Flags of Valor on display at Art Hill in Forest Park
By - jb69029
...I lost 150 friends and 600+ co workers that day...was on 105th from of 1 World Trade Center (the one with Windows on the World & Greatest Bar on Earth) as late at 25 minutes before the 1st attack. needed a smoke and coffee from my favorite hot dog cart. It took me over a decade to shake off the survivors guilt and PTSD.
Dad was working for IBM during that time and still was in the area coming from New York when the attacks hit.
A few years later the liason to the client he was working for changed and he noticed that this man just could not get upset. If a server went down he'd shrug and say, "It happens, lets just get through it and get it back up." You could not make this man mad.
Finally one day my dad asked him, "John, I have never seen you upset. I've known some easy going guys before but you, by far, take the crown."
He responded, "Well I was upset once. My alarm didn't go off and I woke up half an hour late. Tried to rush myself out of my apartment and to the subway station just in time to watch my train leave. I was pissed that I had to wait for the next train and was going to be late because I had an important meeting first thing that I wasn't going to be able to prep for. I got to work late just in time for the elevator to explode as the first plane came through my office. If I had been on time that day, I wouldn't be here today. I'm on borrowed time."
REALLY puts a lot of things into perspective.
Absolutely, i call 9/11/01 my "Alive Day"...i should be dead, i should have died...but for some reason i lived. Not just by being on street level, but an hour later when 2 collapsed i was in the lobby of 2 as it collapsed working on rescue efforts. It was a bank on elevators that saved my ass.
I can relate to your dad's client/co-worker, it took me a while to get there but i realized I'm lucky to be alive and i am not going to let small things get me down because im lucky to still be here 20 years later.
Holy crap. If we ever cross paths I'm giving you a hug and buying you a beer (if you're ok with both, or either). I'm happy that you've overcome this.
Well, maybe overcome isn't the right word, but have handled it and gotten yourself straight. That's some heavy stuff to bear.
oh my gosh i can't even begin to imagine. I hope you have found all the help you need and are doing better.
Oh yes, therapy and intense physical activity helped me... It was a tough decade+ though.
That's great to hear. I'm so sorry you had to endure all that.
Does anyone know how long the display will be up for?
This kind of superficial patriotism is one of the worst cultural elements that occurred after 9/11. The "We Will Never Forget" Crowd helped send thousands of Americans to their deaths in two wars. Participated in open jingoism and Islamophobia. Tortured people and Happily sacrificed American values in pursuit of this lost hope.
And for 20 years these people feel this vapid, empty, superficial patriotism somehow makes up for it and justifies it.
They didn't die for our freedom, our safety was never really under threat. There's no evidence fighting that war prevented terror attacks. Counter intelligence prevents terror attacks not boots in a ground war.
These people should be reflecting how they were brainwashed into going into war and how that cost innocent Americans their lives *for nothing*. Yeah they'll proudly tie a flag to their truck nuts and burn Kaepernick jerseys because "he disrespects the troops." And then post this bullshit. Patriotism needs to be seated in more than superficial emotional rhetoric. There are actual principles you need to stand by that these people fundamentally violated and have violated for 20 years.
That should be what we never forget. You can't remove from 9/11 the absolute stain and disgrace the War on Terror was to American Principles.
Can you put aside your rhetoric for just a second and appreciate the hard work that went into this, a beautiful sentiment for people who lost their lives in a horrible way
If it's about the 9/11 victims why is the song about a soldier dying for flag and country? 9/11 and the War on Terror can't be separated from each other.
The moral problem for the last 20 years are these exact calls to quiet down. It's just rhetoric designed to quash taking moral responsibility for actually going to war. MURICA, FUCK YEAH, FUCK THEM TERRORISTS! THOSE PEOPLE ATTACKED OUR COUNTRY! - Never told to hold back
"Hey maybe this is a fundamentally misguided war, will last years in a completely predictable way and costs a fortune in lives and treasure." - HEY MAN NOW'S NOT THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THAT. ACTUALLY IN REALITY IT'S NEVER TIME TO THINK ABOUT THAT SINCE I NEVER WANT TO ACTUALLY CONSIDER THINKING ABOUT WAR IN A RATIONAL LIGHT.
How about you stop disrespecting the 9/11 victims by refusing to think about how their lives were used as propaganda to start two wars? But that's an uncomfortable thought and we can't have those!
How about you never make a statement like this again, it's morally irresponsible and is at the heart of how we rationalized ourselves into 20 years of war that destabilized two countries for the worse. Now is precisely the time we reflect on that. We didn't do it after Vietnam. We're fucking doing it after the Afghanistan so uneducated morons parading their patriotism can't walk us into ANOTHER useless war and send other people's kids to fucking die for nothing. How about that be our moral reflection for 9/11? Kind of an important lesson for our nation to learn. (A $7 Trillion dollar lesson, all put on the credit card)
How many victims did you know?
I lost 153 very close friends and 658 Co workers with Cantor Fitzgerald...I was one of a few that were lucky to have made it out. Not only that, I was a part time rescue medic so I volunteered as a first responder Ave responded as NREMT requires to do. I knew another 30-40 FDNY firefighters that died as well. Furthermore, I lost a very good friend who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004, who enlisted less than a month after the attacks.
These flags commemorate those lost... Many of those whose only reason they died is that they went to work. They died because they went to work. This isn't about false patriotism, this is about remembering the loved ones that we lost, and us left to carry on.
What does September 11 math to me... It's my Alive day. Lucky to be alive, and try do everything I can to help humanity remember and serve humanity.
Yes that's great it still doesn't justify the War on Terror which in response to 9/11 was one of the biggest foreign policy disasters of the last century.
And yes there is a great amount of false patriotism that has corrupted the memory of those people.
Point to the part in my video that supports the war on terror. It's literally a video showing the flags of men and women who died in the 9/11 attacks and during the ensuing war. There's no "War on Terror commemorative fireworks display" happening at this. This is straight from the Flags of Valor website:
"Every service man and woman who has died in the War on Terror since September 11, 2001 will be remembered with an individual flag planted on Art Hill in St. Louis’ Forest Park. Each flag will be displayed chronologically and marked by a photograph and dog tag of the hero.
Flags honoring the first responders that lost their lives on 9/11 will surround the Grand Basin at the bottom of the hill. The victims of the 9/11 terror attacks will be memorialized on display boards surrounding the basin."
No flags or celebrations for the war. Just remembering those who died. I'd much rather us not have fought in that war, but I'm also smart enough to realize this memorial is about the men and women who died in the attacks and serving our country.
\>Point to the part in my video that supports the war on terror.
Dude videos like this are purpose built to appeal to a certain audience. All propaganda attempts to frame itself in this neutral light. Most of us have had 20 years though of our conservative family members virtue signaling with crap like this. "They fought to prevent a 9/11 happening again!" Stuff like that. These videos play directly to that audience and their beliefs.
\>No flags or celebrations for the war. Just remembering those who died. I'd much rather us not have fought in that war,
Yes and their lack of addressing the causes of the war is part of the framing of events like this. "Let's not address the war" so we can purposefully ignore the moral framework that this war was fought. Which is ironic considering that was our major mistake in Afghanistan, we could never look at the facts on the ground and create effective strategy for it since doing so would mean admitting some uncomfortable truths.
Saying it's just about the first responders/soldiers without broader context is essentially admitting that the message of such things is completely empty. There deaths exist in a context, their service exists in a context. And that context involves facing the toxic patriotism which helped push us into that war.
I'm sorry you're not entitled to your bubble.
Do you honestly think I'm some kind of conservative propaganda monger? Lol you know what they say when you assume.
And if you had actually educated yourself on the event, you'd know that they have a tent at the top of art hill, which is in my video, where they educate people about the war and what caused it and the people represented by the flags. But you're not going to learn that. You'd rather keep spouting off about how wrong the war was, as if everyone in here is disagreeing with you. You look ridiculous.
I think it’s nice. Thanks for sharing, Op 🙂
Here's a guy who typed two walls of text and doesn't even know what the whole thing is about. Typical.
As cringe as Bush wearing a jump suit with a Mission Accomplished sign or the time he got shoes thrown at him?
No no no no, it must be as cringe as Bush sitting in a kindergarten for seven minutes after being told the country was attacked.
First of all, calm down. Second, I never said Hurrah for America killing innocent people in the middle east. It's a dumb war we should have never gotten wrapped up in. HOWEVER, the display at Art Hill honors those that lost their lives while serving our country. They didn't have a say in what they did or where they went. They just joined the armed forces to serve the country. I'm not sure why you'd think I'd ever put truck nuts on my 2019 Honda Pilot or why I wouldn't support Kaepernick, but I can tell you, my video isn't bullshit. It's literally a video of the flag memorial at Art Hill with a song about a soldier who sacrificed for the country. But keep on ranting and raving captain america. SMH
Imagining trucktruck nuts on your Pilot made me laugh.
As far as "they were just serving their country" that's just crap. We have a volunteer military and there is a huge right wing bias in recruitment. There were plenty of people who signed up completely believing the lies the war was based on.
9/11 and this war are perfect examples of how nationalism can mislead the nation but to gos forbid we actually teach that in schools. You have parents in rockhill throwing fits.
If Never Forget is to have anything more than a vapid phrase symbolizing thethe short sightedness of the conservative culture defined by the phrase then we need to address the mistakes we made that put us in that situation in the the first place.
If Afghanistan has taught us anything it's that as a nation we are incapable of facing facts and doing what needs to be done even in life or death situations like war. So I'm not really holding my breath.
Jesus Christ, is this a copy-pasta or something? It certainly reads like one. What a bunch of vacuous, generic “anti-war” pablum, and posted right underneath a video of a display honoring the war dead.
Do you have any sense of propriety or tact at all? I’m not a big fan of the “war on terror”, and I think most of it was a mistake; but just as I feel similarly about Vietnam, I wouldn’t go to the memorial there and start berating people about how the names on that wall—likely their loved ones in many cases—“died for nothing”.
Grow the fuck up.
No the assholes who shouted down the people objecting to the war 20 years ago and have pretended like they have a monopoly on patriotism, the same people who should have learned from Vietnam but only perpetuated the lie that the hippies lost the war on the home front so they dragged us into the exact same situation need to be called out.
Also unless reddit became the front lawn of art hill we aren't actually there. But yeah for the at least the next 20 years they should feel ashamed for sending people to die for nothing. It wasn't like it took long for things to go sideways over there and it was a pretty blatant fuck up
I legitimately thought it was a copy pasta after that second comment so I’m not gonna waste any more energy on it. It’s a gorgeous memorial and I’m glad to see it on a beautiful day, thanks to OP for sharing it
Ad hominem and appeal to emotions instead of any sort of meaningful response. Why don't you actually post a counter-point instead of just whining about "now's not the time"?
I wanted to post something similar earlier today but didn't have the time to write something nearly as eloquent as you did. Well done. Totally agree.
Ranting about the War on Terror on Reddit.
Still reads better than George W. Bush's old speeches at the time.
Fucking nailed it.
Did you write this with your fedora slightly tipped?
It's cringey as fuck.
What's cringey as fuck is the morons still circle jerking this never forget crap 20 years later.
You are a pitiful person
No the pitiful people are the ones who forgot that patriotism is not the same thing as blind loyalty. They shat all over anynody not like them or who wanted to question the findamental assumptions we had about the war since they didn't make logical sense. Turns out the war was a disaster from beginning to end. That's what blind loyalty gets you. Nut they'll wave their flags and pretend
You sound like you were bullied in school lol
For sure. Parents taught their kids blind loyalty and to treat people who challenged the war as traitors and liberal scum.
They couldn't face facts back then and good lord look at them now. It shows the underlying bigotry and dogmatic thinking to most aspects of conservative politics.
But sure laugh at that. Patriotism jumped off the fucking rails after 9/11 and lost sight of any rational principles. Sure was fun growing up with bigoted brainwashed bullies.
I'm not even really sure who you're arguing against at this point. Find one comment in this whole thread that said the war on terror was great and a good idea. You're literally Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud at this point.
Then create memorials that go beyond the superficial. The superficial remembrance and the values that pervaded after 9/11 are what I'm speaking about.
If no one thinks the war was a good idea then why all the resistance to addressing that point? Are we just letting the pro-war people live in their bubble for no reason?
If being anti-war is supposedly so normal then why do we censor memorials like this and constantly force them into this vapid frame work of "respect the soldiers."
This isn't WWII. This isn't even Vietnam where people were drafted. A lot of these guys volunteered for this shit believing in the propaganda fed to them. All of these issues we should take a cold hard look at when we "never forget" their service.
This is silly
No I wrote it in a flight suit and then when I was finished typing I told myself "Mission Accomplished"
Wow, you're so smart and above it all
Yeah insults is about all the "patriots" have done for the last 20 years. God forbid you challenge their patriotic dogma.
The sad part is it has completely hollowed out patriotism in this country because a good portion of us don't want to be associated with the ignorance.
Get off my lawn.
We get it, you’re a loser.
>[our safety was never really under threat](https://thumbs.gfycat.com/PhonyGreatGentoopenguin-max-1mb.gif)
You lost me there. I appreciate the sentiment of 9-11 being used as a \*pretext to start a war of choice of invading Iraq.
But trying to say we were wrong to go into Afghanistan is just as regressive and tone deaf of those times.
I'm starting to like St. Louis more and more that your voice isn't the majority.
Have you ever thought of moving to Salt Lake City? I seriously think you'd be much happier.
We spent $7 trillion to keep us "safe" after 9/11.
Another 9/11 wasn't just around the corner. And in terms of actual impact these attacks could have happened once a week and it really wouldn't have done anything to our power and economy.
Look at covid for a good bit there we were losing 3000 people a day and we still aren't spending that money on the problem.
We did have the justification to go to war the critique is that Bush had a nonexistent strategy underneath his pandering rhetoric at the time. That fact fucked our chances of success thereafter
>We did have the justification to go to war the critique is that Bush had a nonexistent strategy underneath his pandering rhetoric at the time.
Agree with you here, I do not think he'll be remembered as a good president in history.
>That fact fucked our chances of success thereafter
We were there for 20 years man, democrats and republicans were both holding that bag. Also no military power has ever succeeded there in history that I'm aware of. It isn't called the graveyard of empires for nothing.
I think we should of just gotten Bin Laden and gotten the hell out of there.
\>I think we should of just gotten Bin Laden and gotten the hell out of there.
Bush must be like, now why didn't I think of that plan? Thanks Obama!
Yes we were there for 20 years but things like your war and diplomacy strategy really get down to fundamental principles and assumptions.
Really what was Obama going to do when handed that clusterfuck in 2008. Bush had rashly started a second war in Iraq, took the troops out of Afghanistan and ceded the country back to the Taliban. 2003 was already years after that famous memo from Rumsfeld where he ends it with HELP after he describes the same fundamental problems that existed 20 years later. We had no consistent strategy to win the hears and minds of the people, no consistent strategy to defeat the Taliban and end their popular support from the population. They were *handed that bag.* Obama in my opinion had three choices, I'm sure at the upper echelons they knew the war was fucked. He could have maintained the status quo which Bush left behind. Which would have been unpopular and made us ask why we were there, when the reality probably the whole time was the result we saw in August, a complete collapse. They were avoiding that reality for 20 years, we can fairly criticize them for that. Obama could have pulled out which likely would have cost him the 2012 election because of the rabid brainwashed right wingers we've been dealing with since 9/11. They would have refused to believe it was a lost cause (took them a good 12 more years to barely, kind of think that the war wasn't worth it, so no I don't think it would have gone well some time between 08 and 12.) Or he could try to rectify the situation and surge and hope that something good came out of it like he was told it worked in Iraq. So we surged. Turns out the Afghan government, military and police just couldn't get their shit together so Obama wound things down in 2014 which was kind of a political truce between the two political camps in this country. Trump tried drone striking them harder than Obama did and it didn't work, then he negotiated with the very terrorists Bush said we never would because it was a lost cause.
We spent more money over there hoping the free market would magically solve it than we did in the fucking Marshall Plan, you know which rebuilt Germany, France and Italy combined after WWII.
The reality is we created a corrupt government because they still have tribal ties and play favorites. The "Rule of Law" doesn't just happen, it's a cultural value as well, people need to be educated about it and actually believe that the law should be applied consistently and equally to everyone. The same fucking thing happened in Vietnam.
*If* we were going to occupy the country and that in hindsight is obviously a huge if, we should have simply set up schools, with actual teachers (we spent money building empty schools that turned into IED factories) we should have simply focused on literacy. Basic literacy. For every village, man and woman. And then we could have used the engineers to build infrastructure projects like roads, dams, bridges. But infrastructure projects that actually jived with their level of technology. We wasted hundred of billions of dollars trying to install electricity. We could have paid workers very small wages to save money. Maybe let local counsels pick the project they wanted us to work on (you have money for the bridge or the road, pick one, have a vote learn how democracy works). We might not have a full functioning government over there, but our footprint and legacy would have been entirely different.
The problem politically of course was what book were they going to read as soon as they learned? Obviously the Koran and right winger chrisitans over here would have thrown a fit. Not that the Taliban takes advantage of people's ignorance. That if they could read their own religious text it might help break down the religious propaganda of the organization and moderate the religious culture in the country.
So sure you can criticize the presidents for pushing things along. Obama tried to fix a failed strategy, which didn't work and shows we were likely doomed no matter what. The fundamental mistake was Bush, it was the invasion itself and the hubris we used to justify it.
All those goddamn flags with a fucking country song in the back ground. Aren't you proud to be an American? We fucking tortured the people who committed the attacks so we can't prosecute them.
Mission Accomplished folks
I do honor the soldiers. By actually taking their lives seriously and learning the lessons about war and foreign policy to not repeat the mistakes.
Conservatives on the other hand charged right into Iraq and felt that if we just Chuck Norris round house kick countries that somehow means we'll win.
Waving an American flag and blowing every flag pole you see isn't honoring the soldiers moron. That's kind of the point of my posts. That we need a more thoughtful and substantive patriotism rather than thinking if we chant USA enough times and never criticize a war that somehow makes us patriotic rather than complete morons.
Well the conservatives coopting September 11th and the soldiers who died in the War on Terror kind of come across as assholes and have come across as assholes for the last 20 years. But for some reason they get a free pass.
You're going to have to learn to look past the surface level emotions of people. Very often like with "respect" for soldiers it's just a facade.
Given a choice would you take the outspoken person who doesn't send the soldiers to wary in a lost cause where over 7000 died and 22 kill themselves everyday over the PTSD?
Or the person who seems nice on the surface but ignorantly sends these people to war based on irrational premises?
9/11 and the War on Terror politicized our military. You're lying to yourself that these kind of displays start and stop at honoring the soldiers. It doesn't. These displays feed into the immature patriotism and cause people to falsely frame others as unpatriotic because they aren't willing to go along with the superficial displays of patriotism that it is. Stop pretending like the people waving the flags are just being neutral. It makes you seem naive.
Can we not do that? Is there not any way to honor the lives lost without objective nationalist shit like this?
Nope 20 years later and it's still the same mentality. Don't question it or challenge its obvious group think. If you do they still just get upset.
Lol, says the guy who spends his time and energy hyping the idea that “China is a world superpower” and “the vast majority of Chinese people trust their government and would fight for it”—to the latter of which I would say, “how on earth would you know?”
I don’t hate or fear China, and I don’t think we should be overly hawkish towards them, but if you’re going to make the case that nationalism is bad and then go around essentially writing apologia for the CCP, I can’t help but point out the contradiction there.
And anyway, one can—and I would—make a distinction between nationalism and patriotism: the former involves aggrandizing one’s own nation above all others, while the latter is about respect/reverence/loyalty to one’s own country, no bellicosity or chest-thumping involved. I would say this display is an example of the latter.
>Lol, says the guy who spends his time and energy hyping the idea that "China is a world superpower"
Nice whataboutism. You mean the maybe 5 reddit comments I've posted about it? You think that's "spending time and energy"? Also, you'd be living under a rock to suggest they aren't a world super power. It has nothing to do with whether they are moral or even a place I admire (hint: I don't).
>to the latter of which I would say, "how on earth would you know?"
Because I have a degree in Anthropology and have researched the subject. Also, I don't live under a rock.
I haven't written any apologia for the CCP, and to suggest that I have because I recognize their global influence and strides towards power over the past few decades is both ridiculous and moronic.
This is absolutely not a display of patriotism. This is a display of nationalism. Patriotism would involve pushing for the success of our country, not some ridiculous over-the-top bullshit like planting 1000 flags across a public space. That's nationalism and is identical to what you see done in all other countries with nationalist propaganda (including China, btw)
Flags are suddenly nationalist?
Yes, planting 1000 flags is a display of nationalism. How is that even a question?
It's actually 7620 flags. How else would you like them to represent each fallen soldier? A giant cupcake? Maybe a wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing tube man?
>7620 wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing tube men
I have never needed to see anything more in my entire life.
Hmm let's think about this for 5 seconds. Maybe... flowers?
Then it would look just like the area in front of the Jewel Box, or most of the Botanical Gardens.
Lol. You honestly think that a memorial would be lost on everyone were it not for American flags? Cmon man.
If you put flowers out there in this heat, they'd all be shriveled in 2 days. Flags have always been a symbol for service men and women.
Could you provide me with an example of a display of flags of this magnitude from another country?
What kind of question is that? You have Google. Do it yourself.
> wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing tube man
This just in. Wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing tube man is an ultra-nationalist symbol!
You sound pretty butthurt
Who are you quoting?
People who want to do it can do it, people who want to jerk off the Chicoms like you can do that, to each their own.
If you bothered to read my post history more than just a quick glimpse for a cheap jab, you'd realize that my greater point was that power is slipping from the US, because of the arrogance of the average American and insistence that they are incompetent and weak. I am anti-CCP, and I want a modern US push to maintain its position as world power, but pretending like all of our enemies are weak and dumb is a surefire way of ensuring we don't.
Also, this is a public space and shouldn't be turned into a modern nationalist power flex.
If only they put flags up for all the Iraqi and Afghani civilians, then they could fill the whole park!