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September 11, 2010
'Should we be here? Yes!'
Today we remember. The images of 9-11 and the aftermath have been burned into our memory. The calm of a late summer morning was shattered at 8:45 local time when American Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. 19 minutes later United Flight 175 struck the South Tower and America realized that we under attack.
A stunned and shaken nation watched in horror as the video of the attack on the WTC was replayed again and again, then came breaking news; The Pentagon had been struck! Disbelief had turned to fear and anger. Details were coming in, TV commentator Barbara Olsen called her husband Ted from American Flight 77 and told him that the plane had been hi-jacked and that the passengers and crew had been herded to the rear of the plane...then silence.
At the WTC there was indescribable horror. Many of our fellow countrymen and innocent civilians from around the world were trapped above the point of impact and came to realize that they could not be saved. Many of these innocent victims made the choice to depart the raging inferno by the only means available. Before long the towers fell, one after the other.
The passengers of United Flight 93 had learned of the attack and knew their situation was hopeless. Shortly before 10:00 a small group of our fellow citizens made the decision to fight back and prevent the plane from reaching its target. The first heroic blow against our enemies ended in a field in Pennsylvania. For the first time in this bloody war there were no casualties on the ground, the sacrifice of the heroes of Untied Flight 93 was not in vain.
The grim work of search and rescue had just begun. Fire, rescue and police fought a desperate battle against hopeless odds to find survivors in the rubble. Rescue dogs and their handlers combed through the devastation, the searing heat and smoke, to sniff out signs of life. Volunteers from around the nation joined in the frantic effort at the place now known as Ground Zero.
On the night of September 11th there would be no baseball. There was no debate or discussion and there was no controversy. Suddenly the heat of the pennant race simply did not matter, our national pastime held its breath as America struggled to cope with the devastation wrought by the terrorists. Nothing was the same.
On the evening of September 17th baseball returned to America. At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, broadcasting icon Jack Buck stepped to the podium to deliver a special pre-game message to our nation. Jack was frail and often shook from the effects of Parkinson's disease which had ravaged body for many long years, but his mind was clear, his love of country unshaken and his voice was strong as he delivered the poem he had written for this solemn occasion.
Since this nation was founded under God,
more than 200 years ago,
We have been the bastion of freedom,
the light that keeps the free world aglow.
We do not covet the possessions of others;
War is just not our nature,
We have been challenged by a cowardly foe,
Everyone is saying the same thing and praying,