Patriot Day 2012: A Page From our Family Album

"We the people . . ."-- a design from Heather at Simply Fresh Designs.

Below is a page from our family album– my aunt had treated us to a week of sightseeing in New York City, and of course, the World Trade Center was on our list of places to see. You’ll notice the date on our ticket was 9/25/2000– less than one year before the towers were destroyed. One of the most memorable things about being so high on the observation deck was seeing small planes and helicopters flying lower than we were standing.

When I heard that a plane had flown into one of the towers, my first thought was not one of surprise, but of acceptance that such an accident could happen. As the news unfolded, it was shocking to find that it hadn’t been an accident at all. It was sobering to see such clear evidence of hatred, of unbridled evil. It was also a reminder that “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” (Thomas Paine) I am grateful for each of the servicemen and -women who support the cause of liberty, and I’m grateful for the first responders who are daily heroes.

From our family album: the World Trade Center 2000. 

Many different things have come from this day, but one in particular strikes me as a good idea. It’s the 9-11 Day Movement, “a movement built on people remembering through positive action.” Participants pledge to do a good deed on 9-11 in remembrance of those lost and of the spirit that drew Americans together after that tragic day.

On 9-11, I will . . .

In another thoughtful move, Heather of Simply Fresh Designs has posted some very attractive patriotic prints (sample at the top of the page) free in honor of  “all those who live and die for our FREEDOM, especially those who died September 11, 2001.” She asks that in return, you simply do something nice for someone. And that’s always a good thing.

And now, a few thoughts on the topic of freedom and liberty:

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
― Benjamin Franklin

I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. ~ Thomas Jefferson

The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom. –Rudolph W. Giuliani. December 31, 2001

So what do we do?

Don’t overreact some say. We aren’t.

We haven’t lashed out. No missiles on the first night just for effect.

Don’t kill innocent people. We are not the ones who waged war on the innocent. We seek the guilty.

Look for a diplomatic solution. There is no diplomacy with Bin Laden or the Taliban regime.

State an ultimatum and get their response. We stated the ultimatum; they haven’t responded.

Understand the causes of terror. Yes, we should try, but let there be no moral ambiguity about this: nothing could ever justify the events of 11 September, and it is to turn justice on its head to pretend it could.

The action we take will be proportionate; targeted; we will do all we humanly can to avoid civilian casualties. But understand what we are dealing with. Listen to the calls of those passengers on the planes. Think of the children on them, told they were going to die.

Think of the cruelty beyond our comprehension as amongst the screams and the anguish of the innocent, those hijackers drove at full throttle planes laden with fuel into buildings where tens of thousands worked.

They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent. If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000 does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?

There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror.

Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must.

–British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money and national security.
― The 9 11 Commission Report

 My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.  ~Adlai Stevenson, speech, Detroit, 1952

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Attributed to Edmund Burke

Eternal truth, eternal righteousness, eternal love; these only can triumph, for these only can endure. ~Joseph Barber Lightfoot

In memoriam: The Casualty List

Wikipedia 9-11 Portal

Finally, two quick announcements:

Signups are still open for the Beat-the-Clock Essay Workshop that will be held Friday September 21, 2012 from 8:30 AM – 02:00 PM at Heroes Academy on the south side of Richmond, VA. You can learn more about the workshop and sign up at

Carnival of Homeschooling
I will be hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling on this blog next Tuesday, so if you have a post you’d like to include, please submit it at the Blog Carnival site by Monday evening, September 17. Once you’ve submitted, you can tag your post with the Carnival of Homeschooling logo. There is a choice of three sizes, and you can find them at the Why Homeschooling website.

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