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Welcome back from vacation, Alan. And thanks for this. Speaking of reminders, I don't see what the big deal is that Rumsfeld has a piece of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. In fact, I'm glad he has it. There's nothing like holding death in your hands to help keep your focus on the important things. Like making sure death on that scale never happens again. I've held a piece of the World Trade Center in my hands. It never felt like a souvenir . It felt like sadness. For some, sadness gives way to resolve. Maybe everyone who questions the war on terror should be made to hold a piece of burnt steel or wrecked airplane in their hands. Rumsfeld has been the backbone of that war. I hardly think he keeps that piece of 9/11 like one keeps a ticket stub from a Metallica concert. Give the guy some credit. And stop blowing everything out of proportion.


We all understand that, technically, the Pentagon and the WTC were crime scenes and therefore all materials from those places would fall under the usual rules that govern the gathering and archiving of evidence.

But I just can't bring myself to get worked up over this. Any reasonable person is going to understand that hanging on to a piece of twisted metal from a multi-ton aircraft, that was part of a zillion-ton pile of rubble, is not quite the same thing as pilfering shell casings from the scene of a homicide.

Now let's see how many anal-retentives come out of the woodwork to argue that it is the same thing. This should be interesting.

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Michele. Do you remember the article by Christy Ferer last year when she described the reverence that the troops in Afghanistan had as they passed around a chunk of the WTC that had been brought along on the trip. They just wanted to touch it. She also said that many of them related to her that they were carrying bits of the WTC into battle with them. Where was the outrage then? Oh yeah, it wasn't an election year. Geez.

Michele, you didn't by any chance go through a goth period when you were growing up, did you? And by growing up, I mean in your mid-30's.

No idea what you mean by that, Andrea. Care to elaborate?

Once again, anything to beat up on a Bushie. They'll try to keep this one going for a few days [oh, sorry, am I now under some obligation to precisely define "they"?].

In my church is a cross, like the one in your picture, also cut from the wreckage. It's a memorial to Brian Hickey, a firefighter who died that day. I touch it every time I go there. It exudes sadness, pain, the horror of that day. It reminds me of those I know who lost a sister, a brother and 2 fathers. It reminds me of what we're up against, where we need to focus, what the stakes are, what we hope never happens again, but did this week and sadly, probably will elsewhere.

Rumsfeld has a piece of the plane? I bet it reminds him of the couple hundred of his colleagues who died that day. I bet it keeps him focused, too. I want my Secretary of Defense to be focused on it. I want the whole government to be.

But I guess it's a bad thing. Maybe we who are close to families torn apart are a 'fringe', a small minority that's missing something, 'pests' to the vast majority of those who want to 'get on with it', the vast majority who find 1.5 seconds of footage in an ad offensive.

Anyone who lives nearby should go to the Nassau County Fire Academy. At its gate is a 10-12 foot tall section of steel from the wreckage, about 6-8 feet wide, with that unmistakable pattern. You'll recognize it easily, it will be the thing with the flowers and American flags all over it. A bunch of fools, apparently, thought enough to leave it all there.

Go there, look at it, touch it, feel what it gives off, then tell me what's wrong. That it's there? That it reminds us? That people want never to forget the lost? That it's 'uncomfortable'?

Once again, I ask - what about the terrorists are we supposed to try and 'understand.


[I may have to open up my own blog!!!]

Michele, Angela posted that, not me! (Or anyone with the same first name as me.) Though strangely enough, a lot of people call me "Angela." I'm not sure why.

PS: I can't read minds, but it looks as if she was inspired by your web page design. That's the only thing I can think of.

I have the map my grandfather used on D-Day. He marked their landing zone and where they bedded down the first three nights. Nights one and two are on the edge of the water.

The map is in a frame hung above my bed. And every day I remember the horrible things some people went through to allow me to live the way I want.

If I had a piece of the towers, it would go in a frame and be hung next to that map.

For those begging to be offended about something, anything, consider this about pieces of the WTC.

The 'American Chopper' guys got a piece of it (a bolt, I think) and put in on a bike they built.

And a cabinet member did something wrong? Please....


I'm with you, M. I think that piece ought to sit on the desk of all future SecDefs as a caution, and from the wire story I read, I think that is what Rumsfeld envisions.

Michele, you do an incredible job - in fact, you put into words my feelings about 9/11 perfectly. Even though John and I are in the great flyover country, 3 of his co-workers from the consulting firm he works with and quite a few military people he was working with at the Pentagon were killed on September 11th. I have absolutely no problem with Rummy having a piece of the plane that hit the Pentagon. It is a constant reminder of what we are fighting for. I wish that some Democrats, like Kerry, had a piece of it too, maybe it would make him think about what is truly important.

Many interviewed regarded the debris as sacred, the report stated, ``and were disgusted by the fact that anyone would want to take items, including pieces of the building which were contaminated with blood and human body parts.''

Huh? "sacred" debris? Didn't most of it end up at a dump? Who is this nebulous "many"?

IIRC, there is a section of the twisted WTC rolling around the country on a tour, indeed, some of such debris has been distributed across the country to be incorporated into local 9/11 momuments.

Are the Bushiephobes that desparate that this cause du jour, like the fleeting images of 9/11 in a positive GW ad, subject to the most irrational attacks???


He should have kept a leg or an arm of one of them dirty terrorists that we just released outa guantanamo bay!!

innocent? My ass! If they were innocent why the hell would we have kept them chained up for over two years????


On one of his last nights home before leaving on a deployment that would land him in Afghanistan, my husband and I sat and watched the documentry that was filmed on 9/11. I taped it two years ago, but have never been able to watch it.

We live in flyover country. We lost no one we knew or loved that day, but that day changed our family. That day changed us from a civilian family to a military family once again.

My husband wanted it fresh in his mind exactly why he was going into Afghanistan. Not because he had forgotten 9/11, not because he had any qualms about doing his job, but because he wanted it fresh in his mind.

I don't care what the media says, people have forgotten. Not totally forgotten, but as in ..it's kinda there, on the fringe..the anger, the pain, the sadness that was felt that day isn't fresh.

I'm glad Rumsfeld has a piece of that plane.

I wish I had something similar to send with my husband. Not as some "souvineer" but something to help keep him strong on days that are be hard, something to remind him why he is there. Something to to say to those 3000 people "we haven't forgotten you"

Geez, this is the BIGGEST nothingburger I've ever read about. Rumsfeld risked his life on the day of the attack and what is he supposed to do? Develop selective amnesia?


Imperial Minion

I can't read minds, but it looks as if she was inspired by your web page design. That's the only thing I can think of.

Ummm, no, I just meant that sometimes her writing resembles what a 16-year-old goth girl scribbles in her notebook during Home Ec class.

Angela, my dark one
whose name reminds one of angels
but whose tongue burns and sears like the devil himself
your soul is empty and abandoned
how could you cause such hurt?
our dark emotions surround us, crying,
have we lost our way?

if we have, we should stop and ask for directions.