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Old 09-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Five Years Later-Filtering Reality?

How did you feel that day and how has it changed you? Obviously much more intense for those in NYC or Shanksville or DC, but perhaps we are all filtering reality in order to deal with the real threat of terrorism and with the memories of that day.

Maybe I'd say it's made me more realistic-less naive and more aware. But in many ways less fearful, as weird as that sounds. By that I think I mean more brave personally. When I got on a plane two months later I realized that I could have that bravery.. And more aware that things can be taken away at any time, on any day. That's something I make a conscious effort to be aware of. It's like they mention here-about trauma making you rather than breaking you.

http://health.msn.com/centers/depres...ntid=100144320

"In the aftermath of 9/11, newspaper headlines warned of post traumatic stress disorder, and the mental health community arrived in full force, ready to pick up the pieces of a torn national psyche. FEMA granted the state of New York $154.9 million “to relieve mental health problems caused or aggravated by the World Trade Center attack,” according to the organization’s Web site. Everyone stood on tiptoe, breath held, expecting to see the darkest corners of massive, community-wide mental illness."

Trauma and stress is a double-edged sword, it can make you or break you,” says Bell. “The general rule—and what we saw after 9/11—is that people are more resistant and resilient when they are vulnerable.

"This is because something like 9/11 prepares people—at least mentally prepares them—for the worst that could happen.”


The exception to the rule, then, is when trauma “breaks” those who’ve experienced it. Mental health experts have performed studies suggesting that people who suffered from pre-existing mental health problems before the attack—problems like alcoholism, drug addiction and depression—struggled more severely with these issues in the wake of 9/11.

This filtering of reality, while forestalling further symptoms of stress, may be too effective for our own good, says Smith. “The last thing you want people to do when there’s an impending risk is tune out and be inattentive. We don’t want our subway passengers to be tuning out. We don’t want our airline attendants to be inattentive.”

Today, says Smith, terrorism is a conversation piece, a subject for water cooler discussions or backyard barbeque talks. It is something that many Americans—Bob Hedges included—say they are more fascinated by than truly worried about.

“We have all the seeds of a third world war, and it’s serious. Damn serious,” says Hedges. “I think it’s only a matter of time before something else awful happens, but it certainly doesn’t do you any good to sit around and sweat about it. Think about it, yes. But stew about it and worry about it, no. Life must go on, you know?”
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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I live in the Midwest and don't know anyone who died that day, but life certainly does feel different. I used to think what happened beyond my own little sphere didn't matter all that much as far as my daily life was concerned, but now that has completely changed.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:58 PM   #3
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Well after that day I had a hatred for Muslims. I admit it. But I am sure many did at first. Then I went on my own path to uncover the real religon.
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #4
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That day the students in my campus fellowship in CT organized a prayer meeting. Muslim students came and we prayed together. It grew all of our awareness, I think.
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:52 PM   #5
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I think that we have seen more than enough real religion in the successive five years to make a case against it.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:45 AM   #6
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I was out of commission for weeks after 9/11. Kind of in this weird haze. I wanted to be with those I loved almost exclusively.
My parents flew a few weeks after 9/11 and I made them call me every time they landed somewhere. I don't think I was personally afraid. The first time I had fun after that was several weeks later when I went to a hockey game and I have been grateful to hockey ever since. I slept a lot. I still sleep too much.

Although I didn't know anyone personally who died that day, I did know people whose son died. I knew when much of the aftermath died, I wanted to go to New York and I did. I used to live in the Village, so took it personally. It was painful not seeing the towers. It got less painful as time went on.

I felt closer to my country for a little while, then felt myself growing more distant as time went on and I watched how everything was unfolding. I'm not very nationalistic anymore.

I wonder how I would have handled myself if I'd been directly involved and I realized I didn't have a clue. I knew how I would liked to have behaved and wonder if I would have been capable of it.

But Mrs. S. asked how it changed me. Like her, in many ways I got braver. I wasn't about to spend the rest of my life looking for a terrorist in every corner. I began to listen to prioritize things, was less vulnerable to the manipulations going on around me. I thought smaller instead of bigger. Mortality came crashing in. I became even less religious than the barely a mustard seed I had before. I saw color instead of the black and white I was being spoonfed. I became much more observant of the reality behind all the myths. I grew more personally patient, but much more impatient in other areas of my life. There are more people I can't be bothered with. I got angrier and I'm still angry. I got sadder and I'm still sad. I look for different things than I did then, some more selfish and some less selfish. I'm blunter, but less confrontational now for the sake of confrontation. I pick my battles.

I don't think I watched the events unfold with any filters on (with the exception of what was filtered for me) and I don't think I observe much else with very many filters.

And I know what matters to me and I don't apologize for it anymore.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:50 AM   #7
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Thanks BonosSaint, that was such a lovely post


Can we please not turn this into a discussion about Muslims and how bad religion is? I was really hoping to have a more human, personal discussion. Does everything have to be combative, political, and turn into the same old repetitive arguments?

One personal thing I remember...I had a fight with my Mom (can't even remember what it was about) and one of the first things I did was to e-mail her at work and ask her if she knew what was going on.

I remember going to the park down the street that night and just sitting there and crying. The flag was lowered and I just sat there and stared at it. Just walking, the ground under my feet didn't feel secure or stable or even there.

A couple of people from my town were killed. One man died much later from injuries he sustained walking near the site of the WTC.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:32 AM   #8
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By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press WriterFri Sep 8, 1:42 PM ET

Ralph Geidel cannot remember a time when he wasn't obsessed with finding things that had been lost or discarded — forgotten marbles on the playground, old coins, false teeth and silver jewelry at the beach. And he was good at it.

This is why, on a warm, spring day, Geidel crouched on his knees on the roof of a lower Manhattan skyscraper, his face inches from a pile of gravel, looking for something precious.

Looking for traces of his brother, and others killed at the World Trade Center.

Gary Geidel was one of 11 members of an elite fire squad who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Not a granule of his remains has been identified, and nearly five years later, Ralph Geidel found himself on this roof, still searching.

He stopped suddenly, plucked a small, eggshell-colored object between his fingers and slipped his reading glasses onto his nose for a better look.

"Could be part of a vertebrae," he thought.

The piece would join a growing collection. Some 760 specks and slivers of human bones have been discovered in recent months, after demolition began on this 41-story former bank tower known as the Deutsche Bank building, just south of where the World Trade Center once stood.

Gary Geidel is not the only one who is still missing. Of the 2,749 people who were killed that day, the remains of some 1,150 have not been found.

Their families have nothing — not a sliver of a bone — left of their loved ones. And they have long since given up any hope of finding recognizable human parts.

Searchers recovered whole bodies at first — 291 victims were found intact. But as they dug into the 10-story mound of debris with rakes and machines, it was mostly just fragments.

Ralph Geidel, a retired firefighter, was among the thousands of searchers at ground zero from the start. Wearing his old FDNY coat, a photograph of his brother fastened to his firefighter helmet, Geidel checked for patterns and signals that might offer clues to hidden remains.

"You look for something that doesn't belong among that rock, the concrete, the steel, the papers and all the other stuff," he said. "You just kinda develop an eye for that, something that doesn't quite mix with everything else — certain shapes, like hands.

"I found a lot of hands."

Eventually, more than 20,000 parts were collected as the debris was excavated, sifted and carted away. Many were recovered at a second site, the former garbage dump in Staten Island where debris was hauled and combed again.

Some families, officials and experts are suing the city in federal court, alleging negligence and violation of their religious rights because the sifted leftovers — more than 1 million tons — are still at the landfill.

They believe there are human remains entombed next to New York City's trash, and are asking the court to order the removal of the debris. Mayor Michael Bloomberg contends it was adequately examined and would cost too much to relocate.

"Sift it again, or if you don't want to take the trouble, just remove and bury it elsewhere," says Diane Horning, who lost her son Matthew. "We just don't want our loved ones to be among garbage."

The search for remains was concentrated at the 16-acre World Trade Center site. But debris, human remains and jet parts also rained down on the surrounding area, and some bones turned up on nearby buildings; authorities checked nearby rooftops for pieces of humanity, but some structures were damaged and could not be inspected thoroughly.

Then, in the last year, workers preparing to tear down the Deutsche Bank building found so many new bone fragments that officials sent a group of experts, including Geidel, to comb the roof, which is covered with a layer of gravel that authorities say camouflaged many of the smaller pieces.

"Now there's this faint glimmer that perhaps we might have something," says Lynn Castrianno, whose brother, Leonard, has not been found.

"It's almost as though he existed, and then he didn't — there's no real tangible proof that he was there, and that makes a difference in the grieving process ... it's like that final goodbye has never been said."

But many aren't sure that they want to reopen that wound. It seems like so long ago that they were told the DNA in many of the remains was too degraded by time, heat and humidity to yield a match. Many stopped hoping for an identification and went ahead with memorial services — burying caskets full of memorabilia instead of bodies.

The Vigiano family had to do both. Detective Joseph Vigiano was found, but his brother John, a firefighter, was not. Twice a month and on every Sept. 11, their parents visit the incomplete gravesite of their only children.

Many families without identified remains numbly came to nightmarish conclusions: Maybe he was vaporized, scattered by the wind or reduced to flecks that were accidentally carried out of the site on a truck or a worker's boot.

"You don't want to, but your mind goes there and after a while you start to wonder, was he totally incinerated? But even then there's little pieces," says Claire Dawson, who lost her brother, Maurice Kelly.

"I'm sure there's some kind of bone fragments or something, but does it matter to me anymore? I don't know — he's gone and I don't know what help bone fragments would be."

Still, scientists are trying to identify more victims. Bode Technology Group, the Virginia company contracted to work on 9/11 remains, has developed new and encouraging processes to extract identifications from bone samples which previously came up blank.

Families and some elected officials are calling for the intervention of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a military forensic unit known for finding missing soldiers from long-ago wars.

But Bradley Adams, the city's chief forensic anthropologist used to work for the military unit, and he insisted that this was "the most meticulous recovery project that I've ever worked on — the size of the fragments that are being recovered is really impressive, and I have complete confidence. You couldn't do a better job."

Ralph Geidel is renowned among the searchers. In his retirement, the 48-year-old lives in Northern California, where he looks for gold in old mines and waterways. His lifelong passion for treasure hunting even landed him in South Dakota, looking for dinosaur bones.

At ground zero, he had an uncanny knack for finding remains.

"He picked things out — it was amazing — that nobody else could see," said Bill Butler, a retired firefighter who spent months in the rubble, searching for his son, Tom. "We'd go through stuff and you'd glance over it, thinking it was part of construction material or furniture or items from the building, but Ralph seemed to have a special eye for body parts and remains."

Geidel's father and younger brother, both firefighters, were also there, and the family suppressed their grief to look for Gary, the oldest of four siblings. Obsessed and tormented, Geidel imagined he heard the dead screaming.

"I'd follow the scream until I found somebody and then the screaming got less and less," he said. "The more people I found, the better I felt."

But he never found Gary.

"Who knows what's where, what's been lost?" he says. "There's a million reasons he could still be missing, and a million places he could be."
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Thanks BonosSaint, that was such a lovely post


Can we please not turn this into a discussion about Muslims and how bad religion is? I was really hoping to have a more human, personal discussion. Does everything have to be combative, political, and turn into the same old repetitive arguments?

One personal thing I remember...I had a fight with my Mom (can't even remember what it was about) and one of the first things I did was to e-mail her at work and ask her if she knew what was going on.

I remember going to the park down the street that night and just sitting there and crying. The flag was lowered and I just sat there and stared at it. Just walking, the ground under my feet didn't feel secure or stable or even there.

A couple of people from my town were killed. One man died much later from injuries he sustained walking near the site of the WTC.
One of the things I noticed about 9/11 was even though it was such a societal event, the personal responses to it were so individual and so hard to articulate. There was communal response, but there was also isolation.
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Old 09-09-2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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Sad to say, I'm not sure I have any clear sense left in my memory of what the "national mood" was like before 9/11. It's a little easier to remember how I personally looked at the world and our place in it before that, but not very.

My memory of the attacks and their immediate aftermath are a jumble, and I don't know that I could pin down which thoughts I had in which order. Other than dazed disbelief at the enormity of what had happened, I'm certain my first concern was whether my mother and my younger sister, who were still living in New York at the time, were all right, followed closely by concern about other friends and acquaintances from my years living there. I remember thinking that my younger brother, who'd just begun his tour of duty with the Air Force, would likely be deployed somewhere dangerous and far away very soon (which he was), and I thought of all the times when I'd walked along the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade after school, holding his small hand on one side and my sister's still smaller hand on the other, gazing across the East River at the Lower Manhattan skyline, in which the Twin Towers figured so prominently. I remember watching expressions of solidarity for the US pour in from all over the world, side by side with an explosion of "Why do they hate us?" headlines from within, and thinking, What a heavy, heavy moment this is; I hope we can live up to its demands. I remember thinking that terrorism and militancy were going to become much more central themes in my classes whether I liked it or not. I remember attending an interfaith prayer service on campus and looking aound me at all the folks wearing hijabs and kufis and thinking that many things were going to change for my Muslim colleagues and students, and probably not for the better. I remember inviting over for Sabbath dinner a recently widowed colleague from NYC, who on top of everything else had just lost his only sibling to the attacks, and watching him break down in bewildered sobs while his two grade-school-age children stared silently at the floor. The first friend in New York I was able to get through to, a black man who was teaching in Manhattan near the WTC at the time, told me that other than the nightmarish confusion of being evacuated into the chaotic streets from his workplace and trying to figure out which direction to flee in, his strongest recollection of that day was sitting in some random bar he'd ducked into and finding himself talking for hours to some white businessman seated next to him, who'd also fled from a building near the WTC, dazedly trying to grasp together what had happened. He said it was the one and only time in his life he'd ever talked that long to a white stranger with absolutely no mutual awareness of all the usual unspoken barriers lurking in the background.

I don't recall feeling any specifically personal dread or fear related to the attacks, then or since, except perhaps when I briefly visited Pakistan in 2003 and found myself wishing that my ethnicity and nationality weren't as conspicuous as they are. I'm not afraid of flying, I didn't have any hesitation about taking the Tube when in London--you can't let yourself get into worrying about things like that. Obsessing about the possibility of fragmentary remains of your loved ones trapped in a landfill somewhere isn't healthy either, there are ghastly deposits of unclaimed human remains in so many places. I lament how this event, combined with the spiral of international events succeeding it, have irreversibly pushed the motif of a "clash of civilizations" to the forefront of seemingly everyone's worldview, subordinating so many other concerns in the process and doing it so thoroughly that I find it hard to remember quite what things felt like before. The fact of this shift in priorities--filters--I think, was inevitable and not so hard to justify....the profundity of it, and the resulting manifestations, are something else altogether. I am still hopeful, but I am much less optimistic. About my country, about lots of countries, about the fates of many people in many places. A great deal of trust--in people, processes, probabilities--was lost on our side, I think; I can't speak for other peoples. Trust can be naive and the loss of a certain amount of it isn't all bad, but it's dangerous and disorienting to lose it rapidly.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:43 AM   #11
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I Just Called to Say I Love You
The sounds of 9/11, beyond the metallic roar. by Peggy Noonan

Friday, September 8, 2006 12:01 a.m.

Everyone remembers the pictures, but I think more and more about the sounds. I always ask people what they heard that day in New York. We've all seen the film and videotape, but the sound equipment of television crews didn't always catch what people have described as the deep metallic roar.

The other night on TV there was a documentary on the Ironworkers of New York's Local 40, whose members ran to the site when the towers fell. They pitched in on rescue, then stayed for eight months to deconstruct a skyscraper some of them had helped build 35 years before. An ironworker named Jim Gaffney said, "My partner kept telling me the buildings are coming down and I'm saying 'no way.' Then we heard that noise that I will never forget. It was like a creaking and then the next thing you felt the ground rumbling."

Rudy Giuliani said it was like an earthquake. The actor Jim Caviezel saw the second plane hit the towers on television and what he heard shook him: "A weird, guttural discordant sound," he called it, a sound exactly like lightning. He knew because earlier that year he'd been hit. My son, then a teenager in a high school across the river from the towers, heard the first plane go in at 8:45 a.m. It sounded, he said, like a heavy truck going hard over a big street grate.

I think too about the sounds that came from within the buildings and within the planes--the phone calls and messages left on answering machines, all the last things said to whoever was home and picked up the phone. They awe me, those messages.

Something terrible had happened. Life was reduced to its essentials. Time was short. People said what counted, what mattered. It has been noted that there is no record of anyone calling to say, "I never liked you," or, "You hurt my feelings." No one negotiated past grievances or said, "Vote for Smith." Amazingly --or not--there is no record of anyone damning the terrorists or saying "I hate them."

No one said anything unneeded, extraneous or small. Crisis is a great editor. When you read the transcripts that have been released over the years it's all so clear.

Flight 93 flight attendant Ceecee Lyles, 33 years old, in an answering-machine message to her husband: "Please tell my children that I love them very much. I'm sorry, baby. I wish I could see your face again."

Thirty-one-year-old Melissa Harrington, a California-based trade consultant at a meeting in the towers, called her father to say she loved him. Minutes later she left a message on the answering machine as her new husband slept in their San Francisco home. "Sean, it's me, she said. "I just wanted to let you know I love you."

Capt. Walter Hynes of the New York Fire Department's Ladder 13 dialed home that morning as his rig left the firehouse at 85th Street and Lexington Avenue. He was on his way downtown, he said in his message, and things were bad. "I don't know if we'll make it out. I want to tell you that I love you and I love the kids."

Firemen don't become firemen because they're pessimists. Imagine being a guy who feels in his gut he's going to his death, and he calls on the way to say goodbye and make things clear. His widow later told the Associated Press she'd played his message hundreds of times and made copies for their kids. "He was thinking about us in those final moments."

Elizabeth Rivas saw it that way too. When her husband left for the World Trade Center that morning, she went to a laundromat, where she heard the news. She couldn't reach him by cell and rushed home. He'd called at 9:02 and reached her daughter. The child reported, "He say, mommy, he say he love you no matter what happens, he loves you." He never called again. Mrs. Rivas later said, "He tried to call me. He called me."

There was the amazing acceptance. I spoke this week with a medical doctor who told me she'd seen many people die, and many "with grace and acceptance." The people on the planes didn't have time to accept, to reflect, to think through; and yet so many showed the kind of grace you see in a hospice.

Peter Hanson, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175 called his father. "I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building," he said. "Don't worry, Dad--if it happens, it will be very fast." On the same flight, Brian Sweeney called his wife, got the answering machine, and told her they'd been hijacked. "Hopefully I'll talk to you again, but if not, have a good life. I know I'll see you again some day."

There was Tom Burnett's famous call from United Flight 93. "We're all going to die, but three of us are going to do something," he told his wife, Deena. "I love you, honey."

These were people saying, essentially, In spite of my imminent death, my thoughts are on you, and on love. I asked a psychiatrist the other day for his thoughts, and he said the people on the planes and in the towers were "accepting the inevitable" and taking care of "unfinished business." "At death's door people pass on a responsibility--'Tell Billy I never stopped loving him and forgave him long ago.' 'Take care of Mom.' 'Pray for me, Father. Pray for me, I haven't been very good.' " They address what needs doing.

This reminded me of that moment when Todd Beamer of United 93 wound up praying on the phone with a woman he'd never met before, a Verizon Airfone supervisor named Lisa Jefferson. She said later that his tone was calm. It seemed as if they were "old friends," she later wrote. They said the Lord's Prayer together. Then he said "Let's roll."

This is what I get from the last messages. People are often stronger than they know, bigger, more gallant than they'd guess. And this: We're all lucky to be here today and able to say what deserves saying, and if you say it a lot, it won't make it common and so unheard, but known and absorbed.

I think the sound of the last messages, of what was said, will live as long in human history, and contain within it as much of human history, as any old metallic roar.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:54 AM   #12
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I feel that the 3,000 people who were murdered that day are being killed again and again and again every time some stupid ass idiot comes up with yet ANOTHER conspiracy theory about this tragedy.

The latest I've heard was:

1. The WTC planes were flown by remote-control - there were no passengers on them.
Tell THAT to the hundreds of families who will gather at the memorial to remember their loved ones - who were VERY real!

2. The cellphone conversations from United 93 were computer-generated because everyone knows that cellphones aren't allowed to be used in-flight.
Tell THAT to the family of Todd Beemer and the other heroes of that flight.

3. The WTC was brought down by a controlled demolition supervised by Silverstein (or whatever his name is.... who is JEWISH of course).

*sigh*......People actually BELIEVE this horse-shit!! (excuse my language).

It boggles the mind how stupid people can be......and how BORED.

In my opinion, all these conspiracy websites should be shut down and their owners thrown in jail.

Denying 9/11 is like denying the holocaust.
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:36 PM   #13
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In my opinion, all these conspiracy websites should be shut down and their owners thrown in jail.

You really don't like free speech all that much do you?
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:57 AM   #14
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Re: Five Years Later-Filtering Reality?

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen






“We have all the seeds of a third world war, and it’s serious. Damn serious,” says Hedges. “I think it’s only a matter of time before something else awful happens, but it certainly doesn’t do you any good to sit around and sweat about it. Think about it, yes. But stew about it and worry about it, no. Life must go on, you know?”
Thoughts and prayers
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:55 AM   #15
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You really don't like free speech all that much do you?
Hi BVS.....we've had this discussion many times before. I am all for freedom of speech but there HAVE to be limits!

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to make a mockery of the worst act of terrorism in history. Nor does it mean freedom to defame the memory of the thousands who were murdered on that day.

People shouldn't be allowed to say such horrible things just because the constitution says they can.....there's such a thing as human decency and reverance for the memory of the victims.
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