Tag: World Trade Center

Honouring our rescue dogs.

In this case, honouring one particular one.

As many know, yesterday was the fourteenth anniversary of when those two planes struck the towers of the World Trade Centre. Thus it seemed beautifully appropriate to recognise the life of the last living 9/11 rescue dog by republishing the article just published on Mother Nature News.

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Last living 9/11 rescue dog rewarded with epic day

Bretagne traveled to NYC to be honored for her weeks of service at Ground Zero.

By: Laura Moss, September 11, 2015.

At 16, Bretagne is a senior dog, but that hasn't slowed her down. She now volunteers at schools. (Photo: BarkPost)
At 16, Bretagne is a senior dog, but that hasn’t slowed her down. She now volunteers at schools. (Photo: BarkPost)

About 100 search-and-rescue dogs scoured the twisted steel beams and crumbled concrete of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and today, Bretagne (pronounced “Brittany”) is the last known living 9/11 search-and-rescue dog. And she just had the best day ever.

To honor Bretagne for her service and celebrate her 16th birthday, BarkPost teamed up with the dog-friendly 1 Hotel Central Park to give the golden retriever a “Dog’s Best Day” that included a full day of treats and activities in New York City.

When Bretagne arrived in New York with her owner and handler Denise Corliss, she was greeted by a personalized billboard in Times Square.

Photo: BarkPost
Photo: BarkPost

Then she was off to play in the water at Hudson River Park, where she was presented with the doggie version of the Key to the City.

Former search-and-rescue teammates attended Bretagne’s sweet-16 party later that day, where she received a variety of toys and treats — and her very own birthday cake.

Photo: BarkPost
Photo: BarkPost

Corliss was also presented with a $1,000 donation for Texas Task Force 1, Bretagne’s search-and-rescue team, which is the most active one in the country.

In addition to her recovery work at Ground Zero, Bretagne and Corliss also worked in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and today, the senior dog serves her community by volunteering at school programs that teach children to read.

Corliss adopted Bretagne as an 8-week-old puppy in 1999, and after undergoing rigorous training, the two joined Texas Task Force 1. Their first deployment was to Ground Zero, where a search for survivors quickly turned into a search for human remains.

Bretagne with a firefighter and her owner and handler, Denise Corliss during her "Dog's Best Day." (Photo: BarkPost)
Bretagne with a firefighter and her owner and handler, Denise Corliss during her “Dog’s Best Day.” (Photo: BarkPost)

For two weeks, the golden retriever tirelessly worked 12-hour shifts at the former site of the World Trade Center, and one day, Bretagne walked away from Corliss, ignoring commands to come back. The 2-year-old dog made her way to a firefighter sitting on the ground, laid next to him and put her head in his lap.

“When we deploy to some of the disasters, what I didn’t anticipate is the role that they take on as a therapy dog,” Corliss told BarkPost. “It provides an opportunity for people to have support from the dog and comfort from the dog in a real difficult environment.”

Watch Bretagne enjoy her best day in the video below.

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Don’t these wonderful, fabulous animals just make your heart ache!

Jean and I salute Bretagne and all the other Search & Rescue dogs both here in America and all around the world.

Intimately connected to Nature!

Three stunning photographs.

Just a quick reminder that, as heralded in my post of the 10th – Time waits for no man – arriving family in fewer than two weeks is cutting into my blogging time.

So going to make today’s offering three stunning photographs of lightning strikes on the World Trade Center.  As seen on EarthSky News.

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Boom! Three perspectives on July 2 lightning strike at One World Trade Center

Beth Alison (@bethalison) got this shot of the July 2, 2014 lightning strike of One World Trade Center from her Manhattan apartment … with her phone!
Beth Alison (@bethalison) got this shot of the July 2, 2014 lightning strike of One World Trade Center from her Manhattan apartment … with her phone!

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Jennifer Khordi caught the lightning hitting One World Trade Center from New Jersey.
Jennifer Khordi caught the lightning hitting One World Trade Center from New Jersey.

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Lightning strikes One World Trade Center July 2, 2014. Gary Hershorn (@garyhershorn), who took this photo, said it turned the sky red.
Lightning strikes One World Trade Center July 2, 2014. Gary Hershorn (@garyhershorn), who took this photo, said it turned the sky red.

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Wow!

Follow-up: Enemy Combatant versus Criminal

This is not the correct way to defend a great Nation in a fair and just manner.

In an earlier post, my colleague Paul Handover left us with an important question:  Does the public’s lack of clarity about the “underwear bomber’s” status as an enemy combatant or a criminal undermine the appearance of impartiality of the U.S. judicial system?

US Attorney General Eric Holder

Paul reviewed the legal development of the “enemy combatant” designation, ending with a March 2009 pronouncement from Eric Holder, the current U.S. Attorney General, that the U.S. had abandoned the Bush administration’s use of the term.  Mr. Holder continued, “As we work toward developing a new policy to govern detainees, it is essential that we operate in a manner that strengthens our national security, is consistent with our values, and is governed by law.”

A new policy that “strengthens national security?”  I think it is blatantly clear that an intense and timely interrogation of the bomber does more to protect our national security than lawyering him up and giving him the right to not speak.  As you read this, Michael Marinaccio, an attorney for Zarein Ahmedzay,  who is suspected of plotting a terror attack on NYC, is seeking to have all the information gathered by officials after his client was represented by counsel  thrown out as illegal, under the civil and criminal law of the U.S.    We can likely expect the same in the underwear bomber case.

A new policy that is “consistent with our values?”  Treating terrorists as terrorists is perfectly consistent with my values.  I am not sure what he is trying to say here.  Then again, maybe I do know what he is trying to say: that it is “wrong” to treat a terrorist as an enemy combatant, and “right” to give that person all the rights of a U.S. citizen, including the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent?  Those may be Mr. Holder’s values, but they aren’t mine and, as you’ll see below, they are not those of the former U.S. Attorney General either.

A new, as yet undetermined, policy that is “governed by law?”  This coming from the same legal mind that decided to try the five 9/11 terrorists  in New York City federal court?  A decision based on what legal precedent?  There is no legal precedence.  On what existing, well-formulated policy? There is no such policy.

Mukasey, US Attorney General 2007-2009

But on the legal subtleties surrounding this issue, I defer to Mr.  Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge who oversaw cases relating to the 1993 World Trade Center attacks.  Mr. Mukasey was the U.S. Attorney General from 2007 to 2009 before retiring and being replaced by Eric Holder.   His analysis is as follows:

Had Abdulmutallab [the alleged underwear bomber. Ed.] been turned over immediately to interrogators intent on gathering intelligence, valuable facts could have been gathered and perhaps acted upon. Indeed, a White House spokesman has confirmed that Abdulmutallab did disclose some actionable intelligence before he fell silent on advice of counsel. Nor is it any comfort to be told, as we were, by the senior intelligence adviser …that we can learn facts from Abdulmutallab as part of a plea bargaining process in connection with his prosecution…Holding Abdulmutallab for a time in military custody, regardless of where he is ultimately to be charged, would have been entirely lawful—even in the view of the current administration, which has taken the position that it needs no further legislative authority to hold dangerous detainees even for a lengthy period in the United States … What the gaffes, the almost comically strained avoidance of such direct terms as “war” and “Islamist terrorism,” and the failure to think of Abdulmutallab as a potential source of intelligence rather than simply as a criminal defendant seem to reflect is that some in the executive branch are focused more on not sounding like their predecessors than they are on finding and neutralizing people who believe it is their religious duty to kill us. That’s too bad, because the Constitution vests “the executive power”—not some of it, all of it—in the president. He, and those acting at his direction, are responsible for protecting us.

The full article from which I quoted is here.

By Sherry Jarrell