'Should we be here? Yes!'

Phil Boehmke
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;
We are blessed with the bounty we share.
We have rushed to help other nations;
anything...anytime...anywhere.

War is just not our nature,
We won't start but we will end the fight.
If we are involved,
We shall be resolved,
To protect what we know is right.

We have been challenged by a cowardly foe,
Who strikes and then hides from our view.
With one voice we say,
"We have no choice today,
There is only one thing to do."

Everyone is saying the same thing and praying,
That we end these senseless moments we are living.
As our fathers did before,
We shall win this unwanted war,
And our children will enjoy the future we'll be giving.


After Jack had finished his poem there was a 21 gun salute in fireworks above the ballpark. There were some people who questioned whether it was too soon for the baseball season to resume as the nation was still in a state of shock, however Jack Buck left no room for doubt as he reassured us.

"I don't know about you, but as for me, the question has already been answered: Should we be here? Yes!"


Later that evening, during the 7th inning stretch the crowd rose to their feet and joined in singing ‘God Bless America,' many openly wept. For an all too brief time America came together, united in the cause of freedom. This is the image of 9-11 that I would like to remember.


Jack Buck's health continued to decline and he passed away the following spring. The last memory most of us have of Jack was his post 9-11 poem, but as or late friend said so many times when the Cardinals were victorious "That's a winner!"


September 11th 2010


paboehmke@yahoo.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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;
We are blessed with the bounty we share.
We have rushed to help other nations;
anything...anytime...anywhere.

War is just not our nature,
We won't start but we will end the fight.
If we are involved,
We shall be resolved,
To protect what we know is right.

We have been challenged by a cowardly foe,
Who strikes and then hides from our view.
With one voice we say,
"We have no choice today,
There is only one thing to do."

Everyone is saying the same thing and praying,
That we end these senseless moments we are living.
As our fathers did before,
We shall win this unwanted war,
And our children will enjoy the future we'll be giving.


After Jack had finished his poem there was a 21 gun salute in fireworks above the ballpark. There were some people who questioned whether it was too soon for the baseball season to resume as the nation was still in a state of shock, however Jack Buck left no room for doubt as he reassured us.

"I don't know about you, but as for me, the question has already been answered: Should we be here? Yes!"


Later that evening, during the 7th inning stretch the crowd rose to their feet and joined in singing ‘God Bless America,' many openly wept. For an all too brief time America came together, united in the cause of freedom. This is the image of 9-11 that I would like to remember.


Jack Buck's health continued to decline and he passed away the following spring. The last memory most of us have of Jack was his post 9-11 poem, but as or late friend said so many times when the Cardinals were victorious "That's a winner!"


September 11th 2010


paboehmke@yahoo.com