The story of Rick Rescorla encapsulates the fact that 9-11 was an American tragedy. We famously remember the French declaring "nous sommes toutes l'Americains" and even Yasser Arafat donating blood, but it was a worldwide recognition that what happenned on 9-11 was a tragedy borne by the United States alone. 9-11 was ours.
This is why I am somewhat offended by what Robert S. Wistrich (author of Hitler and the Holocaust) has to say about 9-11 in Ha'aretz:
The dream of Atta and many other Islamists was to create a Muslim theocracy from the Nile to the Euphrates, "liberated" from any Jewish presence. To achieve this goal, the Al-Qaida fanatics based in Hamburg struck at New York City, the "center of world Jewry" and the "Jewish-controlled" international financial system. In this ideological sense, they showed themselves to be direct heirs of Hitler and his genocidal mind-set. The failure of so many people, including Americans, Jews and Israelis, to grasp this crucial fact about the
motivations for 9/11 is a stunning example of how little has been learned from history.
I don't doubt that the Al-Q terrorists were probably anti-semitic and would love to see Israel wiped from the map, but they didn't crash their planes into Tel Aviv. To re-interpret 9-11 as an attack upon Jewish power is brazenly self-indulgent. He subsequently attempts to invoke the Palestinian struggle as part of the motivation for 9-11, though Al-Q's interest in the Palestinians' fate was precisely zero until expedient.
9-11 was an American tragedy, not a Jewish one. nor a saudi one, either. It's our heroes who gave sacrifice that day, it's our blood that was spilled, and it was our nation that was targeted for its past perceived sins. The mempry of Rick, the Minutemen of Flight 93, and the FDNYPD are American heroes whose heroism shall not be claimed by others to further their ends.