For all Americans, the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 is a day of remembrance and reverence, but for some it is also an opportunity to share what they think really happened on that tragic morning.
Kerry Ryan, a truck driver from Chicago in his mid 60s, traveled to New York City for the 12th anniversary of 9/11. At around 10:30 a.m. last Wednesday, he stood near the entrance to the 9/11 memorial at Trinity Place and Liberty Street with his 36-year-old son, Paul. Ryan believes evidence overwhelmingly shows that the U.S. government was behind the terrorist attacks.
“The buildings’ remains were taken away so quickly on barges to China that no one even had the chance to inspect them,” Ryan said.
“There are 2,000 architects and engineers on a list that want to open a true investigation. They are willing to put their license on the line stating that the facts that are given are false.”
Ryan is just one of thousands who believes in conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks.
9/11 Truth, the central conspiracy theory group founded in 2004, conducted a survey called the Zogby polls, which they say showed that 41 percent of New York State residents believe the U.S. government knew about 9/11 in advance and allowed it to happen.
Former President George W. Bush addressed the conspiracy theories in a statement to the United Nations on November 10, 2001 saying that they are “malicious lies that attempt to shift blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty.”
Omar Al-Farouq, an al Qaeda representative and outspoken critic of the 9/11 conspiracy theories appeared on the Onion Special Report in April of 2008 stating that the theories are “ridiculous.” Al-Farouq said, “How would you like it if you spent two months in a mountain cave sleeping on rocks planning something really special only to have someone take the credit away from you?”
Like many of the conspiracy theorists, Kevin Scott, 44, who works for a home-infusion pharmacy in Elmsford, N.Y., strongly believes the buildings destroyed on 9/11 were pre-wired to self-destruct well in advance. Scott took the day off from work last week and travelled to New York City to pay his respects and share what he thinks is the truth.
“Building 7—this is a 47-story glass skyscraper built in 1984. It is not hit by a plane, yet it collapses on its own at about 5:20 p.m. in the afternoon. The official story is, it was due to a fire, yet anyone who looks at the footage of the building collapsing knows it’s a perfect implosion,” said Scott. “Why is it that the Bushes and the bin Ladens go back to the mid 70s as business partners?”
Scott thinks that just as the CIA recently admitted to its role in the 1953 Iranian coup, so too will the government eventually confess to its involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
While conspiracy theorists passionately stated their case against the government last Wednesday, others, like Joseph Rabito, a construction worker from Queens and a first responder, came solely to pay tribute. He prayed for those who died, the survivors, and the more than 300 responders who died due to cancer-related illnesses caused by smoke inhalation.
“I was a responder every day of the year and I remember those people,” said Rabito.