Sunday, September 11, 2011


Much has been said...and written...about the 10th anniversary of the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001. Along with most of our readers, I remember vividly the announcement that planes were being flown into the twin towers, and the horrifying images that followed.

As Newsweek has chronicled, our nation has journeyed through fear, grief, revenge, and resilience.

In spite of Ocracoke's geography and physical isolation from the mainland, we were as deeply troubled by the terrorist attacks as other citizens in this country. And we hope that, along with residents of New York and many other cities, towns, and villages across the United States, we can continue to be a model of  how to live as a community...with respect, empathy, and cooperation...and hope that our examples will help reshape our worldwide community.


  1. Anonymous6:35 AM

    God Bless the USA!

  2. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Philip, beautifully written thoughts this morning. Thank you for sharing.

    I just returned home from a simple, but moving service in my rural Person county, NC church. The pastor gave us time to share our memories on that day. Men and women were both wiping their eyes. It was a humbling experience and a service that I'll think about all week long.

    People sometimes take July 4th lightly, but I believe Sept 11, 2001 will affect the American people, and even the world, for decades to come.

    Ditto Anon 6:35, "God BLESS the USA!"

  3. Anonymous3:18 PM

    If only we hadn't squandered the good will the world afforded us on that dark day. Our reaction was and still is--unwarranted.
    God is love, readers, and not just for the USA.

  4. Anonymous6:28 PM

    @Anonymous 3:18 PM What should our reaction have been? What would have been warranted? Yes, the world affored us some good will that day, they should, God is love and the USA shares that love with the world in billions of dollars of aid. Perhaps you could move to another country, so you can be on the receiving end, since you are not feeling love for the USA.

  5. Phil, as a resident of NYC (I wasn't ten years ago, but am now)and frequent vacationer on Ocracoke,thanks. For what it is worth, here is a link:

  6. I don't normally comment on comments to this blog, but I find absolutely nothing in Anon 3:18's comment that suggests he or she does not feel love for the United States of America. Differences of opinion and freedom of speech are hallmarks of our democracy. Based on these comments, neither Anon 3:18 nor Anon 6:28 has any reason to move to another country.

  7. Anonymous9:27 PM

    True Philip, Anon 3:18 has the right to express his opinion, but he also has the right to be questioned. I believe his love of country could be questioned, if he isn't ready to fight to preserve it. The indifference and lack of patriotism today will eventually lead to the downfall of this country. We are so politically correct that we allow others to destroy what made this country great. Of course the biggest problem is that we have turned from God. We are no longer a Christian nation and we will destroy ourselves from the inside out, regardless of what terrorist group attacks us.

  8. Anonymous10:58 PM

    On November 4, 1796 the United States of America and Tripolitania (the coastal region of what is today Libya) signed a treaty that was submitted to the US Senate by President John Adams, and ratified unanimously by the Senate on June 7, 1797. It was signed by Adams and took effect on June 10, 1797. It states, “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” The full text of the treaty can be read by searching “Treaty of Tripoli.”

    An objective summary of the religious beliefs of our founding fathers can be found at

  9. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Interesting rewriting of history, Anon. 10:58,

    It was in fact Adams that said, "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature."

    Source: John Adams, Works, Vol. VIII, p. 407, to Thomas Jefferson on July 3, 1786.

    Even a quick review of the treaty you mentioned shows that it is being misinterpreted today. Did our founding fathers intend to separate church and state? Of course! Should it be that way today? YES!

    My statement about us not being a "Christian nation" refers to the individuals, not the government. I am placing the blame, on citizens, that claim to be Christians that don't live God-honoring lifestyles. So, I am not blaming the government, it's our own personal decisions that will destroy this nation-One family at a time.

  10. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I agree that there is a lot of room for improvement. May God have mercy on us all...

  11. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Anon 8:03 AM, I am curious in what sense is reference to a treaty that was submitted to the senate by the president of the United States and ratified by 100% of the senators a rewriting of history?

  12. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Good Question Anon 8:28, perhaps I was wrong in my wording. I seriously apologize. Let me say, that today there is a trend to try to eliminate all religious/christian heritage from our early history. I do acknowledge that our founding fathers were not the "Fighting fundamentalists" that some would like to believe. Even Thomas Jefferson had his own version of the Bible where he cut out the miracles of Christ and other accounts that he didn't believe. He is often called a Christian Founding Father. He was probably a deist at best.

    Let me re-emphasize that I am just annoyed by people that want to remove all the Christian heritage that was a part of our early American history.

    That treaty is certainly not a base issue for how we stand as a nation. That is your interpretation of the history around that moment in US history.

    Let me say again, our problem is that the individuals are no longer taking responsibility for their own actions. "Christians" don't live moral, ethical or God-honoring lives anymore. That is the real problem.

    And yes, I still question the other posters doubt that we should have fought against terrorism.

  13. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Take responsibility for our own actions? Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians living in refugee camps and tens of thousands more dead, and our "Christian" ex-VP touring the country hawking his book and touting a war based on faulty evidence as being not only justifiable but a success. Is that what you mean by "taking responsiblity?"

  14. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Anon 9:31 Thank you for a civil conversation! One of the reasons I posted the link above ( is because it gives an objective assessment of the religious beliefs of our founding fathers. I believe Christians and secularists would all benefit from taking a look at that link.

    One more comment. You state above that "That treaty is certainly not a base issue for how we stand as a nation. That is your interpretation of the history around that moment in US history."

    I never said that my interpretation of history is that the treaty is "a base issue for how we stand as a nation [I'm not even exactly sure what you mean by that]." I merely made reference to a treaty that was ratified unanimously by the senate. I suggest we let the words of the treaty speak for themselves.

  15. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Hello 11:02, I also thank you for being civil, others don't choose to be that way in a "conversation" of this type. Actually, you seem like an intelligent thinker and I'd love to be having this conversation in person!

    I was trying to imply that I don't believe the treaty was meant as a fundamental fact statement that the US as a government or as a country is "not Christian." I believe it was written to explain that the U.S. had no intention of attacking non-Christian nations. I happen to believe that our founding fathers, at least a good number of them, did have at least judeo-christian principles in mind when they set up our form of government. I know others do not agree with me on that, and I suppose we will have to "agree to disagree" on how we interpret the early history of our nation.

  16. Anonymous8:16 PM

    So 10:30 do you think that the country of Iraq would have been better under Saddam's regime?

  17. Anonymous9:20 PM

    If I was a Iraqi parent who, like so many, lost a wife or a son or daughter or another relative because of the American occupation, then yes I would have to say, "Yes, Iraq would have been better off if the US had NOT invade and occupied them." But, more importantly, who the heck are we to make decisions like that for other people and other countries? Your question, 8:16, suggests that the reason we invaded Iraq was not in order to protect OUR interests but rather to improve theirs. On those grounds, since we Americans think we are far and away the greatest civilization in the world, why shouldn't we invade every other country on earth? Afterall, wouldn't they ALL be better off after American liberation?
    Of course not. And my answer to your question is this: Unless our national security is being threatened, we don't have a right to invade other countries under the pretense that they will be "better off" after our invasion and occupation. Especially not under false premises and faulty intelligence.

  18. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Well, enjoy living in a muslim nation 9:20. Apathy, a lack of patriotism and overall laziness have overtaken our once great land. Men are no longer willing to fight for what they believe in. If you think the Christians are bad, wait until the muslims take over.

    I happen to agree with Anon 5:58, they just seem a little more mild mannered then me.

    We are all to worried about being politically correct.

  19. Anonymous9:39 PM

    I still wonder what Anonymous 3:18pm thinks would have been a warranted reaction to the events of 9/11/01. The USA is a major power/leader and closely watched by countries around the world, in particular how it would respond to being attacked within it's own borders. I don't know what "God is love, readers, and not just for the USA" means. And, Anonymous 10:30am should realize that many of the Iraqi civilians have been driven into refugee camps and killed by their own people. Are you saying that Saddam should not have been toppled because the president and congress made decisions based on faulty information?

  20. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Anonymous 9:20pm Was our national security being threatened on 9/11/01?

  21. Anonymous12:01 AM

    You know if you all would spend half as much time making your own community a good place than spending countless hours on blogs, the world would be a better place.

  22. Anonymous9:57 AM


  23. Anonymous10:09 AM

    12:01, 9:57, perhaps you're right, but not acknowledging a need for protecting our own nation, if no one stands up and speaks the truth we will be defeated. Besides, your taking the time to read and respond too. Look how Hitler rose to power undetected. If nobody speaks up, evil reigns. This time I imagine it's too late.

  24. Anonymous12:14 AM

    To Anonymous Patriot,

    Who the heck are you to question any citizen's patriotism or tell them to leave? That kind of mentality is very similar to the communists who encouraged citizens to spy on each other, or the nazis who did the same. I think it's a patriotic duty to question immoral wars. Why is it ok to show how many people were killed on 9/11 and it's illegal to show the caskets of the more than 6,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? Maybe Mr. Patriot should ask himself where the logic is in sending off twice as many American soldiers to die in the middle east than died in 9/11. Seems like a bad decision. And yeah, Saddham was a very bad man, but he did not attack the United States and it's not the job of the USA to police the world. There are dozens of other bad guys in the world and we aren't doing anything about them either. We should mind our own business. Afghanistan, while justified, is strategically impossible to win as shown by the history of that region.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.