America: We are UNITED!
These pages are dedicated to the heroes of
September 11, 2001

We saw the BEST of the American Spirit
These pages are dedicated to that Spirit
and to our Brave American Military
and our Military Families
making us the Greatest Country on Earth!

God Bless the USA
And ALL the Peoples of the World!
Freedom-Loving People Around the World

We were ALL Attacked this Infamous Day!
The Worst Attack on American Soil In The History Of Our Nation

The true Spirit of America was seen on this infamous day:

The passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who fought back and used their dying acts to prevent their plane from being used as a weapon to murder other Americans. These regular Americans from all walks of life, led by passengers Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Thomas E. Burnett Jr. and Jeremy Glick, fought back against the terrorists and sacrificed themselves to save numerous innocent people and protect the capital of the free world and are truly heroes and patriots. These patriotic Americans showed honor and valor in fighting back against the threat of terrorism on behalf of freedom and all of the citizens of the United States of America.
The many who used their last moments to call their loved ones.
The resolve to stay with a quadriplegic co-worker.
NYC's finest and bravest rushing into mortally wounded buildings in an attempt to lead others to safety.
The nationwide rush to donate blood.
The volunteers: Ready to do whatever was asked of them. A special tribute to our Client, Keith M., who lost friends in the attack and then spent two weeks as one of those volunteers...Thank you, Keith. It is a privilege and an inspiration to know you.
These pages hold some of the messages that flooded the Internet
to comfort, to uplift and to reaffirm The American Spirit!

A Beautiful Memorial Slide Show

Click on the link to watch this slide show
Just close the window afterwards to return here.
If you need the Flash Player,
click on the icon then close the window to return here.
Be sure to turn on the sound on your computer before starting the movie.
Jessica White of Winter Park, FL, who created this movie, had it on a website.
That link is no longer valid, and I was unable to contact her through her email.
She had originally offered it on her website for downloading,
so I hope she doesn't mind my sharing it with you here

Candle lighting on Friday
As a result of the email below,
candles glowed across the nation
Friday, September 14, 2001.
Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. step out your door, stop your car, or step out of your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the United States quickly.

We are ALL Americans...
Muslims, Jews, Christians...ALL Religions!
Candles were lit across the country,
along with "virtual candles" on the
web to show our Unity as a Nation.
Read some personal stories at
Missing Pieces

Close the window to return here.

Photos by
Jacqui Zahner, Denver

Children in New York's East Village look at a mural by artist Chico for attack victims.
September 11, 2001
As the Day Dawned
By 9:30


America: The Good Neighbor

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given during September 2001 to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator, on June 5, 1973.

The truth about the Gordon Sinclair commentary
The Gordon Sinclair commentary is over 30 years old. And Gordon himself died in 1984.
Here's the real story behind the quote: On June 5, 1973, Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair decided he'd had enough of the stream of criticism and negative press recently directed at the United States of America by foreign journalists (primarily over America's long military involvement in Vietnam, which had ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords six months earlier).
When he arrived at radio station CFRB in Toronto that morning, he spent twenty minutes dashing off a two-page editorial defending the USA against its carping critics which he then delivered in a defiant, indignant tone during his "Let's Be Personal" spot at 11:45 AM that day.
The unusualness of any foreign correspondent -- even one from a country with such close ties to the USA as Canada -- delivering such a caustic commentary about those who would dare to criticize the USA is best demonstrated by the fact that even thirty years later, many Americans doubt that this piece (which has been circulating on the Internet in the slightly-altered form quoted below as something "recently" printed in a Toronto newspaper) is real.
It is real, and it received a great deal of attention in its day.
After Sinclair's editorial was rebroadcast by a few American radio stations, it spread like wildfire all over the country. It was played again and again (often superimposed over a piece of inspirational music such as "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"), read into the Congress Record multiple times, and finally released on a record (titled "The Americans"), with all royalties donated to the American Red Cross. (A Detroit radio broadcaster named Byron MacGregor recorded and released an unauthorized version of the piece that hit the record stores before Sinclair's official version; an infringement suit was avoided when MacGregor agreed to donate his profits to the Red Cross as well).
Sinclair passed away in 1984, but he will long be remembered on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border -- both for his contributions to journalism, and for his loudly proclaiming what no one else at the time would stand up and say.

What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles.

You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -! not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

Countries Across the World Pay Tribute
to Victims of U.S. Terrorist Attack

By David Rising
Associated Press Writer
Published: Sept 13, 2001

BERLIN (AP) - Black ribbons fluttered from Hungarian fire trucks, city buses across Scandinavia stood still, and thousands of Germans paused in silence Thursday as the world mourned those killed in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Across Europe, nations from Albania to Russia honored the victims of Tuesday's attacks. Flags flew at half-staff and thousands of employees halted their work to remember the thousands presumed or already known to be dead.

Germany held a nationwide five minutes of silence, and hundreds gathered in front of the US Embassy in Berlin, amid a sea of flowers spread along the street leading to the building.

"I am here to show that the German people feel for the American people," said 37-year-old Berndt Mattigk. "I am sad and horrified that the American people have suffered an act of war on their soil."

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who joined officials in observing the silence outside of the chancellery in Berlin, has offered "full solidarity" with the United States and pledged that Germany would join in any allied response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Thursday, September 14, 2001 LONDON - A military band played the US national anthem at an unprecedented Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, ordered by Queen Elizabeth II in a show of solidarity with the American people. Several hundred people stood somberly outside the gates of Buckingham Palace as the US national anthem was played at this special Changing of the Guard ceremony, followed by a two-minute silence.

International insurer Lloyd's of London rang a bell salvaged from British Frigate HMS Lutine in the 19th century that traditionally signals news of a missing ship, but has been rung to mark other tragedies, like the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Across Russia, national flags were lowered to half-staff, under a decree from President Vladimir Putin. Television and radio stations halted their broadcasts and the Cabinet interrupted its weekly meeting for a minute of silence.

Finnish radio stations stopped broadcasting at noon and more than 400 trams and buses in Helsinki stopped for one minute of silence. "Innocent people were killed, and we showed our respect for them and their families," said tram driver Mika Savela, 31.

Copenhagen city buses also stopped for one minute at noon as part of a nationwide display of "compassion for the victims, their families and the American people," said Mads Lebech, chairman of the city bus company.

All flags in Turkey and in the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state were lowered to half-staff Thursday and in Austria, church bells rang for three minutes then fell quiet as people joined in three minutes of silence.

French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin were to join other officials at an ecumenical service at the American Church on Thursday evening.

Poland's leaders were also to attend memorial services to be held in churches in the nation's capital and fire trucks sounded their sirens across the nation in the afternoon.

Firefighters in Hungary tied black ribbons to their radio aerials in memory of New York firefighters who died in the aftermath of the attacks.

At a construction site in Froesunda outside the Swedish capital of Stockholm, several hundred workers removed their helmets to observe a nationwide minute of silence. "It was the worst thing I have seen in my 50 years, and I will probably not experience anything like it again." Said construction worker Kent Sjoelund. "We cannot do very much but feel sympathy with our comrades on the other side of the Atlantic."

The terror attacks prompted unusual unity and an outpouring of sympathy from China. Putting aside months of angry words over Taiwan and a spy plane collision, Chinese President Jiang Zemin offered help with rescue efforts, telling President Bush that Beijing wants to work with Washington and other governments to fight terrorism.

In Japan, professional baseball players and 14,000 fans observed a moment of silence before their game at Osaka Dome.

South Korea declared Friday as a national mourning day for victims, the first time it has made such a gesture for another country. "The United States and its people are in great pain ... and the United States is our closest ally which has helped make our country what it is today," said Park Joon-young, a government spokesman.

Croatia and Albania declared Friday a day of national mourning. The Albanian government ordered flags at state institutions lowered to half-staff, and all cultural and sports activities have been canceled.

Romania's Orthodox Church said it would hold memorial prayers in all churches and monasteries Friday.

Also on Friday, the 43 nations of the Council of Europe have asked all of their 800 million citizens to pay three minutes silent tribute to the victims at 6:00 a.m. EDT.

We Are Not Shaken

Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001
appears most Wednesdays and Fridays in the Free Press.
Reach him at the Miami Herald
1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132
toll free at 888-251-4407.
he writes....

They pay me to tease shades of meaning from social and cultural issues, to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

We'll go forward from this moment It's my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless.

We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement.

We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

An open letter to terrorists
You hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America.
You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America.
...America lives in US!

From: Navy River Patrol Veterans from Vietnam

Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.

Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part like you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!)

Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you cannot see my point, then feel my pain."

This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to say one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world.

Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country.

If you're free enough.

Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easygoing goofs most of the time. That's an unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy about the world you live in. It's unfortunate, too, because people start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered badger. The first we knew of the War of 1812, was when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground. Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to, and it's not going to turn out like you think, either. Sorry, but you're not the first bully on our shores, just the most recent.

No Marquis of Queensbury rules for Americans either. We were the FIRST, and so far, only country in the world to use nuclear weapons in anger. Horrific idea, nowadays? News for you, bucko, it was back then too, but we used it anyway. Only had two of them in the whole world and we used 'em both. Grandpa Jones worked on the Manhattan Project. Told me once that right up until they threw the switch, the physicists were still arguing over whether the Uranium alone would fission, or whether it would start a fissioning chain reaction that would eat everything. But they threw the switch anyway, because we had a War to win. Does that tell you something about American Resolve?

So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places. Who think they're safe. Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC. Better start sleeping with one eye open.

There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. The Marielistas, that Castro emptied out of his prisons, were overjoyed to find out how much freedom there was.

First thing they did when they hit our shores, was run out and buy guns, The ones that didn't end up dead, ended up in prisons. It was a big PITA then (especially in south Florida), but you're only the newest PITA, not the first.

You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it.

Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit.

Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit this time.

Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming.

Geri Zahner Home