Published September 05, 2011
On September 11, 2001, I lost my nephew: New York State Senior Court Officer Thomas Jurgens.
Tommy was a first responder to the attacks to the World Trade Center. He commandeered a jury van and loaded it up with supplies and personnel and went from the safety of his courthouse to the World Trade Center.
He was told by his supervisors to leave the Trade Center and his radio response was, "I cannot leave, there are people who need our help."
That was his last radio transmission. He was never seen again. He was killed on September 11 as were his colleagues New York State Court Officer Captain Harry Thompson and Senior Court Officer Mitch Wallace.
Tommy's remains were never found. The only items that were recovered from the ashes of Ground Zero were his melted gun and mangled badge. He was just 26 years old and was married only 3 months.
While I cannot speak for all victims of 9/11, I can speak for one.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks to our homeland, our nation still has not brought 5 admitted perpetrators to justice, Ground Zero still remains to be rebuilt and Shanksville Pennsylvania is without a finished memorial to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93.
There can be no justice unless and until those responsible for the horrific attacks are held to account for their crimes and there on can be no peace for the souls who died on 9/11 until the day Ground Zero is fully and completely restored and Shanksville Pennsylvania has a finished memorial to the victims of Flight 93.
How is it possible that our government has not been able in 10 years time to bring admitted killers to justice? There is no good answer.
How is it possible that the greatest most advanced nation on the planet has been unable to restore a few blocks in lower Manhattan to its former glory and have not been able to build a fitting memorial in Shanksville Pennsylvania in 10 years time? There is no good answer.
Our government has let us down. We should have moved swiftly to bring those responsible to justice and we should have moved with due speed as a national priority to rebuild Ground Zero and erect a fitting memorial to victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville Pennsylvania.
To add insult to injury the Obama administration in advance of the 10th anniversary sent out "talking points" to their personnel instructing them to advance the position that the attacks are "not just about us." Weren't we the ones attacked on 9/11? The memo went on to instruct officials to "minimize references to Al Qaeda" because bin Laden is dead and "Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant."
Wasn't it bin Laden who ordered the attacks and wasn't it Al Qaeda who carried them out? And if Al Qaeda is irrelevant why then do we have 100,000 U.S. troops fighting them in Afghanistan?
Who is the administration seeking to console and protect on this anniversary -- the victims or the perpetrators, sympathizers and collaborators?
We as Americans can do anything we put our collective minds and hands to. After all, America has always been the beacon of freedom, hope and justice for the world.
It has been said, "justice delayed is justice denied." The fact that America has yet to mete out justice swiftly, fairly and surly to those responsible for the horror of 9/11 has been hurtful to our nation. It calls into question our ability to practice what we preach and to stand true to our Constitution and the rule of law.
The fact that we as a nation did not demand the Ground Zero be rebuilt in record time and that a fitting memorial be erected in Shanksville is a national disgrace.
As an attorney I am ashamed; as an American I am embarrassed and as a relative of a victim I am outraged by our governments failures to bring 9/11 perpetrators to justice and to rebuild and memorialize the sites of the attacks to date.
The enemy that attacked us on September 11, 2001 and those who continue to plot against us -- did so and do so -- because they hate America and all we stand for. They hate our freedom, tolerance, multi-cultural, multi-religion tolerance, our rule of law and our power.
As we remember the events of September 11, 2001 on this the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, we need to first and foremost remember and honor the heroes and the victims.
But, we must also use this important anniversary to rededicate ourselves to renewing and rededicating ourselves to living up to by word and deed that which makes America a great nation.
It is my hope that justice will be delivered and peace will be found sooner rather than later for the sake of all victims and people who were affected by the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion.