Always Remember 9/11

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. Always remember 9/11. Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and into the Pentagon. A third plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Its passengers, aware of what had happened, fought back and sacrificed their lives.  First responders selflessly struggled against impossible odds to help survivors and evacuate those in danger. Many first responders lost their lives, too.  Thousands died that day. It was a day that changed America. Our sense of safety shattered. Our isolation from what happened overseas vanished. Time is Relentless Families were forever changed on that day. Witnesses near the Towers were also changed. Some have physical reminders—old injuries or chronic injuries from debris and dust.  Time has claimed some of those who watched the Towers crumple. For some eighteen years was a lifetime ago. They never saw that day. And unless the tragedies touched their families, they do not know or feel the solemness of the day.  Memory Fades The nation’s collective memory is fading.  Thousands died. It didn’t matter what color their skin, what religion they did or didn’t follow, or what their sexual preference was. They […]

Come with Me Down the Novel Research Hole

Come with me down the novel research hole. Learn about the U.S. Coast Guard(USCG). It is busier than you know. On an average day, the Coast Guard: Conducts 45 search and rescue cases; s Saves 10 lives; Saves over $1.2 M in property; Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana; Conducts 57 waterborne patrols; Interdicts 17 illegal migrants; Escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels; Conducts 24 security boardings Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats; Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings; Services 82 boys and fixed aids to navigation; Investigates 35 pollution incidents; Completes 26 safety examinations of foreign vessels; Conducts 105 marine inspections; Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels; Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System. Origins President George Washington signed the Tariff Act on August 4, 1790. The act authorized the construction of ten vessels referred to as “cutters.” The Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) was to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. The Service grew in size and responsibilities as the United States grew. New Responsibilities In 1915, the RCS merged with the Life-Saving Service and was renamed the Coast Guard.  Eventually, Congress […]

The Mad Mothers Refuse to be Silent

In 1977, fourteen mothers held a peaceful protest. The military junta called them las locas, the mad women. But they couldn’t be silent. It cost some of the women their lives. The mad mothers refuse to be silent to this day.  The Dirty War From 1976 to 1983, Argentina experienced the Dirty War. The military government abducted, tortured, and killed any one they identified as subversive. Anyone thought to be Peronists or part of the Montoneros movement “disappeared.” The United States supplied financial and military support for the Dirty War.  (more information) Disappeared  The junta imprisoned many people they identified as subversive.  Young people, less than 35 years of age to as young as high school students, disappeared. Disappeared meant kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Pregnant prisoners had their babies stolen and adopted. The military obliterated all records. Mothers didn’t know if their adult or high school children were dead or alive. They didn’t know they had grandchildren. The Mothers In 1977, fourteen mothers, or Madres, met to protest the disappearances.  People were scared,” recalls Haydée Gastelú, now 88. “If I talked about my kidnapped son at the hairdresser or supermarket they would run away. Even listening was dangerous.” “But I couldn’t keep quiet. […]