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Sandpoint airman honored at state 9/11 ceremony, 67th Idahoan to fall since 2001 attacks

Only one name was added to Idaho’s Fallen Soldier Memorial on Sept. 11 this year – that of David Lyon of Sandpoint, who was killed last December in Afghanistan. It was “one too many,” Chaplain Jim Kennedy said at today’s state ceremony; the number of names engraved on the memorial, listing all Idahoans who died in military service since Sept. 11, 2001, now comes to 67. But Lyon’s parents, Bob and Jeannie Lyon of Sandpoint, were appreciative. “It’s an amazing honor,” Bob Lyon said, unable to stop tears. “We’re very grateful. Freedom isn’t free, it’s not.”

Bob Lyon himself is a proud Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam. Jeannie Lyon noted that the U.S. Navy has named a ship in honor of her son. The MV Capt. David Lyon, a 604-foot-long ship in the Military Sealift Command, was chartered in Lyon’s honor in March.

“I want you to know that one man can make a difference, and the differences that David has made in his life and what he has believed in have changed the course of many lives,” said Jeannie Lyon, who is a seventh-grade teacher at Sandpoint Middle School. “That ship epitomizes his philosophy of life, of, ‘Send me – I will protect those who are weak and oppressed. Send me – let me be their strength.’”

Lyon was 28 when he died near Kabul, Afghanistan after a car bomb detonated near his convoy. He was a standout athlete at Sandpoint High School and the Air Force Academy who had served in the Air Force for five years; his wife, Dana, also is an Air Force captain. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com, and see a photo gallery here.

Idaho to pay tribute to fallen soldiers at 9/11 ceremony today

Idaho’s official state 9/11 ceremony is set for 10 a.m. today at the Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial, which is in front of the Capitol Annex, formerly the old Ada County Courthouse across the street from the state Capitol. Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little, along with the U.S. Navy’s vice chief of operations, Admiral Michelle Howard, will lead a solemn ceremony memorializing the 67 Idahoans who have died in military service since Sept. 11, 2001. Other observances also are planned throughout the valley.

Is Seattle Coach Carroll 9/11 Truther?

The sit-down between (retired general Peter) Chiarelli and (Seattle coach Pete) Carroll started off normally enough. They talked about the team, and then about head trauma. Chiarelli, who commanded the American forces in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, talked about the brain injuries he had seen there. But Chiarelli's mention of Iraq sent Carroll in another direction: He wanted to know if the September 11 attacks had been planned or faked by the United States government. In particular, Carroll wanted to know whether the attack on the Pentagon had really happened. Chiarelli—who was the top-ranking Army official inside the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into its western side—explained that it had. He said he had lost many colleagues. But Carroll didn't stop there. He ran through the whole 9/11 truther litany/Jack Dickey, Deadspin. More here.


2 Hats To Remember 9/11 By

On her End Notes blog, Catherine Johnston posted the following re: 9/11:

"In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, The Port of Seattle Police Department sold hats to raise money for the Port Authority Police Department Benevolent Fund in New York/New Jersey. That department lost 37 officers in the attacks.  Each hat had the name of one officer who died Sept. 11. At the time, my husband was part of the POSPD canine unit; he bought a hat with the name Sirius on it. Sirius was the PAPD police dog killed at the World Trade Center. My husband also bought a hat for me with the name Paul Jurgens on it. Paul's children are now grown - young adults I have never met, but I wear a hat with their father's name on it. The hat has become a sacred object of remembrance of one man's heroic gesture:  saving others' lives as he sacrificed his own." More here.

Question: Is there anything you do to remember 9/11 year round?

Labrador: Remember Benghazi, Too

Congressman Raul Labrador issued a statement re: 9/11, which reads in part:

“Twelve years ago today, over 3,000 Americans were killed in the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.  Today, we honor the memory of those we lost that day, including those who gave their lives to save the lives of others.  We must never forget the victims or their families.  Nor can we forget the reason we were attacked – the freedom we enjoy at home, and our willingness to serve as a beacon of freedom to people all around the world.  We must stay vigilant in the fight against terrorism. One year ago today, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, were murdered in Benghazi in another terrorist attack.  It is my hope that today’s anniversary will spur greater action to bring the perpetrators to justice and to get a full accounting of what happened on that fateful day." More here.

Question: Is 9/11 a good day to make a political statement re: Benghazi?

Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/labrador-statement-on-911-benghazi-anniversaries/#storylink=cpy

9/11 anniversary marked with commemoration at Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial

On today's 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter will lead a ceremony commemorating Idaho military members who died fighting terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, starting at 10 a.m. at the Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial, at 514 Jefferson St., in front of the former Capitol Annex now called the Idaho Law Learning Center. There, the names of the fallen soldiers are engraved as part of the memorial. The solemn commemoration will include presentations to the families of the four Idaho soldiers killed in the past year.

Still seeking

 Families and friends have wondered and agonized and prayed for the remains of their loved ones to be found within the debris, the pieces, of the September 11 attack.

 Some may still receive the physical evidence, the pieces of bones, of life, that once were part of a body, a life, as workers once again sift through material from the site.

 Our determination as a country and as individuals to honor and care for each other and our sacred bodies - even after death – may  offer comfort and solace to those left in grief.

(S-R archives photo)

Adams’ 911 Call Makes Foolocracy

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Warner Brothers Version Of 911 Call

It appears that the 911 call by Councilman Steve Adams is going viral. Here's how Glenn Church presented the situation on his Web site Foolocracy: Government by Fools, Silliness & Unintelligent People:

Idaho politics might be a little too intense for Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Steve Adams. In a city council meeting, city attorney Mike Gridley got within a foot of Adams while using some profanity and calling Adams a “moron.” The topic was how the city will pay for an overhaul of a sewage treatment plant. Gridley never touched Adams, threatened him or raised his hands in an intimidating manner. Vehemently disagreeing with Adams and questioning Adams’ intelligence was enough to inspire Adams to call police. Afterwards, Adams said that he overreacted. While calling Adams a “moron” isn’t going to settle any political issues, Adams reaction to calling the police doesn’t do anything to dispute Gridley’s observation. More here (including KREM video from Monday newscast.

Question: Adams admits on the KREM video that he overreacted. Does he owe his constituents a public ap-hollo-gy?

9/11 remembrances

Flag placed in a name of a victim of the 9/11 attacks at the Ground Zero memorial in New York.

Sept. 11 is traditionally a day for politicians to reflect on their thoughts and remembrances of that day in 2001.

Today was no different. Inside the blog are some comments from local office holders about the day. You can read them by clicking here.

We vowed to remember, so we do

We said we would always remember…and so we do.  We pause to acknowledge this anniversary of sorrow and loss, of confusion and grief, of private mourning and public outcry.

“Tragedy can teach us many lessons. From pain, we can learn compassion. From division, we can learn solidarity. And when our world is shattered, as it was on September 11, 2001, we can learn to seek understanding. On that violent day which shook us silent, America fractured. The lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ grew thicker, darker, and harsher, muddying our shared humanity. We have since inhabited the shadows they cast, shouting at one another from across divides. On this, the anniversary of that heartbreaking day, we mourn and remember those we lost and all who were affected. But we are also given an opportunity: to overcome the lie of ‘them’ and ’I’ and learn to live together. The terrorists of 9/11 were guided by a narrative of intercultural incompatibility. But as people of diverse religious and secular identities, we can prove them wrong in our unity. By building bridges of understanding, we can emerge from the shadows and learn — from one another — how to be our best selves.”  ~Chris Stedman

“Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.” ~Rabbi David Wolpe

“It is not those who say, ‘Lord, Lord!’ who will enter the reign of God, but those who do God’s will.” (Matthew 7:21) God of all races, nations, and religions, You know that we cannot change others, Nor can we change the past. But we can change ourselves. We can join You in changing our only and common future where you ‘reign’ the same over all. Help us not to say, “Lord, Lord” to any tribal gods, but to hear the One God of all the earth, And to do God’s good thing for this One World.” ~ Rev Richard Rohr

“Loving God of Peace: On this anniversary of unbelievable sorrow, comfort those who mourn, and guide our hearts toward healing and hope. Remind us of the love of Christ, love which leapt over cultural and ethnic boundaries to feed the hungry, seek the lost and care for the least. Make of Your children, no matter how we name You, one human family, bound together in the work of justice and peacemaking. Make us one with the Light that shines in the darkness and illumines a path toward understanding and reconciliation. Let love be our genuine call. Amen.”    Dr. Jacqueline Lewis

(Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Nappi and Tony Wadden)

Ceremony honors Idaho’s fallen soldiers since 9/11, marks anniversary

Today, on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the names of all 62 of Idaho's fallen soldiers since that day were read at a ceremony at the new Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial, located in front of the Capitol Annex near the state capitol. Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter alternated reading the names, the dates and where they died; the list started with two Idaho military members who died at the Pentagon in the Sept. 11 attack, Ronald Vauk and Brady Howell. Most on the list died in Iraq, and the most recent, in Afghanistan. After each name, date and location was read, a uniformed military member pointed out the name on the memorial's plaques where the names are engraved, and a bell was struck; more than 100 people gathered for the ceremony, including families of the fallen soldiers.

The memorial honors Idahoans from all branches of the military who were killed since Sept. 11. It includes seven who died in the past year: Robert Dyas, Ryan Sharp, Kenneth Cochran, Daniel Brown, Chris Workman, Cody Moosman, and Ethan Martin.

Paul draws about 1,000 to Spokane Convention Center

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Ron Paul talks to press after rally

About 1,000 people turned out to hear Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Friday at the Spokane Convention Center. He hit on many of the same things he did two weeks ago at a rally in the same location. But this time he also talked about revelations this week that two former United States senators believe that Saudi Arabia may have had involvement in the 9/11 attacks. He talked about that again in a press conference after his speech. He also talked about his campaign strategy and Super Tuesday. You can hear most of the press conference in the link above.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas speaks at a rally in Spokane on Friday. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)

Some 9/11 Remains Sent To Landfill

Problems with the handling of human remains at a Delaware military base date back at least to Sept. 11, 2001, when portions of bodies brought there after the terrorist attacks were cremated and deposited in a landfill, according to a Defense Department report Tuesday. Detailing previously undisclosed errors at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, investigators found a 2002 memo that indicated portions of bodies of people killed in the Shanksville, Pa., plane crash and the Pentagon attack couldn't be identified, were cremated at a civilian crematory and then given to a biomedical waste-disposal contractor that deposited the remains in a landfill/Julian E. Barnes, Wall Street Journal. More here. (AP file photo by Heesoon Yim of a helicopter flying over Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001)


Suspects arrested after pocket dialing 911

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police in Wisconsin's capital city barely had to try to catch a pair of unlucky suspected thieves.

Madison police say two men in their late 20s stole DVDs and computer games from a Target store Tuesday and discussed their plans to fence the goods while driving away.

Investigators say the duo didn't realize one of them had accidentally pocket-dialed 911. A dispatcher listened in for nearly an hour as they discussed what they had stolen and where they might sell it. Police say they even described their vehicle.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain says the pair decided to sell their goods at a video store. When they pulled into the store's parking lot, officers surrounded their vehicle with guns drawn.

9/11: Promises Made, Forgotten

Remember how everything was going to be different? After 2,977 people died in coordinated suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, Americans came together in a near-unanimous moment of unity and shared purpose. From now on, we would stop being the superficial, America-first consumerists we'd been before 9/11. (Or, depending on your outlook, we'd stop being godless, unpatriotic hedonists.) Either way, this was the call of a generation, the dawn of a new era — one of responsibility, civility and personal sacrifice. Blood donations and volunteerism spiked, church attendance and military service were expected to follow. Then-President George W. Bush called on every American to donate "4,000 hours, or two years" to charitable work. Senate Republicans and Democrats skipped out onto the Capitol steps to proclaim their bipartisanship, saying, "There is no opposition party." But then something happened. We lost our way/Jess Walter, Seattle Times. More here. (AP photo/Medford Mail Tribune, Julia Moore: Firefighters honor the fallen on Sunday in Medford, Ore.)

Question: Is anyone proud of something that occurred in the last 10 years?

Compton: Wake Up, America!

September 11, 2011. Ten years after, we’ve become entangled in—yet not won—two wars; gutted our economy, as well as that of much of the rest of the world; and called off the race for space. We are addicted to oil. We will pay anything for it, including the blood of our young men and women. We are addicted to money and what we think it will buy. In a process that began long before the planes crashed into the towers in New York, we squandered the future of our children and our children’s children; indebting ourselves in a quest for whatever concoction Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Hollywood tells us that we need to be happy. As a culture, we have stopped thinking, but that may be a latter-day announcement, as it appears that we have never been too prone to thinking. As the reasoning animal, we can be downright unreasonable/Sandy Compton, River Journal. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Sandy Compton's analysis that our country is far worse off today than we were 10 years ago?

Ground Zero

Almost four years ago, on the old wordpress blog, I wrote about the environmental catastrophe of Ground Zero. Today marks ten years since the attack on the World Trade Center, so I thought it was appropriate to re-post because many of our new readers probably missed this story, and it’s something I believe more people should know about.

Originally from September 11th, 2007.

If we remember the heroes of 9/11, the first responders and ground zero workers, it’s not a clear picture.

Removed from public interest six years later, there are class action lawsuits against the city and its contractors, where 8,500 workers and civilians blame Sept. 11 for cancers, infections and other ailments they developed after the attacks. Some cases are known as the “WTC cough.” This is another ghost of 9/11: The air at the World Trade center was one of the most toxic waste sites in human history.

“The likelihood is that more people will eventually die from the cleanup than from the original accident,” said David Worby, an attorney who represents thousands of cleanup workers.

Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center who examined the workers charged that environmental officials failed to issue necessary warnings about the health danger. Last year Hillary Clinton said, “our government was not telling us the truth. The air was not safe to breathe. It was obvious that the air was hard to see through, let alone breathe.”

Keeping the promise: we remember

 In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, The Port of Seattle Police Department sold hats to raise money for the Port Authority Police Department Benevolent Fund in New York/New Jersey. That department lost 37 officers in the attacks.  Each hat had the name of one officer who died Sept. 11. At the time, my husband was part of the POSPD canine unit; he bought a hat with the name Sirius on it. Sirius was the PAPD police dog killed at the World Trade Center. My husband also bought a hat for me.

 Here is what I wrote about my hat.

  I have a hat 

  In memory of a police officer

  I never knew.

  His body finished, fallen;

  While his spirit ascended home.

  I have a hat

  In honor of a man

  Others loved each day.

  I run my fingers

  Over the stitching

  Spelling his name.

  I weep.

  I wear the hat

  Like a guardian angel

  Object of protection.

  Memories belong to others;

  Prayers to me.

  I wear Paul's hat

  To honor those

  Still here.


  They continue…

  Waking early;

  Kissing sleepy spouses,

  Hugging drowsy children.


 Of quiet commitment

 And uncommon courage,

They slip into place.

  … The beat goes on.

 This week, we remember those who died…and their loved ones who remain.


Atheists Want WTC Cross Removed

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit claiming the display of the World Trade Center cross at the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan is unconstitutional, calling it a "mingling of church and state." The American Atheists, which advocates an "absolute separation" of government and religion, filed the lawsuit Monday to stop the display of the cross, arguing that it should not be included if "no other religions or philosophies will be honored," according to a statement on the group's website. The cross, which consists of two intersecting steel beams that were found intact in the rubble at Ground Zero, was initially constructed on a side of a church in lower Manhattan/Fox News. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Should the World Trade Center cross be taken down?

Stitching together a national memorial…

The National 9/11 Flag is on display in Idaho's state capitol today, where the tattered American flag that was destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center 10 years ago is being repaired with a patch from each of the 50 states; today is Idaho's turn.

Here, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter takes a stitch; others who showed up on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda, from young students to wounded warriors, got a chance to do likewise. Idaho's patch for the flag was constructed of fabric from a flag that flew over the Idaho National Guard Joint Force Headquarters; each state's patch is coming from American flags that were bound for retirement. The flag was first stitched back together by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas seven years after the 9/11 attacks. There's more info here.

Cell ‘pocket dials’ 911, leading to arrest

CLAY, N.Y. (AP) — An ill-timed, inadvertent 911 call led police to three larceny suspects overheard planning break-ins in upstate New York.

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says police already looking for a suspicious person got the unlikely assist when one of the men "pocket dialed" his cellphone's emergency number while driving near the scene of an earlier heist.

As a dispatcher relayed the conversation to deputies, the men discussed their plans, described their surroundings and even commented, "there go the cops now."

Walsh says that was enough for a deputy to turn around and stop the Kia Sportage full of tools stolen from a business in the Syracuse suburb of Clay.

The dispatcher then heard the driver being asked for his license and registration. The men arrested April 26 face grand larceny and stolen property charges.

Intruder, victim call police on each other

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon police say both an intruder and a Portland homeowner phoned 911 to report the same thing: a strange man in a home.

Lt. Kelli Sheffer says the intruder told police he had just broken into a home Monday evening when the owner arrived — and the caller was worried the homeowner might have a gun.

Accompanied by his two German Shepherds, the homeowner found the intruder and asked what he was doing in the house. That's when the stranger locked himself in a bathroom and phoned police.

The homeowner called police with his account.

Sheffer says 24-year-old Timothy James Chapek, of Portland, was booked into jail for investigation of first-degree criminal trespass.

911 call released in Taco Bell death

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Taco Bell employee 911 call

In a 911 call released Thursday, a Taco Bell employee identified only as Shane asks for police to remove a man who had entered the store’s “employee area.” He said the man was not aggressive, violent or threatening.

“He’s just really shaken up, but we’re always supposed to make sure nobody comes back here, and he just kind of talked himself back here,” the employee said. The employee said Thomas was acting “like he just saw something, like somebody’s after him.”

About a minute into the call, the employee said the man had locked himself in the cooler.
As police await toxicology reports in Richard Tyrone Thomas’ bizarre death, his family is questioning how a man just beginning his second term at Spokane Community College could end up dead in a fast-food restaurant storage cooler.

“He wasn’t a crazed, deranged person out on the street,” said his sister, Gayla Wright. “Something happened at that store, and we don’t know what that is.”

Read my full story here.

Bogus 911 caller blames lack of cigs

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee say a man accused of making three bogus calls to 911 told them he was bored and anxious because he had not smoked a cigarette in two days.

Twenty-year-old Alex Lee Baker of Clarksville was charged with making the calls Sunday during a 35-minute stretch.

The first caller claimed to be a witness to a murder. The second claimed he had been stabbed, while the third said a woman had been killed and buried.

Police said Monday that all the calls originated from a phone owned by Baker, who remained jailed on $15,000 bond. A spokesman said Baker had not retained a lawyer.

Witness sought in Valley jogger’s death

Detectives are looking for a witness who helped alert Spokane Valley authorities last month to an injured jogger who later died.

A motorist found retired pastor David W. Thorin, 71, at East Fourth Avenue and South Adams Road about 6:45 a.m. Sept. 18 with an “obvious head wound,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Medics described Thorin as “uncooperative and combative” and said he didn’t say how he’d been injured. He later died at a hospital.

Read my full story here.

Thorin is pictued above in July 2009 while volunteering at Spokane Valley Partners, a non-profit that runs the Valley Food Bank.

Spokane’s answer to burning Korans

If you’re getting tired about the amount of coverage some Florida preacher with a congregation smaller than a high school football team can get by saying he’ll burn some Korans, join the club.

So without mentioning the questionably reverend by name, we’ll mention that the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane has a counter demonstration scheduled for Saturday in downtown at the Main Street Fair, on Main between Division and Brown.

From 4:15 to 4:30 p.m., and again from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m., they plan to offer “two short programs of readings and prayers from faiths and secular traditions from around the world calling for inclusion, respect and peace… Community members will deliver readings from Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Humanist and other traditions and will read the First Amendment of the Constitution. ”

Proof that wise people do not fight fire with fire. They fight fire with water.

Idaho delegation commemorates 9/11

Both of Idaho’s U.S. senators and the congressman representing North Idaho have issued statements today on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, honoring the sacrifices of those who protect Americans and remembering the attacks and how they affected the nation. Click below to read their full statements.

Commemorating Sept. 11 with volunteer service to communities

Everyone’s deeply aware of the significance of today, the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In commemoration, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed a proclamation this morning recognizing Sept. 11 as a day of service and remembrance; today is the first official, national “Day of Service and Remembrance” established by the president and Congress to  “honor the sacrifices of 9/11 heroes, and engage more Americans in serving their communities.”

Said Otter, “One of the best measures of our character as a community, and our civic virtue as individuals, is the degree to which we are willing to reach out to our neighbors in time of need. Idaho is richly endowed with citizens who put their good will into action through volunteerism and service. This is a day to recognize them, and that ability in all of us.”

The Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, along with several other organizations, is encouraging Idahoans to volunteer in their community in commemoration today, and continue their volunteer efforts throughout the year. Click below to read the governor’s full proclamation.