Friday, September 11, 2009

This Day in American History -- September 11, 2001

There is a "This Day in Diving History" email set to be sent today. It would be inappropriate to do so on a day that we should all be in remembrance of one event and one event alone....instead it will be sent on Monday. Doing a complete write-up of what happened 8 short years ago would be redundant for those that receive these emails. As soldiers and sailors in the world's greatest military, we have the events of that day firmly branded into our memories. Instead, here are some numbers that came as a result of 9/11:

1) Total number killed in attacks: 2,993. A little perspective here: This number is higher than the combined total of Navy Divers, EOD Techs and Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen (SWCC) personnel currently serving on active duty.

2) Number of firefighters/paramedics and police officers killed: 403

3) Number of U.S. casualties ISO the GWOT (as of June 24, 2009): 4,316

4) Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115 (there are 195 total countries in the world today)

5) Bodies found "intact": 289

6) Body parts found: 19,858

7) Number of families who got no remains: 1,717

8) Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051

9) Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20

10) Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124. This number is far higher than the combined dead weight of every aircraft carrier currently commissioned in the Navy.

11) Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99

12) Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million

13) Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11: 0

In an age were second guessing has become second nature especially in the media and political realm, today should reinforce why we serve and sacrifice. In the words of Father Dennis O'Brien, US Marine Corp. Chaplain:

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."


"America will never run... And we will always be grateful that liberty has found such brave defenders."
George W. Bush
Official Navy Photo: September 13, 2001 from the deck of the USNS Comfort

Photographer: HMC (SEL) (DV/PJ/FMF) Michael S. Duff

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