THE WORLD TRADE CENTER MUST RISE FROM THE ASHES
World Trade Center must rise again. Those magnificent towers, blasted
into ruins by terrorists, must once again soar above New Yorks
skyline. Our slaughtered countrymen must be avenged. Our enemies
must be destroyed. This act must not stand!
1996, I steamed into New York Harbor as Officer of the Deck of the
aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy. We had just passed the Statue
of Liberty with its torch held skyward like the skyscrapers beyond.
Looking to starboard, I was startled by the immense beauty and grandeur
of those twin monoliths rising up from the shore of the Hudson.
I was coming home to where I grew up and where I had recently commanded
a Naval Reserve Center at Fort Schuyler on the East River. I remembered
vividly the intense relief I had felt when I saw the twin towers
still standing after the bombing three years earlier.
grandfathers came to this country through the Port of New York.
They came seeking the promise of capitalism: free men could work
hard, trade freely with one another, and build a better life. Michael
Panagis came alone as a teenager in 1913, a Greek refugee from Smyrna,
Turkey. He owned a series of restaurants and delicatessens in the
New York metropolitan area. Luigi Giorgino came to America in 1922
after serving on the front lines in the Italian Army during World
War I. He worked on the railroad for five years until he could afford
to bring his wife and my uncles over from Italy. He worked as a
cement mason all his life. Both men came to America with the expectancy
of a better life in a land where they could breathe free.
The Fountainhead, novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand wrote:
would give the greatest sunset in the word for one sight of New
York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just
the shapes, the shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over
New York and the will of man made visible. . . . Do [men] seek a
sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore
of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my windowno,
I don't feel how small I ambut I feel that if a war came to
threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the
city, and protect these buildings with my body."
is how I feel about the attack on the World Trade Center. It is
a direct attack against me, against my family, against the hope
and promise of freedom that is America. I would fight this evil
at the expense of my own life.
act of war against our country rekindles the eternal struggle between
two forcesgood and evil, throughout the world. America is
great because it is good. Ours is the spirit that harnessed the
forces of nature in the service of mankind: fire, steam, electricity,
and the atom; that landed men on the Moon; that built the world's
greatest airplanes and skyscrapers. These were the achievements
of free men and women, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and
is it the destroyers hate about America? Rand knew: "In various
disguises, the motive has been the same throughout history: hatred
of man's mindand, therefore, of manand, therefore, of
lifeand, therefore, of any success, happiness or value man
may achieve in life. The motive is hatred of the good for being
is so difficult to understand about our enemies (but we must
realize) is they do not hate America for its flawsthey hate
us for our virtues. They do not despise our weaknesses; they resent
our strengths. They do not blame us for our failures; they envy
our accomplishments. Make no mistake: the focus of their hatred,
the target of its passionate fury is our freedom! The World Trade
Center was targeted because it symbolizes ability, intelligence,
integrity, and the pure joy of human achievement.
cannot escape history. As in the time of Lincoln, the fiery trial
through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to
the latest generation. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves.
We too must highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in
vain and that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom.
must support our Commander in Chief and our armed forces. We must
hunt down and destroy the terrorists who committed these acts. As
long and difficult as it may be, we must not shrink from the task
of annihilating the regimes that harbored, supported, and encouraged
them. To crown our victory, the World Trade Center must rise again
like a phoenix from its ashes, as a beacon of hope and freedom to
America and the world.
Giorgino retired as a Commander from the U.S. Navy in 1997, and
is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He graduated from
the University of San Diego School of Law in December 1999, and
practices law in San Diego. He may be contacted at [email protected]
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