One of the most enduring memories of 9/11 for me is that of the hundreds who jumped from the Towers rather than burn or suffocate. I distinctly remember the shock of seeing plummeting shapes resolve themselves into human beings as television cameras sharpened their zoom on them.
Those people, later dubbed “jumpers”, are a reason that 9/11 makes me red hot angry, even six years later. USA Today wrote an article about the “jumpers” a year later. Here is an excerpt:
USA TODAY estimates that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning, far more than can be seen in the photographs taken that morning. Nearly all were from the north tower, which was hit first and collapsed last. Fewer than a dozen were from the south tower.
The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood. Two people jumped as the north tower began to fall at 10:28 a.m., witnesses said.
For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 150 miles per hour — not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact. People jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, in pairs and in groups.
Intense smoke and heat, rather than flames, pushed people into this horrific choice. Flight 11 struck the 94th through 98th floors of the north tower, shooting heat and smoke up elevator shafts and stairways in the center of the building. Within minutes, it would have been very difficult to breathe. That drove people to the windows 1,100 to 1,300 feet above ground.
Those people were alive and most likely conscious when they struck the pavement at about 150 MPH. Tom Junod wrote about one of those poor desperate people in a seminal article in Esquire magazine. That article is worth your time today, if you read or see nothing else about that day six years ago. They were killed by people who ended up disappointed that only 3000 died on that day instead of the tens of thousands they wanted to kill.
Think about that. As much celebration as we saw from the barbarians in the days after 9/11, we know they were sad that they didn’t kill many, many more. If the Islamists had their way on 9/11, those 200 jumpers would have been a thousand, or two thousand. There would have been a human rain of death. The streets of Lower Manhattan would have run red with the blood of their murder victims, the very thing they have wished for openly.
Yet, the images of these people deciding to die on the pavement instead of gasping out an open window are photos we are not generally permitted to see. Our betters in the MSM have decided that we should not look back and remember 9/11 as it happened lest we rise up and go on an “anti-Muslim” rampage. They do not trust us. They gladly print a bogus story about a Koran in a toilet – a story that fueled riots all over the world and led to murder. They run over 40 front-page stories about Abu Ghraib in the New York Times without a moment’s hesitation knowing full well that each story leads to more death and mayhem. But us here in America? We’re the ones to be feared. We’re the ones who would launch the pogrom.
Excuse my language but that’s utter bullshit. There was no “anti-Muslim backlash” on 9/12 or 9/13 or 10/1 or any day thereafter of the kind we were told would certainly happen. There were no mass Muslim lynchings. Muslims were not rounded up into detention centers and held until their fidelity to America could be assured. None of that happened even though we were smack in the middle of a war declared on us by Muslims where Muslims had killed thousands and thousands of Americans over twenty years or more. Our good will was not credited to us, even by our own countrymen. We were the rabid dogs who did not have enough self-control to see the images of people murdered by Islamists bent on destroying everything we know and love and enslaving us under their special brand of tyranny.
That makes me very angry as well. It was not enough that we had to endure the gut punches of 9/11 one after the other all day long. We then had to endure the finger-waggers and apologists for murder who treated us like the maniacs and were worried that we would be the ones to slip the leash and savage the poor helpless Muslims.
They’re still doing that right now. They’ve gone past painting us all as a barely-constrained mob and have stooped to calling our soldiers liars, and murderers, and sadistic sociopathic torturers. Meanwhile, Islamists – the real murderers and torturers – continue to plot our deaths and gather more of the world under their oppressive banner.
Today, General Petraeus is testifying before a Senate Committee. He is basically begging the Senate not to surrender to the killers, not to leave a nation of 24 million people to the predations of Iran, al-Qaeda and their Islamist brethren. He is delivering a clear message that we can win, if we resolve simply not to surrender. He is saying the same thing that the President has been haltingly and inexpertly saying for five years. The message is simple. We can win this war if we just decide that we will not quit. It will not be solely our strength of arms that will eventually defeat Islamism. Victory will require us to be as clever as we have in other wars. It will require us to push our political, economic, and cultural strength into the fight as diligently as we have used our soldiers. But we can win, if we just refuse to give up.
On 9/11/2001, some 200 people died on the streets around the World Trade Center because we were not serious about fighting a war that had long been fought against us. We can no longer claim ignorance about our enemy nor what they seek. It is time – long past time, actually – that we fight back with every tool we have and with all our strength. If we remember nothing else about 9/11 after today, it should be that our enemies are real and that they will not hesitate to kill thousands more of us if we give them the opportunity. That opportunity should never arise again.