As I was getting ready to write this I almost thought better of myself and didn’t. I was basing this thought on the fact that everyone knows why the flag is at half mast today. However, assuming such was a grave mistake.
Though most of us will never forget the events of September 11, 2001- some have, and some just don’t know (what are they
not teaching our kids?). Thus, this post/reminder:
Thursday, September 11, 2014 marks the 13-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in suburban Pennsylvania. Patriot Day serves as a remembrance of the lives lost on that September morning.
On Patriot Day, the President directs that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 AM Eastern time, the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center that morning.
SUBJ: HALF MASTING OF NATIONAL ENSIGN
A. U.S. COAST GUARD REGULATIONS 1992, COMDTINST M5000.3 (SERIES)
1. AS DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THE NATIONAL ENSIGN SHALL BE FLOWN AT HALF MAST ON THURSDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2014, FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET, IN HONOR OF PATRIOT DAY AND NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE REMEMBRANCE, 2014.
2. THE NATIONAL ENSIGN SHALL BE FLOWN AT HALF MAST ON ALL COAST GUARD BUILDINGS, GROUNDS, AND VESSELS NOT UNDERWAY.
3. INTERNET RELEASE AUTHORIZED.
Via American Flagpole and Flag Co. and U.S. Coast Guard.
“And you are…?” I reply to the stranger.
“Sorry, I’m not a liberty to say at the moment. However, that’s not as important as what I’ve been asked to tell you.” He replies.
This stranger, whom I don’t ever recall seeing before, was tallish, maybe 6’2″, dark brown hair with some stylish black frames for his eye glasses. His build was slender but not skinny and he dressed in an ironic black overcoat. First thought was Cloak and Danger.
“Well, what can I do for you? Please take a seat.” Is all I can really say. He seemed cordial enough- I didn’t want to be rude.
“This will take just a moment.” He replied as he took a seat across from me. “This is concerning your application for the [REDACTED] program. I won’t beat around the bush; we’d like you to begin your training as soon as possible.”
“Excuse me, um, I think you have me confused with someone else.”
“Oh. You are [REDACTED] are you not? Your birthday is [REDACTED] and your United ID Number is NAS[XXXXX]8, right?” He more states than asks.
“Yes, but, how do you know that?”
“You applied to the [REDACTED] program several years ago. Most don’t recall applying, they’re mere children when the first time they do. Nonetheless, your time is here. Again, we’d like you to start soon, say, next week.” He’s stating this as he’s fumbling in a bag with some papers.
I began racking my brain as if I’d recall apply for this, this, program. It was to no avail, I had no clue what this gentleman was asking of me. Besides, I couldn’t start next week- my mother was flying in from the Sothern Americas to visit for a week. “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to do this. I haven’t a clue what is about and I can’t just drop everything.”
“I was hoping you’d remember. It’s always easier when they do. I’ll see to it that your immediate family is dealt with.” He says in a flat tone.
“What do you mean my fam…” Is all I got out before looking down the barrel of a handgun being pointed at my left eye. I heard nothing.
I read to my children for about 20 minutes per night almost every night. We recently finished reading Harriet the Spy: 50th Anniversary Edition- a book most wouldn’t find themselves crying over. I personally gave it an “ok” review on Amazon at the behest of my children. Though we enjoyed the book for the most part we didn’t like Harriet very much (though that shouldn’t reflect towards a review- it did). Nonetheless, I cried at the end of the first (I think, maybe it was the second) part of the book.
Without giving too much of the book away- Harriet’s nanny leaves. For whatever reason I really got attached to her character and her leaving, even in a fictional sense, made me sad enough to shed a tear.
Drafted dads saying goodbye to their families. 1943; @History_In_Pix
I am Labor. I stand before you on this, my day, free and proud. I am the incarnation of Work, and Work is the foundation of modern civilization. Before the silvery bombers can take the air my skilled fingers have fashioned and serviced them. The shining shell, the precise rifle, the intricate clockwork of tank and ship, these grew beneath the trained and intelligent hands with which I get my living.
Because the things I do are basic and necessary, I yeld my dignity to no man. Because of that dignity, I prize my manhood and my freedom. I shall defend it. To those who would degrade me to an automation, make me a slave, I return loud and scornful laughter. Here in my United States I am more than a Worker, more than a Laborer, I am a Man. This manhood, this freedom, on my own Labor Day of 1941, I do not propose to yield.
Originally appeared in newspapers across the country on August 30, 1941