Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
Gilbert, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- For my generation, today is the 10th anniversary of our “date which will live in infamy.”
I ask all of you to pause and remember the fallen heroes and victims of that fateful day, as well as their families, friends and associates.
This is a day to reflect, as well, on what makes our country great and why some would wish us harm. As imperfect as it may be, we enjoy a degree of freedom that is unrivaled anywhere in the world, the envy of many. For those who cannot abide by the freedom that we enjoy and what that represents, we remain a target for their misguided and murderous zealotry.
Today we remember. Today we grieve yet again. Today we rededicate ourselves once more to preserving our freedom against all who would take it from us. Today, as you read this, despite renewed concerns for terrorist activity, I am flying to Washington, D.C., riding the train and the subway, on Knife Rights business. We will not let the terrorists win.
We honor those lost that terrible day by renewing our commitment to their sacrifice. We must never forget those lost, we must never stop fighting for justice and honor.
Scott Bach, a Knife Rights Advisory Board Member, was at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, in a law enforcement capacity. After personally experiencing the devastation, he authored an intense and deeply moving essay capturing the experience. We offer it below in tribute.
9/11 Never Forget
THE VIEW FROM GROUND ZERO
By Scott L. Bach
One of the most profound and disturbing nights of my life was spent involved at the Ground Zero site shortly after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. What I experienced there changed me fundamentally and forever. Though words cannot convey the magnitude and intensity of that night, I condensed my experience into a short essay at the time, to afford others a chance to step directly into my shoes and get a sense of what it was like. That essay is reproduced below, in solemn tribute to the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 and the memory of those who perished.
It was a clear night in New York City. Three weeks to the day after the World Trade Center bombings, the fires were still burning. The smoke was toxic and acrid and made me choke. It permeated my lungs and my clothing, and I would taste it in the back of my throat for days. But it did not matter. I did not matter. The only thing that mattered was the landscape before me. It consumed me and took control of me with magnetic force. I could focus on nothing else. I stood at the edge of Ground Zero, one foot from where the North Tower used to stand. I blinked and stared as what I saw penetrated my being.
The scene was surreal. Mountains of rubble. Twisted, melted buildings. Debris the size of small homes dangling precariously from the structures left standing. Cathedral-like outer shells of the Towers’ lower floors, still standing, eerily backlit by the array of work lights. An undulating ocean of debris, unrecognizable, gnarled and twisted, charred, and seemingly endless. Where there was once life, now only death and destruction. The deafening chorus of pile drivers and cranes, bulldozers and dump trucks, performing their somber tasks. The workers, so many of them, silent and reverent as if on sacred ground, steadily doing what was required of them.
I stood transfixed, moving only my head and eyes to shift the view. “There are more than three thousand people buried there,” I thought to myself. “More than three thousand.” Among them, somewhere, was my friend Glenn Winuk, 40. A volunteer fireman who worked as a lawyer only blocks away, Glenn left the safety of his office to rush into the World Trade Center to help others escape. He would never return. He was such a good person: likeable, smart, warm and good-natured. I see him in my mind’s eye, inside the burning Towers, helping others to safety without thought for himself. I can almost hear the words he would have spoken as he realized that the building was collapsing around him.
The events of September 11 replayed in my mind and my senses heightened as I took in the aftermath. The devastation was far worse than anything portrayed in the media. It was vast, incomprehensible in scale, reminiscent of a nuclear holocaust in every detail. The cleanup ahead seemed insurmountable, like trying to move a sand dune with tweezers.
“What kind of person conceives such a thing,” I thought to myself, “and what does he hope to accomplish by the killing of innocent people and the destruction of cities?” I shifted my gaze and it occurred to me that the holy war we keep hearing about might simply be a rationale, to disguise what in reality is the manifestation of evil on planet Earth. For many Americans, evil has been a purely intellectual concept, far removed from daily life. Now it has been made tangible on our front doorstep. It is here, it is real and it is undeniable. It wants to erase us from the planet. And it is not going away.
Ground Zero lingers as a monument to our complacency, to our false belief that evil does not exist tangibly in this world, that we are immune from it, and that we do not need to be vigilant and prepared to deal with it.
There is an expansive field of energy rising from Ground Zero. It sweeps you into it like a tidal wave and you cannot stop it. Within it, you have no identity, only clear comprehension of what is at stake, and absolute certainty about what must be done. Our mission is clear. It is irrefutable. It is undeniable. There is nothing to study. There is nothing to debate. These forces of evil must be stopped, or we all may perish. So help us, God.
Scott L. Bach, Esq. is an NRA Board Member, President of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a Knife Rights Advisory Board Member.
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit www.kniferights.org