5,113 Days After the Falling Man of September 11, 2001
By: Frank Salvato
It has been 5,113 days since the al Qaeda attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the failed third assault that was intercepted into a farm field in Shanksville, Pennsylviania, by American patriots. To borrow a phrase from a past generation that certainly applies to this event, it is a day that will live in infamy. But few would believe where our country is today given the events of that fateful day. Today Americans stand viciously divided in our politics as a society that rationalizes Islamofascist aggression (and, in the case of Iran, facilitates it), even as we harbor ideological factions that stand in protest of our law enforcement officers. We have moved away from the cohesive and united front we embraced shoulder-to-shoulder at the smoking pile of rubble that was the remnants of the World Trade Center; the tomb that holds so many souls.
Today, as we face the fourteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, the United States government has radically shifted from the sworn obligation to confront and exterminate violent Islamofascism wherever it exists, to a tolerant acquiescence of co-existence with a culture dedicated opposing that state. Today, 3,115 days after 2,977 people were slaughtered by Islamofascists, the Islamic State is on the march, spreading its oppressive and murderous dogma of Islamofascism across the Middle East and Africa, even as its influence reaches the shores around the world, extending into our homes right here in the United States. Al Qaeda has a state of the art “inspirational” magazine for the discerning jihadi. And the United States, under President Barack Obama and the efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hilary Clinton, stands not only sympathetic to the Iranian mullahs, but have purposefully facilitated their path to a nuclear weapon.
Today, just 74,760-some hours after the first jetliner sliced through the North Tower, and on a day that would claim the lives of 71 law enforcement officers and 343 firefighters would lose their lives in the line of duty, the racists and supremacists of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement – a violent and intolerant ideological faction spurred on by those who benefit from divisive and race-based politics – march in the streets bastardizing statistics and calling for violence against police officers and first responders. The very people who were hailed as heroes for their courage and selfless acts fourteen years ago are, today the target of vile protestations, lies and vilification.
These societal maladies are but two that exists in today’s United States, maladies born of selfish, ideological politics and a population that refuses to engage in the hard work of casting aside the special interest rhetoric of opportunistic skullduggery or even supporting those who fight daily to dilute the madness.
In all the wrong that exists today, and suffering the wickedness of the dividers, the political opportunists, the Islamofascists and the ideological zealots, we – the American people – must reach deep down into our souls to find the courage and the dedication to come together; to re-attain the brotherhood we shared on that fateful day fourteen years ago; 3,115 days ago; 74,760-some hours ago, that we can not only measure up to what we should be as Americans, but so that we can become what we need to be so that our Republic can survive; so that we can confront and defeat the things that divide us; so that we can achieve e pluribus unum.
Each September 11th, I remember – purposefully – Jonathan Briley, the “falling man” of September 11, 2001. I penned a piece titled, “Feeling the Pain of the Falling Man of September 11th” on the first anniversary of the attacks. Since then it has been updated to address current circumstances. I ask you – I implore you – to remember the pain you felt on September 11, 2001; to feel the loss and the immediate kinship you felt for being American and being in the cross-hairs. I implore you (and invite you) to remember Jonathan Briley:
Feeling the Pain of the Falling Man of September 11th: Redux
Everyone remembers the horrifying images of September 11, 2001. Anyone alive and aware on that date will live with those images the rest of their life. The scenes of havoc and panic, destruction and slaughter, demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that even though the United States military is the best trained and well equipped in the world, our country remains vulnerable to the wicked.
When one accepts the fact — and it is a fact — that the free world, not just the United States, is at war with violent Islamists, this story is all the more chilling and disturbing.
The mainstream media in the United States has taken the images of September 11th, 2001 off the television and out of the newspapers, but for the obligatory image on the anniversary itself. They say that the images are too disturbing, that they incite a want for revenge rather than allow for closure. But they are wrong to do this.
The United States should not and cannot simply forgive and forget just because the our current president fallaciously insisted that al Qaeda was on the run and that the Islamic State is “jayvee.” Facts demonstrate that al Qaeda, the Taliban – and now the Islamic State and Boko Haram; violent Islamists, have been planning and preparing to implement their global campaign of terrorism — their declared war against the Western World — since before 1993, well before September 11th. Their central location for training may have been eliminated but they had prepared for that, splintering like roaches to the four corners of the world, preparing, planning and implementing their battle plans made decades before.
Make no mistake, they are a cunning adversary. They understood that the US would come after them. They planned for this event. Now they have metastasized and their threat is even greater than before September 11, 2001.
This war cannot be about “tolerance” or forgiving, or about understanding the “reasons why” someone would want to murder innocents whether it be with an airplane, a car bomb, a suicide vest or a saif. This battle has to be about freedom and the right of innocents to live their lives in liberty, free of fear from an unholy sect of genocidal totalitarians who offer only oppression, dominance and terror as their bounty.
The Progressive left and the complicit mainstream media would have us believe that it is America that is to blame for her audacity in the promotion of freedom and free markets, liberty and the vision of a world free of dictators who torture, murder and slaughter for power. To that extent, Progressives and the agenda-driven media are dangerous and a direct threat to the existence of our country, teetering on the brink of treason and sedition. They will attack these words by saying that I have intimated that they are not patriotic and un-American.
For the record, I hold the belief that anyone who believes the United States brought the attacks of September 11, 2001, onto itself IS unpatriotic and un-American. I believe that they have become toadies for our enemy and should be treated and opposed as such. While they manipulate the true meaning of the First Amendment’s free speech clause, they attempt to indoctrinate and transform our youth and the less than suspecting among us into believing in the doctrine of self-loathing, an oppressive ideology born of the less than great thinkers of Europe almost a century ago.
In its March 15, 2006 edition, The Mirror, a British publication (the American mainstream media too gutless to publish such truth), revealed the identity of a man who had to make the unimaginable decision of whether to burn to death in the raging fires of the World Trade Center on September 11th or escape the pain of hell on earth by leaping from the top of one of the world’s tallest buildings to his certain death.
The article was titled, Revealing the Identity of the Falling Man of 9/11. Jonathan Briley was “The Falling Man of 9/11.”
I would beg each of you to read the article but The Mirror, along with Esquire and a number of publications who once cared about such things, has taken the article down. You can search his name – Jonathan Briley – and look at the pictures and feel Jonathan Briley’s helplessness, his terror, and then try to imagine the split second of excruciating pain that he felt when his body hit the cement below with such force that he, a human being just seconds before, was left a bloodstain on a sidewalk, slaughtered like road kill by barbarian Islamists.
The people of the United States need to rekindle the flame of emotional anguish about the attacks of September 11th, 2001. We need to seethe. We need to employ the ingenuity and intelligence that is fostered in a free society dedicated to liberty, and scream our ire from the top of the world. Then we need to take definitive action.
If we are to wage war on terrorists; on violent Islamists, then let us be the ones who strike terror into the hearts of our enemies. Let us bring terror to those who blow-up innocents, saw the heads off hostages and threaten the world with words of annihilation and nuclear Armageddon. If we are to be in a war we did not choose to begin then in the memory of all who have fallen in the quest to provide freedom and liberty to the world, let us be the ones who act decisively to end it.
We need to embrace the undeniable truth that the free world is at war and cease pandering to those who would wake up one day in the future ruing the fact that we should have acted earlier.
A pre-emptive strike doctrine for the United States? Eradicating the world of the likes of al Qaeda, the Islamic State, Boko Haram and every other Islamist organization that preaches the conquest and servitude of the “dhimmi”? You’re damn right!