlike than the German Nazi’s and Japanese banzai troops of that era but he who does not understand the past is condemned to relive it in the future. Three thousand dead on 9/11 and 62,000 dead in Vietnam proved that we suffer and continue to suffer because we did not study the past.

    • You don’t seem to understand a basic truth. Islam has not had a reformation like Christianity and has at their core belief they will rule by the sword. That view has not changed nor will it in the conceivable future. They are at war with us simply because we exist outside of thier theology. You cannot coexist with those who want to kill or subjugate you. You have two choices, submit or fight.

      If you think otherwise, you are not half the historian you claim to be.

      • No paratrooper it is you who are racist to the core and totally ignorant of the religion of Islam. As a matter of fact Islam was derived from Christianity. Perhaps before making a total fool of yourself you ought to read the Koran sometime. Both religions have sanctioned war and cruelty as there are little differences if any between them. Islam even regards Christ as a great prophet that was worthy and a man who did indeed exist.

        Most people of Islam could not care less about Christians unless of course both sides are living in the same proximity and that by the way is true for the U.S. as well. Christians in the U.S. have attacked and even murdered Moslems in the U.S. so your sanctimonious stance is laughable. When you point your racist and bigoted finger at Islam you have 3 fingers pointed right back at your own murderous Christian fanatics.

        I might also point out Christian far right fanatics are so violent they even kill themselves, as Protestants hate Catholics with a passion and various Protestant sects even hate each other. Again to claim Islam is any more evil or violent than nut case far right Christians is the height of hypocrisy and religious fanaticism. Remember it is nut case Christians who shoot up abortion clinics in the U.S. with AK47’s. Show me the difference between the radical section of Islam and the nut case radical Christians. Answer, there is no difference, as history has proved it beyond all doubt.

        And here is a history lesson for you. During the Crusades the Christians murdered and tortured far more people than Islam did. Richard the Lion Heart was documented on killing women and children to lure Saladin into a trap. Saladin who was for more the humane leader (as documented by real historians) attacked anyway and defeated Richard.. I guess it was a good case of proving God was on the righteous side in that battle. That is if you believe in bronze age mysticism with its prayer , ritual, incantations and painting your body blue and dancing naked by the light of the moon (sarcasm)

        • “…No paratrooper it is you who are racist to the core…”

          Islam is not a Race. Middle Eastern is not a Race, nor is Arab.
          There are three Races..and possibly a fourth if the Australian aborigines are counted.
          Caucasian, Mongolian, and Negroid.
          That’s it, all there is.
          So who is Paratrooper racist against? Other White people? Everybody? since Islam has members from all three Races.

          ‘When one starts from a wrong premise, the rest is false as well.’

        • Islam is a political religion, not a race.

          Yet you attempt to change what I argued, the current beliefs of Islam and domination. Today, at this very moment, Islamic Teaching is Jihad and worldwide domination under a Islamic Theocracy. Do you deny this? If this is false, then the Islamic Leaders who have openly stated this were only joking?

        • “Show me the difference between the radical section of Islam and the nut case radical Christians.”

          Okay, sure, that’s an easy one. The radical section of Islam is sanctioned and promoted by the radical section of the church (mosque). There is no violence sanctioned by Christian churches anywhere. Just because someone goes to church and calls themselves a Christian doesn’t mean they are one. For some reason, that’s a very difficult concept to grasp for some people.

          Note that I said the radical section of the mosque. I’m not referring to all Muslims. Their faith within the US isn’t necessarily radical. When they’re in another culture long enough, they can’t help but acclimate to it. I personally interact with Muslims on a regular basis. They make excellent clients. I’ve even worked for the local mosque. It’s a different story in some places overseas. It isn’t like there’s a few radical Muslims hiding out in someone’s basement. Their radical religious beliefs are literally promoted by multiple governments.

        • Dacian has to be writing satire. No one can be that wrong about everything. Here’s a tip- stop leading with the personal attacks and your satire may actually be funny, if that’s what you are going for. What you’ve been producing lately is really boring.

        • Please stop comparing what Christians did 400 to 1,000 years ago with what Islam does every day, to this very day. Christians have grown up a lot in the past 400 years. Islam wants to stay just the way it has been since around 900 AD. And Yes, I have read the Holy Books from several religions. Turn the other cheek vs cut your head off.

    • “….still have not learned our lesson and that is we do not have the right to become the “masters of the world”, nor can we ever “Americanize” the world either…..”

      Just out of curiosity….”Why Not?”

      • Spoken like a true Storm Trooper. Hitler would have made you one of his most cherished Lieutenants. Only a man of little or no education would have ever made such an outrageous statement. It shows you have no appreciation for countries that have existed for thousands of years. How long have we existed as a nation , a mere 245 years and you are saying you have the right to tell them how to live their lives and change their traditions and laws. Give us all a break.

        Islam had advanced mathematics when the Europeans were still living in caves and ditto for the Chinese who also had hydraulic operated saws, deep hole drilling machines and a primitive but useful form of air conditioning as well as a semi-automatic cross bow that actually shot arrows out as it was cranked. And I forgot to mention the invention of the printing press long before Gutenberg claimed to be the first. Did I mention the invention of gun powder. Now tell me you have the right to Americanize other countries. You obviously flunked history classes.

        The other countries do not want our culture, they do not need it and some are not about to adopt our way of governing. I might say we would have been far better off if the French had stayed after they won American Revolution for us and civilized us with their culture. We all would have been much better off socially, economically , medically, and of course a much a much more free country than we are today.

        • “…Only a man of little or no education would have ever made such an outrageous statement…”

          It wasn’t a statement, it was question. This character ‘?’ indicates that in English.
          Ad hominem attacks are a sign of weakness.

      • Just out of curiosity….”Why Not?”

        Lack of resources and will. We can’t even do that within our own country. It’s difficult when the goal of one of the two major political parties is to teach our citizens to hate our country.

      • For the same reason we don’t give the vote and GUNS to six year olds. Democracy and respect of the “other” has to be grown in to. You can’t “liberate” a peasant/slave society and expect them to successfully grasp liberty. As soon as the Russians got there freedom, they promptly elected a senior KGB agent as there president. The State had always ruled the peasants, and the peasants are fine with that.

    • There was a robust “America First” movement that did not want to get involved in 1941. But they were derided as “isolationists” and “anti-semites” by FDR liberals. Every American intervention since has been modeled on WWII, of which the America First movement warned.

      Many of the social ills the nation is suffering now is the result of intervention in that conflict. We should have listened to America First and minded our own business.

      • And/or bred them out. All caucasians carry some neanderthal DNA. Another branch on the tree of humanity were the denisovans, who contributed their DNA to asians. There are yet more branches to discover (Basques are genetically quite unique, for example). Most likely the only pure human hominids remaining today are on the west coast of Africa and possibly the aboriginals of Australia, who are believed to have been part of the second migration out of Africa, which also populated southern India et al.

    • ‘Education that teaches peace and tolerance.” From SS Schutze dacian, a member of the antifa/SS. How many minority owned businesses did you and your peaceful and tolerant buddies burn and loot during your mostly peaceful protests?

      Clown shoes.

  4. Bad things were done in the name of Chrstianity in the past and are still being done in some places. But Christianity underwent several splits, reformations, and ground up rebuilds. Islam won’t have a “reformation” because it is seen by its followers as perfect, even with its flaws.

    The Vatican had to change it’s image from the 1840s after rising literacy and regular newspapers meant any indiscretions were found out far and wide.

    Islam does have splits. The Shia Sunni split about the time of the third caliphate about rules of succession. The Whabbis who think the Sunnis aren’t Sunni enough. The Taliban, while influenced by Whabbism think the Saudi Wahabbis are decadent princelings. And ISIS who think the Taliban are too soft and need to step up the cruelty, and all for the good of their victim’s souls.

    • “Bad things were done in the name of Christianity…” People (apologists for Islam mostly) keep saying this, but it’s hardly a comparison to the evils and horrors perpetrated on the world by the followers of Muhammed, a slaver, highway bandit and notorious pedophile who actually preached forced conversion or death.
      Three crusades in the Holy Land in response to Muslim incursions across southern Europe from Gibraltar to Syria and beyond? No comparison.
      The Spanish Inquisition against mostly Jews vs. 1400 years of attempted genocide of the Jews by Islamists? No comparison.
      The Catholic church wiping out the Cathars/Bogomils/ etc. and warring on the Protestants vs. over 1000 years of Sunni vs. Shia? No comparison.
      In the “evil done in the name of religion” game, Islam’s high score dwarfs all others, which isn’t surprising when you take a look at it’s founding prophet and how his values are completely antithetical to the founding principles of Western Civilization down to this very day.

      • When it comes to killing Muslims, no one does it better than other Muslims.

        Dacian would say it is racist for us to intervene.

  5. “Say what you will about George W. Bush, but at only eight months into his presidency, he took the defiant stance necessary to respond to what happened on that day”

    Maybe when he finally came out of hiding and gave a statement. I guess days too late was better than nothing, but at the time it was just a long, *long* wait.

    I didn’t hate the guy – his and congress’ overreacting to 9/11 by infringing freedoms is the only thing I really hated – but his immediate reaction was not at all deserving of praise.

  6. Since Americans have been required in the public school systems to watch black and white World War II film footage of the Japanese executing civilians, and the Germans executing civilians. Then it should be required viewing that all Americans watch the unedited footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, and the people jumping out of the buildings to keep from burning to death.

    And if there’s any footage of them impacting on the ground then that should be required viewing as well. And there is such footage. I have seen it.

    I know there is audio recordings from 911 calls made from the people inside the buildings. Those people could not escape because the elevators and staircases had been destroyed. Everyone should be required to listen to the please, cries, and sadness of people who knew they were going to die.

  7. 20 years later, and many still fail to recognize that the battle is between intolerant fundamentalist Islam and moderate Islam, rather than between Islam and Christendom/western democracy. Promoting the notion that Islam and western democracy are incompatible is helping the terrorists in their recruiting effort, because that’s exactly the view of the conflict they want the world to believe and that undermines the moderate Islamic governments they hope to overthrow.

    • An Islamic fundamentalist wants to kill us. A moderate Islamist wants a fundamentalist Islamist to kill us. Quite a difference right there.

      • Difference you’re missing is between an Islamist and a moderate Muslim. Vast majority of the world’s 1+ billion Muslims are looking primarily to go about their lives, same as most non-Muslims.

  8. I still think it all was a false flag event so “W” could pass his all ready to go “Patriot Act” which took away most every right in the Bill of Rights. With the help of Israeli intelligence and House of Saud money he got it done . And you just thought Obama was evil.


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