9/11 Families on the Ground Zero Mosque

It's been nine years since that horrific day on September 11, when America was attacked. Those living it day in and day out, the victims' families, are frustrated, upset, and saddened over issues surrounding the attack and their lost loved ones. American Thinker interviewed some family members for their feelings.

The family members are happy to see so many Americans recognize the insensitivity of the Ground Zero Mosque being built, yet they are angry at politicians like Mayor Bloomberg for supporting it. Joe Holland, who lost a son at the World Trade Center, stated that the mosque is in "the wrong spot and people like Bloomberg do not have the families' back. This should be considered sacred soil. Why would they build it there to look down on my son's grave and all the others who died?"

All interviewed felt that it is not a question of religious freedom, but a question of location. They agreed with the questions that should be asked: if the mosque were built right at Ground Zero, would that be OK? What about across the street from Ground Zero -- would that be OK? What about one block from Ground Zero -- would that be OK?

Maureen and Al Santora, who lost a son, fireman Christopher, at the World Trade Center are "insulted by Bloomberg's remarks. He fails to see what the right thing is and dismisses the families as being too emotional. I find him offensive."  

Beverly and Tom Burnett, Sr., who lost their son Tom Jr. when United Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, are fighting a similar battle. The planned memorial in Shanksville will still have symbols such as the crescent, stars, and a tower that the Burnetts see as Islamic symbols. They wanted people to understand that it would be similar to "putting a Nazi flag at the cemetery in Normandy or putting a Japanese flag at Pearl Harbor." They are pushing for this design to be scrapped and a new design to be chosen. 

Are they racist? All answer, definitely not. However, according to the families, Americans need to understand who the enemy is -- not all Muslims, but the Islamic extremists.

Susan Rescorla's husband Rick died after assisting 2,700 of his employees in evacuating the World Trade Center. She is writing a book because she wants Americans to "see it the way it is: we are at war with the radical Islamic extremists. What happened on 9/11 happened to all Americans. People should not lose that fact." 

The Burnetts heard United Flight 93's black box, where the "terrorists were hollering and screaming in the name of Allah. They were Islamic terrorists. We should use the words 'Islamic Extremists' because that is who is threatening our country and our values."

Many family members became frustrated after hearing that the Obama administration decided to stop the military commission trial of top al-Qaeda operative Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing. They view the Nashiri trial delay as a glimpse into the future, into how the administration will treat the 9/11 terrorists. They see this administration treating the 9/11 attack as a crime that should be tried in a federal court, thereby endowing the terrorists with all the rights and advantages of Americans. 

Bob and Shirley Hemenway recalled that in both the Cole attack and the Pentagon attack, military personnel, including their son, Robert, Chief of Naval Operations, were killed. They noted that "the rights given the terrorists under military tribunals are the fairest. Besides, with a military trial, there are not the problems over classified evidence and security."

The family members wonder if the 9/11 tragedy has become dimmer in people's minds. They want to make sure their loved ones did not die in vain.

Susan Rescorla does not want Americans "to forget so easily, especially when it did not happen in their backyard. I want to make sure this never happens again." 

The Burnetts concur, and they further stated that "these people don't come here for tea and crumpets. They want to kill us. They want to kill anyone that does not believe in Islam. Those on 9/11 were murdered out of hatred for our way of life. I am worried that we lost our resolve."

Alice Hoagland, who also lost a son, Mark, on United Flight 93, summed up everyone's feelings that "future Americans should read that 9/11 ushered in an age when we had to deal with ideologies, with a culture that hated ours and resorted to terrorism. I hope what happened does not retreat in our memory, because if [it does], it will be to our peril."
It's been nine years since that horrific day on September 11, when America was attacked. Those living it day in and day out, the victims' families, are frustrated, upset, and saddened over issues surrounding the attack and their lost loved ones. American Thinker interviewed some family members for their feelings.

The family members are happy to see so many Americans recognize the insensitivity of the Ground Zero Mosque being built, yet they are angry at politicians like Mayor Bloomberg for supporting it. Joe Holland, who lost a son at the World Trade Center, stated that the mosque is in "the wrong spot and people like Bloomberg do not have the families' back. This should be considered sacred soil. Why would they build it there to look down on my son's grave and all the others who died?"

All interviewed felt that it is not a question of religious freedom, but a question of location. They agreed with the questions that should be asked: if the mosque were built right at Ground Zero, would that be OK? What about across the street from Ground Zero -- would that be OK? What about one block from Ground Zero -- would that be OK?

Maureen and Al Santora, who lost a son, fireman Christopher, at the World Trade Center are "insulted by Bloomberg's remarks. He fails to see what the right thing is and dismisses the families as being too emotional. I find him offensive."  

Beverly and Tom Burnett, Sr., who lost their son Tom Jr. when United Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, are fighting a similar battle. The planned memorial in Shanksville will still have symbols such as the crescent, stars, and a tower that the Burnetts see as Islamic symbols. They wanted people to understand that it would be similar to "putting a Nazi flag at the cemetery in Normandy or putting a Japanese flag at Pearl Harbor." They are pushing for this design to be scrapped and a new design to be chosen. 

Are they racist? All answer, definitely not. However, according to the families, Americans need to understand who the enemy is -- not all Muslims, but the Islamic extremists.

Susan Rescorla's husband Rick died after assisting 2,700 of his employees in evacuating the World Trade Center. She is writing a book because she wants Americans to "see it the way it is: we are at war with the radical Islamic extremists. What happened on 9/11 happened to all Americans. People should not lose that fact." 

The Burnetts heard United Flight 93's black box, where the "terrorists were hollering and screaming in the name of Allah. They were Islamic terrorists. We should use the words 'Islamic Extremists' because that is who is threatening our country and our values."

Many family members became frustrated after hearing that the Obama administration decided to stop the military commission trial of top al-Qaeda operative Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing. They view the Nashiri trial delay as a glimpse into the future, into how the administration will treat the 9/11 terrorists. They see this administration treating the 9/11 attack as a crime that should be tried in a federal court, thereby endowing the terrorists with all the rights and advantages of Americans. 

Bob and Shirley Hemenway recalled that in both the Cole attack and the Pentagon attack, military personnel, including their son, Robert, Chief of Naval Operations, were killed. They noted that "the rights given the terrorists under military tribunals are the fairest. Besides, with a military trial, there are not the problems over classified evidence and security."

The family members wonder if the 9/11 tragedy has become dimmer in people's minds. They want to make sure their loved ones did not die in vain.

Susan Rescorla does not want Americans "to forget so easily, especially when it did not happen in their backyard. I want to make sure this never happens again." 

The Burnetts concur, and they further stated that "these people don't come here for tea and crumpets. They want to kill us. They want to kill anyone that does not believe in Islam. Those on 9/11 were murdered out of hatred for our way of life. I am worried that we lost our resolve."

Alice Hoagland, who also lost a son, Mark, on United Flight 93, summed up everyone's feelings that "future Americans should read that 9/11 ushered in an age when we had to deal with ideologies, with a culture that hated ours and resorted to terrorism. I hope what happened does not retreat in our memory, because if [it does], it will be to our peril."