The Ugly American: September 2007 Locations of visitors to this page
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The Ugly American
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
  Got this in an email today...
Got this from my aunt. Thought it was worth sharing. I don't know the author, it came in an email, but I liked the point it was trying to make, so lucky you...I share!

This is a great story and a great way to walk through life. We All Need A Tree.

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children... So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
  It's just me...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
  I wrote this yesterday and today...
This is for the english class I'm taking right now...

Before and After 9/11
The Twin Towers dominated the New York City skyline. Each building, one hundred and ten floors a piece, stood over 1300 feet in the air. They were unmistakable landmarks. They could be seen from just about anywhere in Manhattan. The World Trade Center complex was so large that it had its own zip code.

Construction on the Twin Towers started in 1966 and rocketed into the sky in just 4 short years. The North Tower, Tower 1, was completed in December of 1970 and stood 1,368 feet tall. The South Tower, Tower 2, was finished a little more than a year later in January of 1972 and stood 1362 feet tall. They were both dedicated in April of 1973. They were the tallest buildings in the world for about a year until the Sears Tower in Chicago took the title away in 1974.

Not only did the towers rise spectacularly into the air, but there were at least 6 basement levels as well. Below the street level was Manhattans largest mall along with at least two levels of subway platforms and the PATH trains. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson train system carries riders to and from Penn Station in Newark, NJ and drops them off at the base of the trade center.

Then, what started out as a beautiful late summer day in 2001, everything in lower Manhattan changed. It started out like any other day. People arriving from all directions, heading to work or to drop off children at daycare. Things seemed pretty normal until 8:45 that morning when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Eighteen minutes later United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. Tower two fell first. It took only 47 minutes. Tower one lasted a little longer and at 10:29 that morning she came crashing down and both towers spread ash, dust, soot and smoke across lower Manhattan making the scene look eerily like a dirty winter wonderland.

These days the PATH still runs to the stop named World Trade Center. It runs through the tunnel from Newark, under the Hudson River, eventually snaking slowly up out of the hole that was the World Trade Center complex. The hole that used to be the basement of the WTC doesn’t look that big from the train, but to see the train as you look down into the hole really shows how big the basement once was.

On the anniversary of 9/11, for the past six years, a magnificent light show has been set up at what is now referred to as Ground Zero. Created with 44 search lights, it shines brilliantly into the night sky and disappears into the clouds. A symbol maybe, a beacon of hope or a light of determination, to let the world see the tenacity and perseverance of the American people.

Where the Towers majestically stood guard over the Hudson River, construction has begun on the Freedom Tower. It’s planned to be finished by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The Freedom Tower will stand 1776 feet tall and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000,000,000 to build. It will be a monument to those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

They were called many names back in the day: spaghetti boxes, ugly, the Twin Towers and The World Trade Center just to name a few. Now they go by only one name. Ground Zero.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
  2,191 days ago...
That's what the counter at the top of my blog is going to roll to shortly. I guess 2,191 days equals 6 years. I've never done the math, I'm gonna trust the counter.

Where were you? I was living in Surprise, AZ. Living pretty well. Making more money than I do now. Playing more golf than I do now. Spending more time with my daughters than I do now. The first one I blame on what happened 6 years ago. The other two are my choice. I play less golf by choice and my daughters are older and I just don't see them as much, they have their own lives. They have cars.

I remember getting ready for work that morning. Watching the news. Hearing about an accident in New York. Turning on a national news station, probably Fox...yeah yeah...and seeing the first tower smoldering. Watching and listening when the second plane hit. I think we all knew then that it wasn't an accident.

How could someone do this? All those innocent people. I cried for days. I had to stop watching the news for a while. I still can’t understand how anyone could justify this, especially in the name of some god! Jesse was right, organized religion is a sham.

I grew up up there. I watched those buildings being built. My family used to drive to the city all the time to see my grandparents. We always went through the Holland Tunnel. That exit on the Turnpike puts you as close to the city as you can be without being in the water.

Little by little they kept creeping up. One building always just a little ahead of the other. I've stood at the bottom of the Twin Towers, that's what we always called them, back in the day. I've stood at the bottom and looked up. I think I still have that crick in my neck. I've rode the elevators to the top. So fast it was almost like a roller coaster ride. The view that day was incredible! You could see Sandy Hook. It was awesome! It seemed I could feel this light little sway. It was a long time ago. I wish I could do it again…

But my daughters will never get that chance. I've been to Ground Zero twice since that day six years ago. It's mostly cleaned up now, but it still hurts to see it. It's a very strange sight to drive to the city these days and see that big hole in the skyline.

When I think about what happened on this day 6 years ago I get this ache…this feeling in my gut…something…We’re calling this United We Stand Day or Patriot Day. I have both on my calendar here at work. I guess we might as well drop this United We Stand thing, that lasted about a month. I’m not sure what to call it. A day that will live in infamy is already taken…maybe Let’s Roll Day…but if we call it that, then we better get a move on.
Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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Location: Virginia Beach, United States

20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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