The Irascible ProfessorSM
Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today

by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro

"The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it.  Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies."... ...Terry Waite

Commentary of the Day - September 12, 2001:  September 11, 2001 - A Day of Infamy.

Originally, The Irascible Professor had intended to publish an article today on a case moving its way through the California court system that may well have a major impact on the way K-12 education is funded in the state.  However, in light of the events of yesterday, it seems more appropriate to call attention to the following item that might not have been noticed in the deluge of news coming out of New York and Washington.

By now, no doubt, you have heard that the airliner that was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon carried Barbara Olson, the wife of the Solicitor-General of the United States.  Ms. Olson was a familiar figure on the talk show circuit.

What you may not have heard is that this flight also carried two elementary school children, one middle school child and three teachers from the Washington, DC school system.  These children and their teachers were on their way to Santa Cruz Island off the Santa Barbara coast to join a field experience sponsored by The National Geographic.  These kids and their teachers who should have been enjoying the bright sunshine of a beautiful California day today wading in tidepools and camping out, instead are being mourned by their families and friends as are two employees of The National Geographic who also were on the flight.

As far as the IP is concerned this shows the true face of terrorism.  Despicable acts carried out by people who are so cowardly that they attack primarily the defenseless - including school kids and their teachers.

Our sympathies are extended to all of those who were injured, and our condolences are extended to the families and friends of all of those who were killed in these senseless atrocities.  We also extend a special "thank-you" to all the rescue personnel who have worked so heroically under the worst of conditions.  More than 200 members of the New York City Fire Department and scores of New York City police officers answered their last call on September 11th, 2001.  To them we owe an everlasting debt of gratitude.

September 11, 2001 joins December 7, 1941 as a day that will live in infamy for all Americans, and for all freedom loving people around the world.  We will not forget!

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© 2001 Dr. Mark H. Shapiro - All rights reserved.