On 9/11/11, my old friend Tom Gresham dedicated his radio show “Gun Talk” to the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country. He brought in many of us to comment. I made my contribution from a cell phone at the Harrisburg Hunters & Anglers Club, where I was teaching, and mentioned the fact that this region had just been hit with what the newspapers were calling a “hundred year flood,” and “The Great Flood of 2011.”

It was a microcosm of the spirit that pervaded America in general and the city of New York in particular after the atrocity of a decade before.  People working together and helping each other. As in the incident of ten years ago, transportation had been shut down. Some of the students couldn’t make it to the class; some roads into Harrisburg were closed by the flood.  Flying in from the east coast, I’d been stranded in Philadelphia during the massive rainstorms that caused the flood, and had to rent one of the last cars available at the airport to drive to Harrisburg through solid downpour.

The class still went on, as life went on after 9/11/01.  Thousands of people had to be evacuated as the Susquehanna River rose.  Countless homes were ruined.  There were injuries and deaths. The inconvenience most of us suffered was, by comparison, insignificant.

Yet, coming at the time of the somber anniversary of The Atrocity, it showed that the resilience of American spirit was alive and well.  People helping people…helping neighbors, helping strangers.

We have among us senior citizens who remember The Great Depression.  Who remember World War II, from which a generation returned from the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man to create “golden years” of peace, prosperity, and productivity.

Their spirit still lives, and it’s something of which all of us in this great nation can be proud.

 The threat of terrorism still hangs over our nation, as seen in this headline in the days before the anniversary of 9/11…


…and when the flood devastated the area along the Susquehanna, neighbors helped neighbors and even strangers, in the best American tradition…


 …below is the Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers range where  I was teaching, the high water on the trap range visible beforehand and the flooded practical pistol range in the background behind the trees. Volunteers are already repairing it.



  1. Couldn’t agree more with what you said Mas… Except for the fact about golden years of piece. You could basically count on one hand the number of years since 1945 that we have without war/conflict/intervention.

  2. It was a tough day on many levels for me. The 9/11 annirversary always hits me hard. It takes me right back to the clear blue morning it happened.

    That morning on the way in, I was deep in thought about 9/11, about the previous three days of intensive study, about shooting the qual for the class, about the test following, about how much the flooding was affecting people, the state of the country in general. I had been dedicating all my time to the course and hadn’t slept very well or spent any time with my family, as it was late til I got home every night. On top of it, my 50th birthday was coming up in two weeks and the course was a gift to myself (and mankind in general, as it turns out) so, there was much to comtemplate.

    I’m not sure how I pulled it off, but all things considered (including a malfing gun!), I did well and felt pretty proud of myself that I had made it happen.

    That’s what Americans do. We get it done.

    I didn’t want to wallow in the sorrow of the day, I wanted resolve. The resolve that I wear on my sleeve every day. I needed resolve. Drawing on the knowledge that resolve is how this country got here, and resolve is how we’ll “keep the Republic” carried me forward. The fact that I was excercising my ability to steel that resolve through taking the course was what pulled me through, and dare I say, the rest of the class, too. You could cut the tension with a knife before the shooting started, but everyone pulled together and encouraged each to the culmination of a great class. Virtually complete strangers had formed a bond in just four days I’m sure none will soon forget. A most excellent experience and so much good info shared.

    There is a fire in your belly, and your students are compelled by your passion. This country is a better place because of the work you do. You, sir, are a National Treasure IMHO. Thanks, Mas.

  3. Looks a tad bit wetter than Iowa in june. Didn’t have to shoot in hip boots and waders did you? For those that don’t know, Mas’ classes shoot rain or shine.

  4. Mas says: “Who remember World War II, from which a generation returned from the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man to create “golden years” of peace, prosperity, and productivity.”

    Everything was going well until that line. Mas, I agree with Andy above that while domestically things after WWII were better than average by a bit (if we forget about the segregation in the South, commies in our unions, etc) we lost hundreds and hundreds of servicemen/intelligence folks in the quiet war with the Soviets and Chicom’s. Of course you have to count at least 4 years from ’50 to ’54 for the Korean war, then the Suez crisis and Lebanon incursion of ’58, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuba blockade of the Soviets that went Defcon 3. And then everything fell apart, LOL…

  5. Sigh…perhaps those of us who were children then remember it differently, and too fondly. At least there was peace and prosperity on the home front, for the most part…

    Stephen, ayoob.com will get you to Police Bookshelf. I’m no longer hooked up with them, but they have lots of useful books, videos, and equipment.


  6. The day that changed everything, Except the American heart.
    In spite of our political leadership, This country will endure.
    If that is difficult to grasp please attend a local “Appleseed” presentation.

  7. Mas

    The other day, I was watching fox and Bob Beckel said, “you people need to get past 9-11. The entire country does.”

    I have not been so enraged in ages. The libs want us to forget September 11th, 2001. I won’t be. Ive got my rage to keep me warm. 😎

  8. When I read stories about people calling 911 because a fast food drive-thru won’t serve them or because a restaurant ran out of the food item they wanted, I get concerned about that resilience

  9. Liberals want 9/11 to disappear because it reminds sane people that there are monsters out there that would do us harm for no real reason. It reminds us to remain vigilant and prepared. Complacency kills.