And Boys Become Men

By Piper Bayard

Thirteen years ago today, a generation of little boys and girls learned that there are evil people in this world whose only desire is to kill everyone they cannot control. Even as children, it ignited a passion in them to protect the innocents. Those boys and girls are becoming men and women.

Tonight, my son’s friend is coming to dinner. He ships out to boot camp at the end of the month. He is only one of many.

Today, I not only remember the souls and the innocence we lost on 9/11, I also salute those who are still responding by dedicating their lives to keeping that relentless evil in check. And with all I am, I wish I had something more to give to those young men and women than steak, potatoes, peach pie, and a mother’s prayers.

Never forget.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . End of Life Care Machine

Just in case you don’t care enough to actually show up yourself, you can hire a machine to care for you.

Thank you to Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse for calling my attention to this further proof that our technology has outstripped our humanity.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

In Stonycreek the Flowers Blow–Honoring Those Lost on 9/11 by Kristen Lamb.

I would also encourage you to remember those abandoned in Benghazi on 9/11/12. Their story has yet to be told. Benghazi: An Intelligence Perspective by Jay Holmes.

US Consulate Benghazi 9/11/12

US Consulate Benghazi 9/11/12

Via Kate Copsey — 10 Things Writers are Tired of Hearing. Consider reading this if you are interested in the care and feeding of a writer.

From The Onion–Poll: Majority of Americans Approve of Sending Congress to Syria. I know I certainly do.

The Wisdom in Compassion, a Matter of Nuance by KM Huber.

Tired of all of those silver cars on the road? Color is Coming Back by Nigel Blackwell.

Read first or see first? The Great Book vs. Movie Debate by Jess Witkins.

Challenging the Second “A” in A.A.

Wild Rider Susie Lindau takes us to Spain. Barcelona — Photographs and Pickpockets

Century-Old Message in a Bottle Found in Tofino

 94-year-old Fred Stobaugh met his beloved Lorraine in 1938. When she recently passed away, he penned the song Sweet Lorraine for her and entered it in a contest. Green Shoe Studio produced it. This is a brief documentary of Fred’s story–the actual song starts at 5:50. The commitment to love is a commitment to pain. Today, I raise a glass to all who have the courage to love.

Campaign Style Poll Daddy of the Week:

All the best to all of you for a week of avoiding creepy machines.

Piper Bayard

What Do You Remember?

image from US Navy

I woke up to hear a voice on the radio saying that two planes had crashed into the twin towers. I knew instantly it was no accident, but I had no way to compute the information with my pre-9/11 mindset. Then I turned on the TV, and I knew our world was changed forever. And I held my children close and wept.

One of the many things I remember was how all of the hospitals were preparing to take in survivors, but so few came. People either died, or they walked away.

What do you remember?

Never forget.

Piper Bayard

Where Were You?

image from US Navy

I woke up to hear a voice on the radio saying that two planes had crashed into the twin towers. I knew instantly it was no accident, but I had no way to compute the information with my pre-9/11 mindset. Then I turned on the TV, and I knew our world was changed forever. And I held my children close and wept.

Where were you?

Never forget.

Piper Bayard

We Drank Champagne and Remembered

I have been out of town for the past several days, and, as it happens, I was with my writing partner, “Holmes,” in Arizona last night when the news went public that Bin Laden is dead. We broke open a bottle of champagne and toasted. Not in merriment or triumph, but in solemn gratitude to everyone who brought this success for all Americans to fruition. The following is Holmes’ comment on this important landmark in our fight against terrorism. . . .

Holmes:

Tonight, I feel a sense of relief at the death of the bestial mass murderer, extortionist, rapist, and common thief, Osama Bin Laden. His death does not signify an end to the war against terror, but it is a significant achievement. I feel a deep sense of gratitude at having been afforded the privilege to serve with the many great Americans and Allies, and the many sympathetic and helpful people throughout the world who have chosen to stand on the side of decency. I remain thankful to every one of them for their commitment and sacrifices.

Tonight, I feel a need to reflect on the loss of thousands of Americans from the 9/11 attacks, and the other attacks perpetrated by Bin Laden’s sick worshipers. I hope that tonight’s news can bring some measure of closure to the thousands of loved ones who suffered losses on that terrible day.

Tonight, in particular, I find myself thinking of New York City Fire Marshal and part-time member of the United States Army Special Forces, Ronnie Bucca. Ronnie had served as a member of the renowned New York City Fire Department “Rescue 1” and had been involved in daring rescue operations that seem too far-fetched for Hollywood movies. After suffering a broken spine in one such rescue in Manhattan, Ronnie defied medical science and was able to return to duty and became a Fire Marshall for New York City.

Ronnie was one of the individuals who struggled mightily against a second attack on the Twin Towers. (Remember that the 9/11 attacks were the second attack on the Twin Towers, the first being a truck bombing in 1993.) Ronnie’s experience with the first Twin Towers bombing, as well as his experience as a United States Army Intelligence Specialist, a Fire Marshal, and a member of Rescue 1, gave him a unique perspective on terrorist threats, and Ronnie was convinced that another attack on the Twin Towers was highly likely.

Ronnie reached out to a variety of people concerning his well-founded fears. Had more people listened to him, the attack might have been thwarted. On 9/11, Ronnie was on duty as a Fire Marshal. When he heard the news, he and his partner went to the World Trade Center and entered the complex to help in the evacuation and firefighting efforts. Ronnie and his fellow fire fighters must have known that they had little chance of surviving that fire, but it didn’t stop them from trying to save as many lives as possible.

The last conversation I had with Ronnie Bucca was about his concern for a possible attack on the Twin Towers. I send my renewed condolences and my respect to his wife, Eve, and to their two children, Jessica and Ronald. We have not forgotten Ronnie.

To all those who have lost loved ones in the fight against terrorism, they, too, are remembered.

JH