Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Will Never Forget… Have You Forgotten?

Have You Forgotten?

Staring at a computer screen, with my brain lost in the scrutinizing of a computer network diagram, I heard a few words behind me in the next cube row:

“hey, a plane has hit the World Trade Center…”

One of the application programmer types was listening to the radio through her headphones while coding some unintelligible gibberish that very few network engineers can understand. Initially, we all had thought it was some private plane which had lost it’s way…  until one of my co-workers changed the channel of our TV monitor to CNN…

Panning cameras, billowing smoke, and the endless replaying of video clips from many different aspect angles…  It was obvious from the news reports and the pictures, that this was no little Cessna. There was smoke belching out from a gaping hole in one of the towers. The commentators were spewing out different scenarios; “How could the pilot be so far off course”, “how could they not avoid hitting the tower”, who’s to blame…  It seemed certain that they all were as bewildered and dumbfounded as anyone else. We all were… we just stood, and stared.. more talking heads….

And then it happened AGAIN..!

It was then that we all realized, someone had just declared war on us…. Everything…. Everything…had changed. I Will Never Forget.

I looked at my coworkers, glanced around the room… took in some more of the events on the tube, and then proceeded to take the elevator down for a smoke. I couldn’t help but think about the people who were in elevators when the planes hit those towers while I was descending…

Everyone I came in contact with during my trip for a cigarette was different. People who you knew were workers in the building, but you had never talked to them before, never met them, were sure to look you in the eye… sure to say hello… sure to relay how bewildered they were, how grieved they were. Everything had changed.

We were instantly transported to a level playing field. Anyone could talk to anyone to relate their family’s accomplishments, their work’s pressures, their internal pain and fears.

Instantly different, Instantly united.  Americans.

United in pain, America was then also united in cause. A shock attack early on a Tuesday morning pulled the country together in a mutual respect for each others existence. We were glad to be alive, and we pained together for those who had suffered loss.

It seemed as if we could have been enjoying coffee on a warm December morning in Hawaii…   In 1941…

Retribution

Retribution

Someone would pay…

Was it vengeance? Those that are truthful with themselves and others would have to say yes, at least partially. But it was much more then vengeance…

It was the feeling of helplessness as you watched your friends and neighbors, relatives, fellow countrymen, DIE….

Jumping from windows….

Have You Forgotten?  I Will Never Forget…

I will never forget waking up my 18 year old son with a telephone call. I roused him from unconsciousness after he had crashed on the couch while playing video games all night. I will never forget his reaction when I told him to “put on the television, turn to CNN, and be sure to pay attention to the DI when you get to Camp Pendleton in December, because they will be teaching you for real, not just for exercises”

I will never forget my grade school aged children coming home that afternoon and asking me, ” what happened dad?” I really didn’t know what to say. They obviously knew what had happened, but why it happened, that was a completely different matter. I was uncharacteristically at a loss for words…

I had separated from the military 10 years prior, and although there had been skirmishes and policing actions, I had served over 12 years in the USAF never having to deploy to a war zone. My son had just enlisted in the USMC during the summer of 2001, none of us could have ever guessed he would serve two tours in Iraq under hostile fire in his first 4 year enlistment.

Thank you Chris… I am proud to say he served his country, as did many many other sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts, even grandpas and grandmas…  This I know to be true. And as we all know, there are many who gave the ultimate sacrifice… Have You Forgotten?

I had the opportunity to be in theater at the same time as Chris, my son. This was during his second tour while on his first enlistment with the Marines. I had enlisted in April 2003 and was later activated from the 445th Transportation Company in Waterloo IA. I was reassigned to a unit which was deploying to Iraq as part of the next wave following the initial invasion of Operation Iraqi Freedom, of which my son had previously taken part. Deployed with the 245th Maintenance Company out of St. Louis, MO, our base camp was in extremely close proximity to Abu Gharab. Chris deployed a second time with his same unit from Camp Lajune. It was during the ingress of OIF 2.

I Will Never Forget:

SGT Melvin Mora. KIA  on the 60th Anniversary of D-Day  June 6th, 2004.   10 days before I left the camp for home.

SGT. Melvin Mora. KIA, June 6, 2004  in Abu Gharab on a Sunday, on the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.  My Friend…

Have You Forgotten? The sacrifices of all our heroes at Ground Zero, September 11, 2001? And those who have given everything, and those who continue to give daily, while their family is waiting here at home in anticipation of their safe return. Many will never return home safe. But you, your children, your friends, your family… we all will be safe, because of the sacrifices of our heroes…

These Colors Don't Run

Peace to you all, In Liberty…

LouRiccio+

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Filed under Government, Military, Terrorism, Wars and Rumors of Wars