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Remembering 343 on 9-11

Three hundred forty three firefighters sacrificed their lives to help others at Ground Zero.  A memorial stands in the sleepy town of Oldsmar, Florida to honor those heroes.

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After watching the events unfold back in 2001, our own local hero, Capt. Jerry Garbardi, wrote and performed a song with his church band to remember the lives that perished on 9-11.  The church band sold CDs of the tribute and raise over $5000 for the 911 Memorial Fund.

As a thank you, the foundation sent the firefighter a portion of a steel beam from the Twin Towers.  With the help from community, he and his fire fighters at Fire Station #54 erected a memorial to always remember the 343 heroes.  Each of the 343 heroes are etched in bricks around the monument.

2011 09 10 15 56 09 326 Remembering 343 on 9 11

2011 09 10 15 57 46 881 Remembering 343 on 9 11

The Sound of Silence

 The Sound of SilenceI wanted to write a 911 post to express my admiration of the people of New York City, the FDNY, NYPD, President Bush at our country’s most horrific hero(Yes, I said admiration of President Bush.) “I can hear you!  The rest of the world hears you!  And the people who knocked these buildings will hear all of us soon!”

I wanted to share how ten years ago I was 7 months pregnant teaching reading skills to my second grade students when the principal came into my classroom and quietly told me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.

I wanted to share how numb I felt the rest of the day and I believe I was in shock to protect my unborn child.  I honestly do not remember much of the rest of that day, except for being glued to CNN for days and weeks that followed.

I wanted to share that every year I watch documentaries that retell that events of that day and I cry like I should have cried 10 years ago.

I also wanted to express my feelings of admiration towards the tastefully done, very beautiful and symbolic memorial at Ground Zero.

But I could find a poignant way to write any of those feelings.

And then, I watched the tenth anniversary memorial yesterday and Paul Simon’s performance of Sound of Silence reflected all my emotion, feelings and memories of September 11 in song.

And once again, I cried like I should have ten years ago.



Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence.

 The Sound of Silence


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One Nation Under God, Indivisible

091101 One Nation Under God, IndivisibleEight years ago, we were a nation divided.  Bush served in the Oval Office and eight months after being sworn in, some Americans still resented his appointment to the presidency by the Supreme Court as they believed democracy had not been allowed to run its full course.


On September 11, 2001, President Bush read to second graders at Emma E. Booker Elementary, which appeared as an opportunity to push his own education agenda.  Some educators resented his visit to this Sarasota school, but most Florida schools tuned in to the televised event and watched with respect.


Story time ended abruptly when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informed President Bush that a second plane had flown into the WTC.


Over the next few days, a nation divided became one again through a tragedy.  We put aside our hate and bi-partisan politics as we watched the dust and rubble clear away and prayed for the families affected by the horrific events.


Eight years later, we’ve become a nation divided split by party lines once again, a divided nation full of hate on both sides of the aisle.  Eight years later, we are a nation crumbling from within. 


Today, as we remember the most terrifying events on American soil, let us also remember how we put aside our hate of a president and our fellow Americans and together found patriotism and unity through it all.


“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” – Abraham Lincoln







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