Vive Le Canada

911 - Why We Fight
Date: Thursday, November 30 2006

911 - Why We Fight
By Douglas Herman
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"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon." -Thomas Paine

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell

The first time I shouldered my Scott airpack, a self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and pressed the face mask and respirator to my face and mounted the ladder over the hotbox, I panicked and nearly fainted. My heart pounded; I couldn't breath! A sudden burst of air, however, from the release valve, relieved the feeling of suffocation, but drew a quick scolding from my firefighting instructor. Stop breathing in bursts, he said; remain calm, and follow your team leader.

At 56, never too old to learn, I was trying to become a certified firefighter.

Descending into the hotbox, a converted shipping container purposely set aflame and smoldering, I remained low and crawled to the source of the fire. One by one, the team of novices cooled the fire before retreating. Outside we breathed a collective sigh of relief, having passed the first test.

The other day I watched Fahrenheit 911 again, thinking I may have missed something in the documentary. Bravura filmmaking, especially the edited scenes at the base of the twin towers, particularly the scenes of emotionally stricken people at the WTC, the documentary only focuses on 9-11 briefly. Accompanied by music befitting the death knell of nearly three thousand victims, we see the shock, the stunned disbelief, and the impending death. Among the victims were more than 343 firefighters who stood a thousand feet below the fire and realized what they had to do. Knew what they were trained to do. Knew they had to shoulder their Scott airpacks and climb hundreds of feet, passing terrified people along the way.

In the film I watched a group of New York firefighters shoulder their Scott airpacks and move towards the towers. Did anyone of that group survive, I wondered?

Some people watching the film (with 20/20 hindsight) may have thought the firefighters crazy. Obviously the buildings were coming down. At least that is what the well-paid experts tell us today. What fools those firefighters were. Why would they rush into collapsing buildings?

Because skyscrapers had never collapsed before or since. No sizeable steel building had ever burned and then collapsed. Even the architects and designers of the Twin Towers had factored in an airliner, filled with fuel, crashing into the towers.

But this was no ordinary fire, no ordinary rescue, no ordinary series of tragic events. This was a manufactured terror event destined to have far-reaching and epic repercussions.

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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