September 11, 2013 2 Comments
Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis ætas;
Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo.
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
iam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.
I’m not going to run my main piece on 9-11 this year. I’m just as proud of it as I was when I ran it for the first time when Nebraska Energy Observer was barely six weeks old. It is called Ten Years Ago, and I think it may be the best post I’ve written. Here is the link to it. I’d be very pleased if you were to read it.
The basis of this post however was a companion to it that I usually run on 10 September. This year I’m going to feature it a little more because so many of our citizens seem to have forgotten what the real cost of freedom is. This is the story of a man, born British who became American fought wars for both countries, and finally gave his life to save the lives of citizens of many countries on 9-11.
There were plenty of heroes on 9/11. Fire and police and port authority all going in. Passengers counterattacking on Flight 93 and various civilians and military in New York and the Pentagon. Even what the military calls NCA, the National Command Authority.
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
But the one that is my especial hero of the day; is my hero because of how he lived his life.
A British NCO from Cornwall who served in the Parachute Regiment, immigrated to the US, served as Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cavalry in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the Battle of Ia Drang, where he gave the British commands of ‘Fix Bayonets, On Line, Ready forward’. His picture is on the cover of ‘We Were Soldiers’. It is a praiseworthy story prompting us to remember ,
But it doesn’t end there.
On 9/11 he was vice-president in charge of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. We all know what happened that day, but do we remember that only six Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated. One them was this man, now a retired Colonel, who stayed to make sure he got his people out. In all those situations, he was singing an old song commemorating the resistance of the Cornish against the British, and Roark’s Drift in the Boer War, and other engagements. That song is:
Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!
That man was Colonel Rick Rescorla and he is a legend in the 7th Cavalry. He is not a man any of us should ever forget. A real life Sagaman, who lived quietly amongst us.
After having reached safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children.
“His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!'”
The tragedy of 911 was this; multiplied by three thousand.
And thus, on this September 11th the story of how the people of a great American financial institution were rescued by the 7th U.S. Cavalry (Custer’s Own).
But on this twelfth anniversary, we are a troubled people. We have not had any resolution of the attack on Americans a year ago which cost us an ambassador. And it seems our government wants to embroil us in still another mideast civil war, and one in which we can’t seem to decipher if there is a side we would find acceptable to support.
And so we find a large segment once again grateful to the British people and Parliament, for doing what we have not been able to do, and at least slowing down our governments rush to war. They have been our constant friends and companions on the quest of the last dozen years (as have our commonwealth friends) and we have not forgotten, even as they remembered our people with their own after that horrible day
[On a personal note, if you know when and where to look, my coauthor, Jessica, makes an appearance in this video, and yes she was in the Cathedral.]
And so we find that we have many problems to solve in our country, many of which we have not defined adequately enough to even start to formulate a solution, although many of us have begun to work on the problem. It’s too soon to tell but I think as long as we do things like this, one would be very unwise to count us out as yet.
H/T to Photo of the Day: They Came, They Will Honor, They Will Intimidate Jihadis The poem that opened this post is from the Eclogue of Virgil:
which translates as follows:
Now comes the final era of the Sibyl’s song;
The great order of the ages is born afresh.
And now justice returns, honored rules return;
now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.
From it derives our national motto
A New Order of the Ages
- 9/11 ten years on: Family’s pride in British-born Twin Towers hero (mirror.co.uk)
- In remembrance… (jgriego326.wordpress.com)
- As America Observes Patriot Day on 9/11, Allsup Recognizes Veterans’ Service in Global War on Terrorism (prweb.com)
- Canby holding joint 9/11 remembrance Wednesday morning (oregonlive.com)