Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Anniversary: Remembering 9/11
"Where were you on
morning of September
11, 2001?" No doubt you have been asked that question many
since that awful and terrible day when America and the world were
shattered by deliberate and targeted crashes of four hijacked
In the seven years intervening,
recalled with both alarm and disbelief that date of attack which
terrible reality, not just threats to our safe and secure lifestyle.
We know the events happened. We
television news coverage of the billowing smoke from crashes into the Twin Towers
of the World
in New York.
We saw the Towers topple, heard confused cries, saw the devastation,
with disbelief that such could happen in America, the "land of the
and the home of the brave."
We heard reports that a third
airliner crashed into a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Our worst fears surfaced. Had this center of America's
military operations been
rendered completely ineffective?
With the brave action of some
the fourth hijacked airliner, its direction was thwarted from its
target in Washington,
DC and the crash occurred
in a field in
rural Somerset County,
There were no known survivors of
jetliners. The 19 hijack- ers went to their deaths with a sense of
accomplishment that they had done the deeds with martyrs' bravery and
allegiance to their god. The passengers, no doubt, had boarded planes
confidence, with no thought that manipulations already in place would
their untimely deaths that fateful day. Victims within the Twin Towers
and others who died as a result of the travesties numbered over 3,000.
Countless hours of rescue and recovery work resulted in airborne and
contaminant afflictions that would follow victims the rest of their
Nine/Eleven is an awful
that date in 2001, neither America
nor the world has been the same as it was before.
We had rather not be reminded,
but it is
indelibly written in our history as a Day of Darkness and Doom.
To fight such an enemy as
attacks on America
on September 11,
is a hard battle. Was Al-Qaeda behind it all—that dreaded terrorist
hides out in caves in the desert and plies its poison throughout the
Were the enemies an army that could be confronted on a given
engaged in warfare which would eventually declare that the best side
Hardly so. But the battles
began. And we
are still in the midst of the war seven years later.
Immediately after 9/11, a surge
of zeal and
patriotism swept the United
States. A turning again to the God of
nation was evident in songs, in messages, in websites, in patriotic
in churches, in town square meetings. America had rallied in the
similar threats to her freedom. We could do so again. War was declared
the Taliban with forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hussein was hunted and deposed, brought to trial and found guilty. The
to find and bring to justice the world-wide leader of terrorism
Osama bin Laden became the most wanted, the king of the terrorists, the
to find and depose at any cost.
America passed the USA Patriot Act,
drafted by Representative Frank James Sensenbrenner on October 23, 2001,
passed in the House
on October 24, in the Senate on October 25, and signed into law by
Bush on October
The name of the act is an acronym standing for its major aims: "Uniting
and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to
and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act).
Erection of memorials is under
way in many
places. Many, still in the building process, are geared to solemnly
Americans of the fatal 9/11 invasion. The Freedom Tower
now being built, is to be one monument to the toll the day had on our
safety and freedom. At "Ground Zero" in New York City, pictures and memorials
the story of the heartache that came on a bright sunny morning in
I'm sure you, as I, have read
reports, accounts from persons who narrowly escaped with their lives,
to tell the story of fear and an about-face in their own lives. One
is by Kyle Crager, who descended from the 71st floor of the World Trade Center
and lived to tell
the story. He described himself as having "a cushy office high over the
streets of Manhattan,
a view of the Statue of Liberty, a fast-track career." But all of that
changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
Speaking at churches, schools,
community events, Kyle Crager now quotes lines from the 17th century
poet, George Herbert: "Thou hast given me so much… Give me one thing
a grateful heart." And one of his rallying cries uses words from C. S.
Lewis, English apologist, minister and writer:
"God whispers to us in our
Speaks to us in our conscience,
But shouts in our pain:
It is His megaphone to rouse a
Anniversaries dredge up fearful memories at
times, as is the case with 9/11. But the event can, as it did with Kyle
and others sharing survival, give one more thing: "a grateful heart."
Jones; published Sept. 11, 2008 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Updated August 10,
Back To Union County, Georgia GenWeb Site