Just thought I’d mention something that happened to me today, here in NYC. As everyone knows, today marked the second anniversary of 9/11. I remember the day well, as I was up on my roof watching the events unfold firsthand. I live downtown, maybe a mile from WTC. I heard the first plane fly over my building.

Being a pilot, I started to receive phone calls asking how a plane could hit the towers. We had our answer when the second plane hit.

I’ll not recount that day, but suffice it to say the seeing that south tower go down right there in from of me was a shock beyond description. TV in no way conveyed the way the city shook, the way the sound of that building collapsing reverberated throughout the city, and the odor of the acrid smoke that I will never forget.

Today I had to run downtown to Murray Street in Tribeca on an errand. I took the C train to Chambers and, unwittingly, when I emerged from the station, I found myself at the west side of Ground Zero. It was teeming with people and not 10 feet away from me was Rudy Giuliani, shaking hands and greeting firemen. I’d never really cared for Giuliani when he was mayor for reasons I don’t need to explain here, but on 9/11, he truly set the high bar with respect to the actions that day of our country’s public officials, including Bush.

It was purely coincidental that today I ended up at the site where the WTC once stood, but it was fitting and I was glad I was there. The huge gaping hole in the sky the towers left is something I’ve never gotten used to.

I walked west along the northern border of Ground Zero and stopped at a point where I could peer into the pit.

I’m not a religious person at all, but I said a prayer in my own way, to whomever was listening, for the people lost that day.

I’ll not comment here about what I think about TFRs or other inconveniences we, as pilots, experience. I just think it’s important we reflect and note what happened here two years ago.

Jeff Berlin

Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts.


Forgot to attach a shot from my roof of the lights downtown.



Neither should we forget,3604,1039689,00.htmlthe other tragic and bloody event that shares the same anniversary —,13755,1040254,00.html9/11/1973.


I appreciated your thoughts regarding your experience on 9/11 two years ago and 9/11 yesterday.

Nicely written ~

I appreciate you passing along your experience and thought I would as well. I was able to spend the last two September 11th’s in the Pentagon. 2002 was outside at the memorial ceremony and 2003 was inside near the impact point. If fact I was standing at the point of impact during the 30 second moment of silence.

Never having served in the military, I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity. We were able to be there because we donated some art glass windows for the chapel they built at the point of impact.

What made such a great impression on me was the attitude of the military. On the 1st anniversary, Sec Rusmfeld and President Bush made much of the fact that one year later, not one stone was out of place. I was even told by some of the people there on the 11th, that people reported to work there on the 12th.

I’m not much of a gushy emotional person, but it was an emotional experience to stand there and think about what happened.


“the other tragic and bloody event”----end quote

This is tiresome and pedantic after a mass murder that HAS NO JUSTIFICATION, no matter how much you hate America.
There is no moral equivalence between a coup 30 years ago and a deliberate plan to kill civilians AND NO ONE ELSE.
Someone else expressed your mindset perfectly:

[They are] comparing the murder of 3,000 innocents to the U.S. complicity in a coup in Chile thirty years ago. For these people, the first instinct is always, always, always, that the United States is morally suspect. They haven’t changed. The moral clarity after 9/11 terrified them. They wanted it to go away so badly so they could switch the conversation back to the faults and evils of America. (end THAT quote)

Either you’re just out of college or you are one of those pestilent Boomers for whom Vietnam was the greatest event in your life, who ever since have interpreted a failed policy as proof of America’s eternally evil character. Thirty years have passed, but in your way you are as obsessed with the past as is/was Osama, who will tell you that on 9/11/1683 the Ottomans barely failed to conquer Vienna, the high-water mark of Islamic conquest. That’s clearly why he picked THAT date.

NOTHING justifies the mass murder of 3,000 civilians: not the Chilean coup, about which you care more than Osama ever did, not the bloodless stationing of American troops in Saudi for years and years (Osama’s biggest grievance), caused by our need to defend an oil exporter from a dictator whom we failed to take out in 1991.

So don’t bother trying to change the subject to your favorite decades, the 1960s and 1970s: East Timor, Vietnam, Chile, blah blah. On 9/11 total terrorist evil was committed without justification against civilians in Manhattan. Or are you like Reuters—you call those murderers “militants,” “guerrillas,” or “freedom fighters” rather than the terrorists that they were?

My points (which seem to have escaped you) were (1) as terrible, reprehensible, and unconscionable as the events of 9/11/2001 were, they are not the only horrible events to share that anniversary; and (2) there are actually people in other nations who have terrible things happen to them.

That’s all I propose to say to the sort of person who makes anonymous posts.


In reply to:

My points (which seem to have escaped you) were…

That’s all I propose to say to the sort of person who makes anonymous posts.

Well said!

(1) as terrible, reprehensible, and unconscionable as the events of 9/11/2001 were, they are not the only horrible events to share that anniversary; and (2) there are actually people in other nations who have terrible things happen to them. (end quote)

oh, bullpuck! is that you why originally hyperlinked an article from the leftwing Guardian, which essentially said, “The US is the true terrorist and it helped kill thousands of Chileans 30 years ago, so it DESERVES 9/11/01?”

I agree though with point 2: the Austrians of 1683 took terrible losses in turning back an Islamic conquest of Vienna. Terrible things did happen to other countries on other Sept. 11’s. But be my guest, keep trying to change the subject to American genocide, oppression, blah blah.

Thanks, Marty!


Governer: What venom! I have known Roger for quite some time and while we do not agree on many political issues, he has never shown quite the “leftwing” leaning that you suggest. Personally, I think your characterization is excessive.

Perhaps, there was some room in his original comments for you to infer that he was, “trying to change the subject to American genocide,” but I can assure you that he has never advanced such notions in his previous 1,100+ posts.

The great thing about the internet and internet bulletin boards is that, anyone, regardless of how uninformed, can post their opinions. However, we try to maintain a higher standard here. Please continue to read our conversations and join them when you feel that you have something to add, but please try to educate yourself before you do.


I would consider myself fairly well read on history and politics, but have decided to stay out of the fray on this site after initial rounds of discussion concerning the war in Iraq and President Bush’s and the American people’s task at hand. I would not have responded here, but after “Governor’s” remarks and your standing up for Roger, I must say that I disagree with you.

I appreciated Jeff’s original post on a day of reflection of what happened at the WTC center 2 years ago, and when I saw Roger’s response, I just shook my head and thought how sad. I did not respond, and while I may not agree with everything said by the “Governor”, I share his sentiment that Roger’s post was inappropriate. (You have to take the time to read his links if it doesn’t make you throw up first).

As far as 1,100+ posts not mentioning American Genocide, how wonderful that it has taken him this long to not to say it! Roger does, in my opinion, take a far leftwing view on most issues.

My last post on political issues on this forum (if my memory serves me correctly, and I do not intend on reviewing my past posts) was shortly before hostilities broke out in Iraq. Before our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents, and immigrants not yet citizens went into harms way, I replaced my COPA picture with a waving American Flag. Roger responded with a United Nations flag in lieu of his usual cartoon. Again, I thought, how sad.

I continue to fly that flag on this forum and in front of my house. I am proud to be an American. I am not ashamed as is Roger. Events of the past must be viewed under the historical circumstances in place during the time the events occurred and not in a historical vacuum made in hindsight under our current geopolitical climate. I am first to my family, second to my God, and third to my country. The United Nations and world opinion doesn’t even register. For this, Roger and others might think “How sad”, but don’t be. Men and women will be fighting for our rights to have these conversations for many years to come. Just another non-utopian fact of life.


My read on it is not that Roger is “ashamed” of something… rather, my interpretation of his remarks is that any loss of innocent life is tragic. And occasions or events which cause mass killings of innocent civilians, whether they be American, Chilean, Iraqi, Afghan, or any other nationality, are particularly reprehensible.

I certainly don’t think he ever said or implied that America “deserved” 9/11. (You didn’t say that he did either, but “governor” tried put those words into his mouth.)

I’m sure we could enter into another debate about US foreign policy (and, based on previous discussions, I would probably tend to agree with Roger and tend to disagree with you! [:)]) but let’s just agree to disagree on some points, and hopefully we can all agree that the loss of innocent life is a tragedy…

In reply to:

As far as 1,100+ posts not mentioning American Genocide, how wonderful that it has taken him this long to not to say it! Roger does, in my opinion, take a far leftwing view on most issues.

Jim: I absolutely agree that Roger is considerably more liberal than I am. I will even grant you that Roger must have read the magazine in question. But then I listen to NPR, so I hope that is not seen as representative of one’s political viewoint. I respect your opinions quite a bit, but I also respect Roger’s.
But none of that is indicative of a personal political philosophy as our friend the ‘governer’ suggested. I will not defend Roger, not only because I do not feel that he needs to be defended, but also that I believe he is an eloquent advocate of his own positions. I accept his position in his response to the first attack.
For the record, I am very patriotic. I have served our country in the military and earned several medals, most of which are the type that are just handed out like coupons at the grocery store. However, I have earned two Air Medals, which are not typically included in this class, and received several personal commendations. I do not fly the U.S. flag at my house, or my car, as has become so popular, nor below my name on this web site. I do not feel that displaying a symbol is a true measure of patriotism. That is internal. Any terrorist can waive a flag as easily as he can burn one. (Actually, I believe that most flag displays are disrespectful of the flag.)

I voted for Bush. While I feel that he has done a far better job than his opponent would have, I have been disappointed in his handling of many situations. (While I don’t believe that this country, our President, or our political process is perfect, it is better than most others. As a country, you have to admit, we have done some pretty bad things.) Nonetheless, if I was still on active duty, I would follow his orders, as I pledged to do, and I commend those in the service today. It is a shame that our political process discourages the most capable from becoming candidates.

In the end we are each entitled to our opinions, you, me and Roger. I would fight without hesitation to defend those rights.

(Political Tirade Off[;)])

Eloquently stated. As someone who spent 9 years in the Navy and who is a libertarian I couldn’t agree with you more.
Patriotism is not blind allegiance to the Government. It is not necessarily agreeing with everything your country does. It is an internal feeling of pride in the country and a desire to preserve and protect its cherished values.

Marty - thanks for a heart-felt and eloquent post.
Roger and I are probably on opposite ends of the political spectrum on many issues, but we are probably in agreement on some as well. That certainly has not prevented us from becoming very good friends, nor does it make him any less of a patriot in my eyes than I am.
So here’s another Libertarian voice for Roger’s right to his opinions and to express them without being labeled unpatriotic.
PS: Roger will be occuping the right seat in my SR22 on our trip to Sedona this weekend.

Jerry, Marty, Steve —

Thanks for the great comments! I think the definitions of patriotism that you have given are among the best I’ve ever seen. And Marty, I agree 100% about the way that many folks display the U. S. flag. Flying a wind-shredded, sun-faded Stars and Stripes from the window of a car violates more than one rule of flag etiquette!


Regarding patriotism…

At the risk of stirring a hornet’s nest (I’d rather not and usually prefer to agree to disagree), and as the one who started this thread, and as a liberal (since when did that become a bad word?) New Yorker, considering the sentiments expressed here, I agree with what Jerry so eloquently and concisely said regarding patriotism.

I did not vote for Bush, nor will I in the next election. My concern is that this administration has used the events of 9/11 to push through a very narrow right-wing agenda. Bush is, to me, a disaster, and an ineloquent one at that. I know many on these boards probably like the new tax code, but his administration has also encouraged an Orwellian suppression of free speech in the name of patriotism. For a while, I felt I was in some eastern-block country. After 9/11, almost everyone lined up behind Bush and supported, in a knee jerk reaction, the so-called Patriot Act that is anything but. Then there were the Dixie Chicks sparking a demonstration of the power of ClearChannel radio, a major Bush contributor. For a long time, and to this administration’s apparent delight, dissenting opinion and presidential criticism were frowned upon and discouraged. Nothing could be more unpatriotic.

Thankfully, people are starting to speak up again, and this administration, including Rumsfeld, and the many Americans who blindly and ignorantly follow this president, or vice-president, no matter his direction must know that dissent, conflicting opinion, and freedom of speech, regardless of the opinion, are true expressions of patriotism. Unfortunately, this seems to be something this administration still does not understand.


In reply to:

Patriotism is not blind allegiance to the Government. It is not necessarily agreeing with everything your country does. It is an internal feeling of pride in the country and a desire to preserve and protect its cherished values.

Jerry, I agree with you as well. I never said that blind allegiance is patriotism. I do disagree with many things that our government has done in the past and continues to do. I have friends on both sides of the aisle, and we have some heated discussions on various subjects from domestic economics, education, healthcare, international relations, the role of our judicial system, etc. I think we have too much federal government, so maybe we agree more than not. Never did I say in my post that I question nothing.

I do not believe that showing the flag makes you a patriot. Nor do I believe that showing the flag makes you a false patriot. I have served my country as well, over six years active and four in the reserve. Whenever on base, I made it a point to be topside for morning or evening colors. I have been on honor details at the funerals of those who have served. (Nothing like hearing taps under those circumstances.) It was with dissent that our country was founded. It is with all these thoughts and the thoughts of our soldiers and sailors serving away from home for whatever President is in office that I fly the flag. Again, I am proud to be an American.

The point of my post, and maybe not well said, is that I do not agree with the correlation of 9/11/01 to 9/11/73, and didn’t feel the post was appropriate. I think of Americans who died on 12/7/41, not the Japenese pilots. I think of the Allies who died on 6/6/44, not the Germans. Roger had the perfect rite to post his message, as well as the 'Governor" to post his in disagreement. I make no apologies for our country. We all have these rights, and for that we should be proud as well.