I was living in a Boston suburb eight years ago and I just got home from my honeymoon with my wife of 10 days when the crap hit the fan. My wife is still a flight attendant for United Airlines so the story of UAL 175 with a predominantly Boston crew, hit our new home pretty hard.
With all the ceremonies we've seen today on TV, it's always about the men and women in uniform. The NYPD and NYFD for obvious reason get the most press. Don't forget, the first responders to the new “War on Terror” came from the women and men in uniform – they were the pilots and flight attendants from United and American Airlines. Let's not forget them when we close our eyes tonight.
As a hockey columnist and a Boston guy, I will mention the two NHL scouts on their way to LAX to go to work for the Kings. Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis were Boston area guys who loved the game as much if not more than we do. Bailey won Stanley Cups with Boston and watched over Wayne Gretzky when he first came up into the NHL. Bavis was a talented NCAA player at Boston University who moved into the NHL as a scout.
This is something I found on the internet in the aftermath of that awful Tuesday. The one thing I “regret” about it is that I wish I wrote it myself.
An Open Letter To Terrorists…
Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the
Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to
take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed
Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't
about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military
centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of
bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea, that you can go someplace where
you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part,
like you envisioned living, and pursue happiness.
Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany:
“If you can not see my point, then feel my pain.” This concept is alien to
Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But
you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But
you're free to say one.
I don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree
with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a
matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called
States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny
in the world. Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as
you go, when it's your country. If you're free enough.
Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of the time. That's an
unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes from feeling free
and easy about the world you live in. It's unfortunate too, because people
start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a
So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real
estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with
random camps, in far-flung places – who think they're safe. Just like the
Barbary Pirates did, if I recall correctly. Better start sleeping with one
You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in
America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And
killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it.
Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're
crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind
of Spirit. Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time.
Sleep tight, if you can.
In this over the top politically correct world we live in, some of these words might “offend” some people. We, as a country, are in “dirty” places like Afganistan and Iraq for a reason. We are there to weed out those who want to pull off another stunt like the one that happened eight years ago. Believe me, nothing would make them happier to see another day like Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
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Written by Jim Mulligan