What’s right with America

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

PHS Singers made a video to honor the victims and heroes of 9-11-2001.

Posted by Jim Kennedy on Thursday, September 10, 2020

Confession time. A bunch of customers that I’d been working with for some time came through on Thursday. Happily, I emailed our writers: “KnoxTNToday is off life-support and moving to the ICU.”


Frank Cagle wrote back and it hit me. Yikes! It was 5 o’clock and I hadn’t done the interview I needed for my column. You-all are spared my thoughts on the federal budget deficit. Maybe next week.

People went nuts on social media Thursday. A sheriff’s deputy spotted a tiger in East Knoxville, just miles from the spot where a small plane had landed on I-640 to refuel. “Don’t they check the fuel gauge before they take off?” some wit wrote. “Maybe the tiger escaped from the plane,” wrote another.

Dave Foulk said he wouldn’t be going outside because “they eat the slow ones first.” Kelle Jolly said the week’s events are inspiration for a new verse of Rocky Top. “Must use these words: tiger and plane.” Several people offered suggestions.

Today is 9/11 – the 19th anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack on America. I remember the shock of the second hit. The first strike might have been an accident. The second one removed any doubt. Those of us alive 19 years ago can’t forget the pictures – people running from the World Trade Center; first responders running into the crumbling towers to rescue survivors.

The day became real for me when Fred O. Berry Jr. spoke to a group in Fountain City. He had gone to New York to assist local morticians. Berry cried as he recalled the small, random elements of people who had basically vaporized in the intense flames. A belt buckle here, a bone or tooth there. Dust was everywhere, Berry said, and that dust was a mix of the buildings, the office furnishings and the people who worked there.

George W. Bush handled America’s response with compassion, wisdom and strength. His was a steady hand on the helm. And the U.S. Navy Seals under Barrack Obama finally captured Osama bin Laden, the Saudi Arabian who founded al-Qaeda.

Americans stood united after 9/11. We must never forget.

What’s right about America?

The Powell High Singers (at top of column)

Kids and teachers went to school today; first responders stood ready to run into burning buildings if necessary.

We get to vote on Nov. 3 (or before).

Larsen Jay is running through Halls and Powell with a 12-foot long map of Beaver Creek. He’s identifying spots for kayak put-ins. Jay is the eternal optimist.

Chuck James is working with “a dog park expert” to identify spots to build five dog parks in two years with funding from Randy and Jenny Boyd’s foundation.

Americans are resilient. And while we may fuss among ourselves, we’ll stand united against an outside attack. We proved that on 9/11.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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