The Unsung

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
This is absolutely worth twelve minutes of your time.

On 9/11, as the Twin Towers burned, the United States Coast Guard called for assistance to help evacuate the island of Manhattan. Local shipmasters and sailors responded, and conducted the largest sea evacuation in history - they ferried 500,000 people to safety, not knowing if additional attacks were imminent.

This is what it means to be an American.



___________
Wave of the flag to my Hot Mom.

8 comments:

vince said...

I don't understand why this isn't better known than it is (I'd never heard about it, and I'm not sure anyone I know has ever mentioned this before).

Thanks for posting it!

Nathan said...

I thought it was common knowledge. Guess I was wrong, so thanks for posting it.

One boat captain (I forget what company) was initially fired by his company for going without being cleared by his company. That lasted about a day -- when NYers heard about it, the company received every threat you can imagine and the captain was offered jobs by practically every other marine outfit in the area.

Also worth reading about is this retired fireboat:

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=129435&page=1

Janiece said...

I'd not heard of it, either, and was touched and delighted to learn of their heroism.

Nathan, that story was awesome. Thanks.

filelalaine said...

I saw it on someone else's blog. Not afraid to admit that I cried a little (ok maybe sobbed a little too). Thanks for posting it.

PaulC said...

It is a touching story, and I thank you for posting it.

But I have to say, that is not an example of "what it means to be an American", its on example of what it means to be a humanitarian. Calling those men and women "American", while accurate, doesn't really capture their attitude, their moral imperative. They are all, to the last one, Humanitarians.

Warner said...

The city had ordered evacuation of most buildings but also for a while closed most bridges leaving Manhattan as well as the tunnels and stopped the commuter rail roads.

Briefly there were several million extra people in Manhattan with no place to go and no place to be.

My wife was one of those on the street. I was in Florida trying to get my wife, my son and my ex-wife (son't mother) which I managed to do about 1 PM.

Janiece said...

Paul, I agree that they were Humanitarians, and courageous ones.

Yet I consider those virtues to be a part of the American character. They're not uniquely American, of course, but Americans have always risen to the occasion when the situation demanded it. The men and women who executed this evacuation personify those virtues for me, and reinforce my opinion of this aspect of our national character.

Debby said...

Absolutely! If I had heard about this, I had forgotten it. Americans really are, worts and all, and pretty special people.