Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shanksville

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Shanksville

I had to drive out to central PA this past week, and on my way home I wanted to find a spot to stretch out and walk the dog a little. I passed a sign for Indian lake, which I'd heard of, so I decided to turn around and check it out to see if maybe I'd like to bring a fishing rod out there one day.

Well, driving about took me past another sign, the Flight 93 Memorial. I had to go, of course, never having been.

My chest was tight as I pulled in, and I'm not ashamed to say a few tears trickled down my face. It's hard to imagine the horror that touched that serene place, so far from anything the terrorists wanted to destroy. Such a great victory, with no living survivors. I wonder if those monsters died with the notion that they'd failed. I hope so.

I am certain that the heroes on that flight knew with incredible clarity the nature of the enemy, a clarity whose dimming in recent years was as likely a source of my sadness as the tragic loss of life.

It's a powerful place. Not much to see, but so much to feel.

Paul

Many brave men headline here this morning: Todd Beamer (and all his fellow patriots on board) and our Paul, who is a firefighter, and one of the bravest men we all know. They have come together this morning to remind us of what of what we should be thankful for--and what they have honored and preserved for us--the true spirit of America, and our beloved Capitol building:

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8 Comments:

Blogger FairestWitness said...

On Flight 93, ordinary American men stood up & became instant soldiers who defended us & prevented the terrorists from flying into the Capitol. Who knows how many lives were saved. Brave soldiers, God bless them all.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord ,being mentioned in the same sentence as Todd Beamer is a praise I don't deserve. You are way too kind.

The official memorial is being held up by political red tape - supposedly there is manganese at the site and nobody wants to do the excavating to clean it up. It is not harmful and needs a simple overruling to get underway, which I believe is the domain of the EPA, and perhaps the Parks Service.

Hopefully it will be resolved so something more can be ready for the ten year anniversary.

But even as it is in its makeshift state, I recommend it.


paul

8:40 AM  
Blogger FairestWitness said...

I think maybe Ed & I will go see it the next time we're headed that way. Thank you for writing this, Paul, it's very touching. Pat

8:50 AM  
Blogger CHOMP said...

Thank you, Donal and Paul, for this fine tribute to the extraordinary American hero, and the true meaning of American spirit.

9:29 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Paul, I have no doubt that, had you, tragically, been on that plane, you'd have done the same thing... you do it everyday when you go to work. Thank you, indeed, for sharing this...

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very moving comment, Paul. Thank you.

Red tape and the EPA are probably more dangerous to us than the terrorists in the long run.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Americans who were killed on Flight 93 first and foremost died fighting to save their lives and hope to God, in some way return home to their loved ones on a day they realized with cold-blooded horror that were in the middle of. The reason why they instead chose to fight is because they were ordinary Americans any of us would hvae been if we were raised by other Americans who loved their country and taught their children, who were on that plane that day to do the same. And to know they had the freedom to fight for their lives and that freedom is worth fighting for. None of us can ever know the paralyzing terror those people went through, on Flight 93, The Pentagon or The World Trade Center but I know the anger that still burns in my soul for those who did. Any surviour of combat will tell that the real heros are the ones who never come back. That would be the heros of Flight 93. They struck the first blow against the Islamofacsits on that horrible day. God bless them. And may HE bless and comfort their surviving loved ones. Thank you for this tribute Donal, its very beautiful. J'Mac.

6:08 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thank you, John, you always say things so nicely, feel things so deeply... I'd like to think that most Americans feel as patriotic as you do.

Sadly, I'm not sure the younger ones do...

7:15 PM  

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