As we approach the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, each day we will be adding brief biographies and pictures in honor of the 343 Fire Department of the City of New York firemen that gave their lives 18 years ago. “Everyone here will tell you he’s not a hero,” one FDNY survivor said, “everyone here will tell you he’s doing his job.” These men went into a burning building that many understood they would not be walking back out of, but they still went in and did their job.
They gave their lives so that 30,000 people could be saved.
Watch the slideshow, or click below for a list of all 343 sorted by company with links to each fireman’s bio. Continue reading “Slideshow: Remembering the 343 fallen FDNY heroes of 9/11”
Today’s post is in honor of the nearly 3,000 Americans that were killed by terrorists on this date in 2001 and the four Americans that also lost their lives 11 years later in Benghazi, Libya.
Lt. Cmdr. Otis V. Tolbert Jr. was the son of a Naval aviator and played football for the Fresno State Bulldogs before receiving his commission in the Navy. Football had taken its toll on his knees so he couldn’t follow his father’s footsteps and become a pilot, so he earned his commission and joined Naval intelligence. On this date, the 38-year-old Lemoore, Calif. native was working in the Pentagon when the building was hit by Flight 77, killing 125 service members and civilians on the ground.
1776: After the British capture Long Island, Continental Congressional delegates Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge meet with British Adm. Lord Richard Howe for a peace conference at Staten Island. Hoping to bring a quick end to the conflict, King George granted Howe the authority to discuss peace terms, but not including the recognition of American independence. When Howe states that the loss of America would be like losing a brother, Franklin replies that “we will do our utmost endeavors to save your lordship that mortification.”
1814: New York is saved from a possible invasion by British forces when Commodore Thomas MacDonough’s squadron decisively defeats the British fleet led by Capt. George Downie in the Battle of Plattsburgh.
2001: As air controllers learn that several planes appear to have been hijacked, fighter jets are scrambled but do not arrive in time to disrupt a complex terrorist attack that kills 2,997 Americans and injures some 6,000. At 9:37a.m., a Boeing 757 flown by Al Qaeda terrorists slams into the Pentagon, killing 55 military personnel and 70 civilian employees. The area hit by the plane was undergoing renovations at the time of the attack, which meant only a few hundred of what would normally be around 5,000 occupants were endangered. Structural reinforcements and a sprinkler system had recently been added – in response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing – which increased survivability.
Firefighters know what it is like to risk their lives in order to accomplish something. As a fire chief, you risk the lives of your men in order to rescue the child who is trapped upstairs. The firefighters are willing to run into a burning building because they know how important that child’s life is. All parties involved accept this arrangement, especially the child.
This is not acceptable, however, when others may risk not only your life, but also that of your family in order to accomplish something that you do not find justifiable.
Liberals in government and media are so power hungry that they used our counter-terrorism strategies and tactics as an opportunity to destroy their political opponents.
During the George W. Bush years, liberals undermined our counter-terrorism strategy – during a war against terrorists – in order to weaken the administration. It would be one thing if they reversed Bush’s wartime strategy when the Obama administration took over in 2009. However, after fighting Bush nearly every step of the way, not much actually changed when they took control.
In fact, they actually doubled down on some of the very tactics that they castigated Bush for.
Rick Rescorla was born in England, joined the military at 16 and fought in Cyprus and Rhodesia. When the English ran out of wars, he moved to the United States, where he joined the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam. He worked his way up to Sergeant before becoming an officer. He fought in the Battle of Ia Drang as a platoon leader in B Co., 2/7th Cavalry and is pictured on the cover of Gen. Hal Moore’s book, We Were Soldiers Once… And Young (see photo right).
Rick became head of security for Morgan Stanley and worked in the World Trade Center. After the 1993 terrorist attack, Rescorla was the last person out of the Towers after evacuating everyone. On 9/11 he evacuated his Morgan Stanley employees and was last seen heading back up the stairs to rescue victims who could not get out. Apart from Rescorla and his two deputies, only three Morgan Stanley employees died in the attack. Thousands survived, many of which might not have if it weren’t for Rick Rescorla.
Watch this video, then read this post.
An American-born, pro-jihad cleric has reportedly praised the failed Christmas airliner attack and claimed the alleged perpetrator was his student.
Anwar al-Awlaki is a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents. Before leaving the U.S. in 2002, he served as an imam in Denver, San Diego, and the Washington, D.C. area. While in San Diego, he became the “spiritual advisor” for two of the 9/11 hijackers (and had contact with a third). He also admits to having advised the man who gunned down 14 unarmed Americans at Fort Hood, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Al-Awlaki now lives in Yemen, and counter terrorism experts believe that he works for al Qaeda.
In a recent Al Jazeera interview al-Awlaki stated that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23 year-old Nigerian student who attempted to detonate a bomb on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, was in fact a student of his.
Al-Awlaki’s pro-jihad internet lectures and materials are very popular, and he is even said to be active on social networking sites like Facebook.
Abdulmtallab allegedly attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in December while en route from Amsterdam to Detroit by hiding a bomb in his underwear. He has stated that more attacks are planned, that his is the first of many forthcoming plots. He is currently in federal prison in Milan, Mich.
“Brother mujahed Umar Farouk — may Allah relieve him — is one of my students, yes,” said al-Awlaki in the interview published on Tuesday. “We had kept in contact, but I didn’t issue a fatwa (religious ruling/declaration of war) to Umar Farouk for this operation.”
Al-Awlaki expressed his support of the failed Christmas attack, but said that he would have preferred a military target.
“I support what Umar Farouk did after seeing my brothers in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan being killed,” al-Awlaki said. “If it was a military plane or a U.S. military target it would have been better…(but) the American people have participated in all the crimes of their government.”
The other two known terrorism cases that he had ties to were indeed military targets. The victims in Maj. Hasan’s Fort Hood massacre were mostly soldiers. And Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar – the 9/11 hijackers that al-Awlaki mentored – were two of the five operatives who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, killing 64 passengers and 125 people in the Pentagon. Hani Hanjour – another Flight 77 hijacker – attended services at the Dar al Hiraj mosque in Falls Church, Va. while al-Awlaki was an imam there.
“Some 300 Americans are nothing compared to thousands of Muslims they have killed,” he said of the innocent civilians on the flight to Detroit.
But according to a recent study, the same could be said of al Qaeda.
A West Point study found that 85% of al Qaeda’s victims are in fact Muslims.