Fifteen Minutes After 9/11

by VINCENT GIOIA September 11, 2010
For fifteen minutes the tragedy of 9/11 was eclipsed by a patriotic fervor not seen in the United States since WW II. It was amazing to see how Americans joined together in outrage and a show of loyalty to our country. For once American flags abounded and flew proudly instead of being trampled in a display of "free speech."
For fifteen minutes it didn't matter what your politics were, what your color was, what your religion was, where you lived, whether you were rich or poor, or what your national heritage was; we were at that time all Americans.
For fifteen minutes all we loved our country and our president. We put aside all our differences, real and perceived, and we were proud when President Bush stood on the pile of Twin Tower rubble, his arms around a fireman as he spoke for all of us about the infamy we had just witnessed.
For fifteen minutes the news media forgot their role as the mouthpiece for anti-Americanism and shared both a sense of national calamity and a bond with the American people.
But fifteen minutes is not a very long time. It wasn't long before the flags came down all over the country except for respectful homage to those who lost their lives to the inhuman ideology known as Islam. American flags on cars became tattered and opposition to the government and the president erupted once again like a volcano, starting with puffs of smoke until boiling over and spewing anti-Americanism once again.
In time it was forgotten that congress had come together to support the president as he tried to strike out against the perpetrators of 9/11 and those who would be in the future.
What is it in Americans that enables us to come together in certain kinds of adversity for only fifteen minutes? Is it a short memory? Is it a character flaw? Or is it that Americans no longer have the integrity, honor and reverence to our creator that possessed Americans over two hundred years ago to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in the name of freedom and liberty to form the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately little did they know that their hard work and sacrifice would only create a new world that would last only fifteen minutes. Yes they were fearful something like that would happen and some even foretold what would happen when the ideals of men like themselves vanished from the core of the very people they came together to represent.
Who would have expected the country to allow a monument to King George on the battlefield of the "shot heard round the world?"
Who would have expected that the we would allow an Islamic monument to be built at the site of the worst disaster on American soil caused by inhuman monsters in the name of a false religion - a political ideology that deems all who don't share it be killed - and that we would allow this in the name of freedom of religion? Is that what our founders thought was religious freedom? I don't think so. Contributing Editor Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California. His blogs at and he may be contacted at

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