2. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Mid'i-an. 5. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
I'm posting tonight, since I'll be working long hours overnight and won't be near a computer for most of tomorrow. This post is as important to me today as it was last year, and I wanted to make sure it was "right". One year ago, just prior to the fifth anniversary of the loss of nearly three thousand souls to a senseless terrorist act, a private citizen started the 2996 project. This project was slightly different than the usual memorials of 9/11. Different from the recollections we all saw on the news. Different in one small way. Instead of remembering the horror of that day, the project coordinator asked us all to change focus from the enormity of the events of that day to concentrate on a smaller, but far more important, facet. He asked us to remember the individuals lost that day by writing about one single victim. I am reposting my assignment for that day here. Thanks again to old high school friend Pinch for checking the unfamiliar Naval references for me. The original post, with comments, may be found here.
[UPDATE 9/15/2006: I purchased the Sept. 11th edition of US News and World Report today. Inside, I found an article concerning Cmdr. Shanower's family and the man who recovered him. Read the article here. It's worth it.]
Every one of us remembers where we were that day.In the East, our busy days screeched to a halt at the news. In the West, we awoke to a nightmare with our morning coffee. Here in the Midwest, I was finishing a night shift and trying to get a nap after work when my husband shook me awake to tell me I had to come quick, something had happened. Every one of us spent that day watching or listening to the awful news from the East. I spent much of it sobbing for the enormous loss of life and knowing that I was watching my generation's Pearl Harbor....live.When I was given my assignment for the 2996 project, I immediately felt a link to my subject. We both happened to be the same age with a love of travel, are both Midwestern natives--in fact, my subject went to college not far from where I live. The similarities ended there, but as I read more about him, Respect replaced that imagined kinship.
It's been five years since that day. Five years since the day Americans learned of the war that had been declared against us, a war heralded in opening salvos against our military and diplomats numerous times since the late 70's in places like Beirut, Tehran, Kenya, and Yemen. This was a war most of us were only dimly aware of until the day it came home to American soil on the bright morning of September 11, 2001 in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.
Cmdr. Dan Frederic Shanower, 40 years old that year, was aware of this war long before we civilians were. A career Naval Intelligence Officer based at the Pentagon, he spent his days studying, analyzing, and reporting on intelligence data. Shanower had spent his adult working life in Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, from early in his career debriefing pilots on the USS Midway and Assistant Intelligence Officer aboard USS Coronado; to a stint with the US State Department working for the ambassador to the Phillipines; to the Office of Naval Intelligence; to his last post at the Pentagon.
As Officer-in-Charge of the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot, he was responsible for providing current intelligence support to the Navy Secretariat, Chief of Naval Operations staff, and the Director of Naval Intelligence. His job was to assemble daily intelligence data, analyses of geopolitical data and troop movements into the series of morning briefings for these senior Pentagon officials. At the time of his death, he was finishing his final course for a Master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. At the moment that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's west side, Cmdr. Shanower was in his newly renovated office with a team of analysts, collecting data on the World Trade Center attacks.
We may not have immediately realized the source or understood the reasons for the attacks, but it's probably safe to say that Shanower knew.
Much of the following information is taken from here, the Arlington Cemetary website for Cmdr. Shanower. Dan Shanower was raised in Naperville, Illinois; the fourth of five children born to a schoolteacher and a college professor. By all accounts, he was a smart, inquisitive and somewhat mischievous boy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In October of 2005, I had the privilege of touring the Pentagon with friends. The building seems unscarred now, but there is a new room adjacent to the Pentagon Chapel deep within the huge building. This is the 9/11 memorial, and seeing that dimly lit room is deeply affecting. Black marble tablets are etched with the names of the 184 victims of American Airlines' Flight 77's plunge into the building. Although I of course was unable to take away a photograph of this room, it's possible to tour the Pentagon Memorial here. Take the tour; it's worth the visit.
Next to the DuPage River in Shanower's hometown of Naperville, Illinois is another memorial to the victims of 9/11. Cut into the sculpture is an outline of Commander Shanower's boot print. He is also memorialized at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I..
Memorials are beautiful, a way to honor the memory of the departed, a way to show our respect and our grief, our resolve to never forget, and a means of passing those lessons on to those who will come after us. I think the greatest memorial to this man, and the lesson which should be passed to the future, are to be found in his own words. In an essay published in the May 1997 issue of Proceedings magazine, Shanower wrote these words about four shipmates who had been lost in an accident ten years before:
We will never forget.
Dan played in Little League, but his career highlight was the game during which he lay down in the outfield. "He did it for fun, which every kid should do," said Eugene Drendel, who had a son in Little League at the same time. "But he wasn't into who won or who lost, to put it gently. He did, on occasion, just take a rest." Dan's high school exploits have become favorite anecdotes for those who shared his teenage years. There was the time Dan buried an unwanted car engine in his parents' yard. The time he installed living-room furniture in the Naperville Central High School courtyard. The time he named his soon-to-be-dissected fetal pig after WGN farm reporter Orion Samuelson. The time Mayor George Pradel, then a police officer, pulled Dan over after curfew only to find he had replaced his car seats with lawn chairs.After graduating from Central High in 1979, the free-spirited young man headed north to Wisconsin to Carroll College. During his college years he also spent time as an intern in the US Senate, and took a trip to the Soviet Union, finally graduating in 1983. In 1985, he joined the Navy.
He spent the first decade of that career overseas, first in Japan and later in the Phillipines. He made the most of his life abroad; he climbed Mount Fuji and tried to learn Japanese. At gatherings, he could captivate a crowd with his sea stories. He also built a reputation as a smart, confident officer who loved his profession. "He once told me it was almost a religion with him," Cmdr. Stewart Holbrook said. "He took his job very seriously, protecting his country and just having pride in the Navy." His parents received photos of Dan in foreign ports wearing a kimono, peeking through bamboo stalks, hoisting his ceremonial sword. His nieces and nephews received stuffed iguanas and machetes for birthdays.In 1999, Shanower moved to Washington, DC and began working at the Pentagon in 2000.
"I miss their friendship, but I believe that because they died in the prime of their lives in the service of our country their sacrifices take on a special meaning..... I think, however, that to a man, what really would have impressed them was to know that to their shipmates they had come to personify the virtues that we salute on this national holiday. The military loses scores of personnel every year in training or operational accidents. Each one risked and lost his or her life for something they believed in, leaving behind friends, family, and shipmates to bear the burden and celebrate their devotion to our country...... They knew the risks they were taking and gave their lives for something bigger than themselves. I'll never forget them, and I'll never forget the day I learned that freedom isn't free."Hopefully, the rest of us won't forget the day we learned the same lesson.
Yep, if you happen to surf in to sell me *v*i*a*g*r*a*, or a mortgage, or swampland in Florida, you'll notice that I am farting around with the templates again. It's fun to play in the sandbox. Even got the stupid sitemeter working again (fingers crossed. hope.hope.). I may have missed at least thirty or forty spammers!!! Testing, testing to add a picture. Not sure what to think of the blonde stuff yet. It's awful bright.
On this day in history:
Iran-IR Day Today, Farvardin 12 (April 1), the Islamic Republic of Iran marks another milestone. IRNA congratulates the entire nation on this auspicious day. On April 1, 1979 Iran became an Islamic Republic through a plebiscite in which voters overwhelmingly (98.2 percent) voted for this form of government.I remember thinking back then that 98% was a pretty good majority. 8-| I've been surfing around the April Fool's Day jokes today--I think some people have been waiting WEEKS to post some of these--especially new "softwares" like this one. And yes, I fell for that link hook, line, and sinker. This site was probably my favorite, though. I loved the description of the site:
Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romance™ is our solution. Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search™, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life. Then we'll send you both on a Contextual DateTM, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for. With Google Romance, you can: * Upload your profile – tell the world who you are, or, more to the point, who you’d like to think you are, or, even more to the point, who you want others to think you are. * Search for love in all (or at least a statistically significant majority of) the right places with Soulmate Search, our eerily effective psychographic matchmaking software. * Endure, via our Contextual Dating option, thematically appropriate multimedia advertising throughout the entirety of your free date.Sounds great, eh? Make sure you take the tour! And then I looked at the link for posting profiles:
Post multiple profiles with a bulk upload file, you sleaze./snort Happy April Fool's, everyone!! I'm thinking that I should go into work this afternoon and announce that I am quitting and going here. And considering I was filling out the application this morning....... I only hope they don't consider my application as the best April Fool's joke of the day. My best April Fool's joke came back in 1992. I already knew I was pregnant with #2 at that time, but I hadn't told anyone yet, since I didn't want to get booted off my job for the duration the way I had with #1 a few years before--I couldn't afford to take the pay cut again just because somebody didn't like a pregnant woman on the job. Anyway, somehow, word got out that day that I was "in the family way". (Don't ask me how :-" ) Amazing how fast news like that travels, too!! I just grinned a lot until somebody noticed the date....so...they thought I was...then they thought I wasn't....but I really was, lol. Sometimes I crack myself up. ;-)
CNN.com - Remembering Challenger - Jan 28, 2006
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- Twenty years ago, space shuttle Challenger blew apart in jets of fire and plumes of smoke, a terrifying sight witnessed by the families of the seven astronauts and by those who came to watch the historic launch of the first teacher in space.Do you remember where you were that day? If I'm not mistaken, it was a Saturday-- maybe a Sunday. It WAS a day off from work, though; and a very sunny and cold morning. I had the curtains open in the living room so that the room was brightly sunny, and had parked myself in the rocking chair with my 3 month old daughter, just snuggling with her and flipping through the three (!!) channels on TV. (This was the days before cable and 24-hour news. All we had up here was, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Public TV if the antenna was pointed just so). All three stations suddenly went to coverage in florida, although none of them had carried the liftoff live. Shuttle liftoffs were "commonplace" by that time, and not worth interrupting soap operas and game shows for. They interrupted them that morning. I spent the rest of that day with my daughter in that rocking chair, watching in horror and sadness the replays of the flight, over and over and over. Looking back, it was one of two days I did something like that--the other being 9/11 of course. I don't think I moved from that chair until after the President postponed the State of the Union speech to say this:
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."Twenty years ago. Sure doesn't seem that long.
This is the third day this week I have discovered that I have some item of clothing on inside-out. (Are we hitting the bottom of "subjects for blogging" yet?)