Reflections on the Families of 9/11
You might reach out to John Byrne to see if he'd be interested in recording and performing. This seems like it's up his alley.
Thank you for introducing me to Laurelyn, the great-great grandfather whose surname I carry would be sad to hear how little Irish culture I know.
Robert - One thing I can add, please forgive if this I am repeating myself, although perhaps that is an old man's privilege.
Why should a person get to know a Gold Star family?
Because it’s one thing to talk about the sacrifice our veteran’s made for our freedoms.
It’s an entirely different thing to meet and befriend a family who has lived with the loss every day of their lives.
You can never fully understand the loss and the grief - but at least you can get a glimpse of what it cost them.
As a Southerner, I hope you know what I mean when I say .... "Damn, Son."
You are so correct. A few years back, I noticed that the name of Purdue physics doctoral student Harry Daghlian, who died of acute radiation poisoning from an accident at the Manhattan project when the so-called "Demon Core accidentally went supercritical during neutron reflection experiments, was missing from a plaque listing faculty, students, and alumni who gave their lives in the Second World War. I wrote university President Mitch Daniels pointing out the omission and asking for his name to be added, as he was an employee of the War Department Army Manhattan Engineering district working on a critical project that played a crucial strategic role in winning the Pacific War.
I was disappointed when Daniels refused to add his name to the plaque because he was not a uniformed soldier, but at least he offered to put a separate one up beside it in the Purdue Memorial Union to honor Daghlian. To me, it was an insult to his memory to say that because he was a civilian employee of the Army rather than a commissioned officer, his sacrifice in the war effort was somehow less meaningful. That is such a radically different attitude than existed during the Second World War itself, when NOAA meteorologists on Coast Guard weather ships were awarded military decorations, and the first Purple Hearts awarded went to Honolulu civilian firefighters who died in the Pearl Harbor attacks.
I grew up an Air Force brat - my father left for the third of his four Vietnam tours on the day I turned one month old. I was an Air Force ROTC cadet in college until I was washed out due to asthma during my commissioning physical. I went on, like you, to graduate work in health economics and policy, and found a way to apply it to the problems that arose from al-Queda. That doesn't mean I didn't serve my country and contribute to efforts in the War on Terrorism - I was a member of two CDC antiterrorism boards, involved in public health preparedness and chemical/biological civil defense planning in two states, and consulted with Joint Forces Command/JIWC on medical civil affairs doctrine in light of the then-new Counterinsurgency manual. I played a role in DoD exercises on how to deal with post-surge Iraq and organizing stability operation efforts, working with people like Dave Kilcullen and Isreali General Benny Ganz.
Not all contributions come from being shot at - those made on the home front can be just as critical if not more so than those on the front lines. I believe it is a shame that the efforts of Lt. General Lucius Clay in coordinating war production and strategic logistics in the Second World War are nearly forgotten while a bumbling poseur like Douglas MacArthur was awarded a Medal of Honor. Montgomery Meigs and Herman Haupt made as critical of contributions to the Civil War as a Sheridan or Hancock, but do not get the recognition - and without the efforts of civilian financier Jay Cooke, the US could not have funded that war effort.
What a wonderful post and what a powerful, moving poem. Thank you sir! I'll be sharing this.
God knows who REALLY did 9/11. God is not mocked. They will REAP what they have sown.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.