Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2009 on 10:57 am | In Uncategorized | Comments Off

This is a part of Project 2996 – a project designed to recruit 2996 bloggers to post a blog about one of the 9/11 victims. Certified Contracting Solutions, LLC is proud to participate in this worthwhile project.

I fully expect that at some point in our future we will, as a nation, realize the impact of the events of 9/11. As the government report told us, just because we did not believe that we were at war, there was an entity out there that has been at war with us for many years. It is naive to think that they have just “given up” or that sitting down and talking to them peacefully will change their hearts. As hawkish or dovish as you might be personally, there does come a time when we must fight to protect the freedoms that others wish to take from us. Sadly we can lose them just as easily, perhaps more easily, by letting them drift away slowly rather than be taken away by force and violence. When the time comes to fight for those freedoms, and violence becomes necessary for our protection, count me in.
There were 2996 victims killed in the war of 9/11. Today we have been selected to honor one of them. Today we honor the memory of Allison Horstman Jones. She was 31 on that fateful day and was working as an analyst for Sandler O’Neil & Partners, an investment banking firm. There is no telling just what she was doing. It was a normal business day in World Trade Tower 2. People on the 104th floor were making coffee, booting up their computers, catching up with co-workers, looking at their schedules and to-do lists, and taking care of the myriad tasks we all tend to each morning.
Allison was a Phi Mu at Albright College. Her class mates and sorority sisters knew her as a “beautiful, loving, cheerful glow that added much joy to any room she entered.” She was a New York City resident, but loved the outdoors. Biking in my neighboring town of Boulder was one of her favorite activities. She and her husband Larry grew up in Bernardsville, New Jersey. With what seems to be Type A personality, when Larry introduced her to outdoor sports she took to them with a vengeance, as she apparently did with most things in her life. Biking, running, hiking, and swimming were activities in which she excelled. She skied in Idaho, and competed in tri-athlete competitions.  She hoped to enter the Iron Man competition someday.
She and her husband had been married barely five years. On their honeymoon in Belize they went wind-surfing and scuba diving. Just a few days before 9/11 she mountain-biked 30 miles. This was routine for her. According to one report, her husband who has since relocated to Boulder, said, “I’d be following her down a hill and hear her hooting and hollering… She kept on discovering new things about herself. She blessed me in a sense. Her drive to overcome adversities — I’ve taken that with me.”

I never knew Allison or any of the other 2995 victims. I confess to a curiosity of why anyone would work in a building that tall. I’m not a big fan of heights, but we do what we must when earning a living. I am guessing, obviously, but I think I would have been a better person for having known her. There may never have been an opportunity to meet, but some encouragement in my exercise program, some inspiration from someone so dedicated to outdoor sports, and some good Type A company certainly would do me some good. Because of the actions of some radicals who have been at war with us for so many years, I will never get that chance.
How long should we remember this day? Some suggest that excessive mourning is just too fatiguing. Perhaps. And clearly there are days that we never forget such as Pearl Harbor and D-Day, while there are others that fade as a remembrance of a specific day such as the sinking of the Maine and the fall of the Alamo. What we must remember is that we are still at war, even if we want to deny it. Our enemies will use that denial to their advantage, and it is just stupid to give your enemies any advantage whatsoever. Until the jihadists are defeated entirely, the war continues and unlike Viet Nam, we must fight it to win. Remembering the awful attack on our home soil by these vile creatures should serve to cement our resolve against them. It is not a remembrance of terror – it is a tribute to the unwavering courage of the American people. The grieving has ended for most of us, but certainly not the families who lost loved ones. They live with the loss every day. And as a society we feel that loss even if we can’t define it. So it remains a day of remembrance for most of us. Let us not forget that there are those who seek to destroy our freedoms and way of life. Remember that.
Some of the victims, both in the towers and on the planes, grabbed their final seconds and called loved ones – most just to say “I love you.” Some reached a voice; others just a machine. But they said what was important. What will you do today that captures those final seconds? Who will you call just to say, “I love you?”
On this day of remembrance, we look to the short life of Allison Horstman Jones. May she not be forgotten and even in death may she inspire us to be the best we can be. We can still make a difference in this world. May none of the victims have died in vain. Think about what you can do today, and every day for the rest of your life, to capture the good traits and disciplines of those who have gone before us, such as Allison.

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