9/11: It may not be as we’ve always been told

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.
By Maramis
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

I wasn’t there when it happened. But anyone who actually was, or saw the planes crash into the Twin Towers on TV, can testify to the amazing job that the first responders did on the site. There is no question as to the devastation, shock, and confusion that engulfed not only the city, but the entire country once it showed up on everyone’s television.
Those who saw the smoke and the flames and heard the screams and were surrounded by the panicking New Yorkers running hither and yon can never forget the day, the hour, or the moment when New York City’s
Twin Towers became ground zero and a symbol of the hate and evil in someone’s heart and mind, which was perpetrated upon all of us as though that someone, or perhaps several someones, had targeted that particular spot as if it were the heart of the nation, and chose it to instill fear in the hearts of everyone in our country.
Fear is one thing, yet it was so much more than fear that was perpetrated on us that day. The impact and devastation was enough to fill the pages of every newspaper and TV news program in the nation, but the pain and suffering could not fit within such limited confines,to say nothing of the toll it took on those who dropped everything to instantly respond to that catastrophe.
While the best of the best were those who responded to the need that September 11th in 2001—and stayed on the job as long as they were needed and could stay awake—it’s hard to say what the total long-range effects of their heroism will be, since many of them are still in need of healthcare for the consequences of responding to that disaster. Of course the cost of their care is amazingly high, but without their services, to say nothing of the fact that most of them risked their life at the time, many others would not be here with us today. Most of
us would expect that whatever it took to take care of those first-responders would be automatically covered; that they would never go without care; that they would never be forgotten for all they did.
Yet as time went by, apparently they were being forgotten, at least when it came to paying for their care, and it took someone like Jon Stewart (former host of The Daily Show) to stand up and be their advocate, to lobby for them, as it were. After his speech in front of Congress this past July, shaming those who had not passed the former 9/11 Victim Compensation Bill, a new bill was drawn up to make that fund available for all those still in need, for the rest of their lives.
Many were killed and many more injured, to say nothing of the illnesses that would still come because of that Sept.11 terrorist attack, but while the signing of the new bill was not what one would call a day of celebration, the day it was signed by President Trump brought a major sigh of relief for all those suffering the additional
stings from the financial burdens they might have to bear.
The signing was attended by more than 60 first responders and victims’ families, as well as former New York Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served during the terrorist attacks, and Republican lawmakers. None of the Democratic sponsors of the bill were present in the Rose Garden, although all members of Congress were invited to the signing, according to a White House official.
So much for the care of the very many first responders, including both police and firefighters, and a slew of others who rallied to the cause. No matter who or what caused that horrific disaster, no one can ever take anything away from those brave and dedicated souls.
But so much investigating has been done by so many parties since all that happened, and if one has read all that is available to read, to hear about, or even see in videos available on YouTube or elsewhere, one will be sure to find different versions of what “really” happened.
Perhaps what happened with that third building can give one more cause for doubt, or more cause to be certain about the other explanation.
I am not going to report on what others hold steadfastly to in that regard because I did not do the research. I have my thoughts on the subject, but just as what I learned firsthand in the army does not have to make anyone change their mind about their own experiences with the army or with any other military service, and does not have to water down the good that the military does.
To me, life is all about experience. We learn from experience; we grow from experience, and each of us goes through our own experiences that may well be quite unlike another’s. It is not for any of us to discount another’s experience just as we do not want our personal experiences to be downplayed or cast aside as unbelievable.
We cannot ever learn and grow if we have closed minds, and sometimes it can be quite difficult to open our minds to truths we would rather not know or believe. But if there are some difficult truths to be learned about that fateful day back in 2001, I pray that we can learn them and not let the knowledge stop us from believing in the fact that most people are good at heart, and would stoop to help a fellow man in need, just as it seemed the entire city came together that devastating day, without knowing any of the details except what they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears.
Things are not always as they seem, nor are they always as we are told they are. How they are we cannot always say, yet there are two other ways to look at how things are: One is how we want to believe they are
and the other is simply the truth. They don’t always match… and that is the stuff of which discord, conflict, political “correctness,” and cover-ups are made.
No matter what, I’ll always opt for the truth.
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramis@lasvegastribune.com.

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