This is the last review in my 9/11 book series. This book was a large picture book that I borrowed from our local library. It was a bit different than I expected…but still an interesting book.
No author listed; compilation
My Review: I thought when I picked up this book that it was going to be a compilation of stories about and by service members, focusing on the War on Terror. Instead, this book was a basic history of 9/11, the War on Terror and humanitarian efforts of the military. Few personal stories and profiles were included; most of the soldier submissions were just talking about their humanitarian assignments and not their actual stories. The book was very informative, but not written in an engaging style.
It was easy to see that the project was more focused on humanitarian efforts and “happy Muslim and American relationships” than on telling the truth about terrorism and our efforts to squash it. A few parts even suggested that the terrorist regime has nothing to do with true Islam/Muslim faith, when in fact it is rooted in the teachings of Muhammad. That bothered me. It wasn’t on every page, but the mature reader will definitely find it hiding in the corners and flavoring the text.
For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless you are a mature reader and well grounded in the truth. (Check out Fortress of Faith for many helpful resources on Islam vs. Christianity)
Today, 18 years ago, 19 men committed one of the most infamous crimes in American history. They murdered 2,977 innocent American and foreign people, who were simply going about their daily lives. They all went out into eternity…some to heaven, some to hell, having never received God’s gift of Salvation. But…have we forgotten?
Those who don’t learn from History are apt to repeat it.
I used to work on a bus route at my church before we went on the road full time for FBN. All of my riders were born after 9/11…and none of them had ever heard of it. They were old enough. There is no reason for their ignorance. It’s not their fault. Their parents and their teachers have let them down.
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was the death place of 2,605 people, not including the victims onboard the planes. 411 of those were first responders. Have we forgotten them?
The Pentagon was the death place of 125 people, 55 of those being military personnel. Have we forgotten them?
Flight 93 and the other three planes involved were the death places of 246 passengers, flown to their deaths because of 19 wicked men bent on destruction and death, for a god that doesn’t even exist. Have we forgotten those victims and their murderers?
At least 4,424 of our troops gave their lives in Iraq to protect our nation and put down terrorist organizations. Have we forgotten their sacrifice?
As of 2018, 2,372 of our brave servicemen have died in Afghanistan to the same end. There have been 20,32o wounded in the war. Have we forgotten their valor, their blood shed for our freedom, their families mourning loss of life, limb and mental stability?
I would dare to say that we have. I have spoken with people who thought Afghanistan was just a military base, not a war zone. I have spoken with many who have no idea when we went to war or why. I myself can name only two places where fighting has taken place over there. I am ashamed of my lack of knowledge on this subject. After all, this is the war of my generation. I was five when 9/11 happened. I watched the towers fall live on my Grandmother’s television. I have never forgotten that. It is seared into my memory forever.
Did you know that the 18-year-old recruit in Basic Training today was only a baby when 9/11 happened? Did you know that the 17-year-old recruit wasn’t even born? Three of my siblings have only known a country at war. A couple of them remember when Osama bin Laden died, taken out by conscientious Navy SEALs. None of the three remember Saddam Hussein. I do. I lived in fear, as a child, that they would come to America and murder my family, even though I prayed they would come to know the Lord. It was a result of this fear of dying that God softened my heart and I accepted Him as my personal Savior.
I believe though, that as a nation, We Have Forgotten.
But that’s not all…
Jesus Christ came to earth, born of a virgin, suffering the scoffing and criticism by His own people. Have we forgotten the reason He came?
He selected 12 men to be his disciples. One betrayed Him to His enemies for money. One denied that he even knew Jesus. And 11 of them ran when Jesus was arrested. Have we forgotten His agony in the garden, for us? His prayers while His disciples slept?
He was falsely accused, beaten, spit on and mocked before the people. Have we forgotten His humility and acceptance of what should have been our punishment? He Who knew no sin? Have we forgotten?
Jesus died, gave His Life for us on the cross, so that we could go to Heaven when we die. He accepted the rejection of God, His Father, so we could be accepted. He willingly allowed Himself to die and be buried in a borrowed tomb, for you! For me! For the victims of 9/11. For the hijackers who took over the planes. For Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein. For every “good” person that has ever lived or ever will live. For every bad person who ever has lived or ever will live. For everyone. He loves us that much. He doesn’t owe us anything, but Jesus did it anyway. Have we forgotten the Love of Jesus?
And the most important part…
He rose again from the grave! Three days after giving His life for us, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, rose of His own power, victorious over death, hell and the grave.
How could we have forgotten? Do we as a nation even care? If not, it will be to the eternal doom of every individual who has rejected His free gift of Salvation. All Jesus asks is that we repent of our sins. That is all! Small thing to ask, right?
I haven’t forgotten. What about you?
I have accepted His gift. What about you?
Have you forgotten?
One of the most solemn holidays in our country is Patriots Day, a day set aside to remember those who died on September 11th, 2001. I was 5 when 19 Islamic Terrorists hijacked our planes and murdered over 2,000 innocent people.
A few weeks ago, I decided to read and review some books on the subject, so you would have time to order them or borrow them through your local library before 9/11 gets here. Today’s post is the first of those books.
Heroes of 9/11
By Allan Zullo
From the Back Cover: The first responders on September 11, 2001 — firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, military officers and even many civilians — risked their lives to save people they didn't know. Every one of them is a hero. This book features ten gripping stories that reflect the countless breathtaking acts of heroism that occurred inside the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a hijacked plane. Among other amazing true accounts, you will read about the miraculous survival of the fire captain and his men who were buried alive when the north tower collapsed... the cop who dodged death twice to help save others... and the two navy officers who ran into a burning, crumbling section of the Pentagon to rescue a trapped worker.
My Review: Wow. I felt as though at any minute I could burst into tears (And a few times, I did). This book highlights heroes who rescued people on 9/11. Six stories cover the World Trade Center, two Police, two Firemen, and two EMTs. Three stories take place in the Pentagon (yes, the Pentagon was attacked. For some odd reason, many people forget that…), 2 Army, 1 Navy. And then the final story is a tribute to the heroes of Flight 93, the plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when the passengers fought back against the terrorists and saved our nation’s congress.
This book is written on a middle grade level, but honestly, I think everyone should read it. Such selflessness is uncommon in our day and age. Such unity of action and purpose…a love and willingness to sacrifice everything for a stranger.
The only reason this book did not receive 5 stars is because I had to mark out over a dozen uses of God’s Name taken in vain. I understand that the people were in shock over what had happened, but that doesn’t justify abusing God’s Name. Now, there are several mentions of prayer and crying out to God for help and I loved that aspect of the story! But I would recommend an older person reading it before young readers.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! Next to Memorial Day, this is my favorite holiday! There's nothing like a huge, nation wide birthday party for the Greatest Nation on Earth! Today, I want to share what America means to me!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
King James Bible
America, Land of the Free Because of the Brave. What does she mean to you? Here’s some of the things I love about my Country.
*America is where I can worship God without the fear of being thrown in jail (at least for now!)
*America is where I have the right to protect myself.
*America is the nation that has the greatest military in the world! No one can match our boys in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard!
*America is dedicated to freedom and the fact that we are all born with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
* I can be proud of the fact that, although the opposition would say otherwise, the majority of my countrymen believe that even the unborn have an inalienable right to life.
*America is the home of the U.S. Constitution, a legally binding document that (is supposed) to govern the actions of our lawmakers and our people in general.
*America is not a government; it is a people, an amazing culture based around that fact that Jesus Christ is Lord and He is the ultimate Head of our Country. Any other belief will destroy this country…as we have witnessed over the years.
*America is not perfect, but I’d much rather live here than any other country in the world. She is the last stronghold of freedom. We must stand up and make sure she stays that way.
*America is a mission field. We should always be doing everything we can to reach our countrymen with the Gospel, which is another amazing thing about our country; we have the right and freedom to share our faith with others!
*America has the best Patriotic Holidays ever! July 4th, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Patriot Day (9/11 Remembrance Day)…can’t beat that!
*America has the best National Anthem in the world! The Star-Spangled Banner never ceases to give me chills when it is played or sung. That is a song I will ALWAYS stand for.
Make a list today of some of the things you love about America! And while you’re at it, take a moment to pray for our Nation.
Have a Blessed Day, Stay Safe and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!
Hello everyone and happy “Purple Up!” Day! That’s right, its that time of year again, the Month of the Military Child! And here with us today to celebrate is a friend of mine, Kassie Angle! I hope you enjoy our interview!
1. What is your favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Everything...?? Yep, everything. 😉 I’ve known nothing different. Getting to move so often and see so many places is really amazing. I can’t imagine staying in one place my whole life. All the opportunities we’d never have had otherwise. The Army is a really strong community and knowing that our Army family will always be there for us is something I wouldn’t change for the world.
2. What is your least favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Changes. Goodbyes. DEPLOYMENTS. Worrying about my dad getting killed. Ya know, those things that come with the territory but never get easier.
3. Name a few things you think people often forget about Military Kids?
We love it. We really do. When I was younger I never liked people thanking me for my service or sacrifice because...well, that’s just not how I felt. For one, I didn’t have a say in it (our family’s favorite analogy for Army kids is getting drafted), and for two, I loved this crazy life too much to think of it that way. Nowadays I can appreciate that more, but the truth is, no matter how hard it gets, we still love it.
And we don’t fit in anywhere else. Sometimes folks presume we’d be glad to be out of the Army now...but the Army is home. Anywhere else is way out of our comfort zone!
4. Where was your favorite base to live at? Why?
Ft. Hood. All the way. People deploy constantly from Ft. Hood, and there are thousands of people living there...so it kinda gets a bad rap. But it is an amazing place to live. Everybody’s in the same boat, and everybody knows it. If your dad’s deployed, so is everyone else’s. The community that builds is beautiful! (And Central Texas is physically beautiful, too... 😉) Knowing anyone will watch your back, just because we’re all Army—that everyone “gets it.” And with BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area), the cavalry shows, the greatest FRGs (Family Readiness Group) in the world...the Army takes good care of its people. And the PX (Post Exchange; it’s like a store on base) there is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Sometimes we want to go to Ft. Hood just to go to the PX!
5. Name a Base you would have liked to visit.
Somewhere I still have my list of posts in Virginia along with the Civil War battlefields nearest to each one...! 😉 I would’ve given just about anything to get stationed in VA. But my number one would definitely be Landstuhl. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the first stop for soldiers MEDEVACed (Medical evacuation) out of war zones, and there is an organization there called Soldiers’ Angels that I would love to volunteer with.
6. Anything else you think we should know about Military Kids?
Even the little kids understand more about Army life than you’d guess. Trust me on that. Looking back, it surprises me a little just how much I did understand at four and five. I don’t ever remember being taught that soldiers were killed in war, or that you salute the flag going down. And as I got older, seeing little friends with that same understanding that’s almost instinctual...I don’t know. That probably didn’t make any sense. 😉
And contrary to my younger self, if you know military kids, please tell them thank you. Honestly, no, we don’t want to be thanked for any sacrifice...chances are, we don’t feel like we’re the ones who’ve sacrificed. But sometimes it’s nice if someone notices that we do serve too. We might not take it in stride just then, but we’ll look back and feel honored. 💜
7. What is your favorite memory about being a Military Kid?
We’re gonna be here a while... Well, welcome home ceremonies are a natural choice—absolute chaos at an unreal hour, and it is the happiest, most exciting thing in the world. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really convey the emotion of a welcome home ceremony. We’ve literally wished we could have welcome home ceremonies without deployments—they’re that thrilling. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be without waiting through a deployment for them. 😉 The time our brigade had a welcome-home-sign-painting party and twelve-year-old me had the brilliant idea to paint a giant flag out of handprints with only four or five kids around...a soldier who had pretty small hands ended up filling in most of the flag. Independence Day when we had half-a-dozen of Daddy’s single and unaccompanied soldiers over and sang around the piano, discovering all the soldiers’ hidden musical talents, and then ending with a wild punch-balloon fight with a soldier who was kind of our adopted brother. Having pizza with friends every single week one deployment. One of Daddy’s soldiers taking my brother and I to the range while Daddy was deployed. Sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet. How do you pick...
Okay!! I’ve got it. The day after my 16th birthday, Rescue was doing sling-load training out over the ocean. One helicopter would pick up an old car, slung under the heli (helicopter), and carry it out to sea while another heli stayed along the shoreline, “covering fire.” Well, I ran up on our roof to watch them just as the “covering fire” heli went by a couple blocks down from our house. Just for fun, I saluted it, and all of a sudden it pivoted and came right towards the house. I just stood there frozen holding my salute and that big Seahawk buzzed right over my head and turned back out to sea. I went running downstairs and Josh said, “That helicopter went right over our house!” I said, “Oh, you have no idea,” and just started crying. Yeah...that one definitely takes the prize. Getting buzzed by a Rescue heli for my 16th birthday. 😭
8. How did being a Military Kid influence you as a writer?
Wow...this is a neat question. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is all the experiences I’ve had that end up in stories. There’s a lot more real life in my stories than I usually care to admit. 😆However, on a more serious note, when I was about 15 it began to dawn on me that not everyone understands the Army life and that there is a lack of good sweet war stories to help them understand. One of my favorite writing quotes is “Listen to what others aren’t saying and write about the silence.” I guess this Army lifestyle has really opened my eyes to one of the silences. I’ve always been writing, but it was at that age that the Lord really opened my eyes to how I could use that writing—which would probably never have happened if we weren’t Army.
9. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Writing the action scenes, haha! If I get in a rut writing a slow scene, I jump ahead and write something fast-paced. It’s absolutely contradictory, but I will tell you in the same breath that I don’t like torturing my characters and that I love writing action scenes. It’s just the easiest part for me, for whatever reason! As much as I love stories with “breather” scenes, I also love stories that just run from one intense scene to another—and sometimes that’s the best way for me to convey my story’s emotion.
10. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
No, I throw out spoilers way too easy! 😉 Well...Tattered Wings is about a small-town police officer, his daughter who is searching for answers about her past, a wounded Airborne Ranger, and the dog that brings them all together. I want to show a perspective of soldiers’ children I haven’t seen portrayed in fiction before while also writing about law enforcement and therapy dogs. The basic theme is very similar to O to be Like Thee— there is healing, and sometimes failure only means you didn’t fail—but the plot is completely different. My heart is still very much in O to be Like Thee, but I’m starting to fall in love with Tattered Wings, and I hope it can be comparable someday.
11. Do you think being a military kid affects your writing process in any way?
Hmm...well, I hope my stories read authentically military-wise, even with creative license...does that count? My stories are chock-full of Army terms and acronyms that I sometimes wonder if anyone will understand. Physically writing the story...probably, but I don’t know if I could tell you how.
12. Who do you hope to reach with your stories? Soldiers, civilians, both?
I’ve asked myself this sometimes... Both. Definitely both. I pray I write characters that soldiers can relate to and thus are willing to listen to. It’s hard, but there is hope. I pray that soldiers see that in my characters’ lives. Likewise, I also pray that I open the eyes of those who otherwise have no experience with the military—help them to understand what thousands of soldiers go through, give them a reason to remember and honor, show them why it’s worth respecting.
Thank you, so much, Kassie for doing this interview with me! And thank you to all the Military kids (Whether you’re still in or out, you are always a military kid!) for your sacrifice and service to our Great Nation, The United States of America! You are loved and appreciated!💜
Until Next Time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.