Friday, September 29, 2006

U of MN newspaper: "Jesus forsakes Trinity Bible College"

The University of Minnesota's Morris campus newspaper, the Register has that sentence above the paper's name in their current issue (PDF file). The sentence refers to a football game in which UMM beat TBC. Is that supposed to be some kind of attempt at a joke? What bigot came up with it and what bigot approved it for print?

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Mark Bavis

Mark Bavis loved hockey. He started skating at the tender age of 4 and started shooting goals shortly after. His identical twin brother Mike also enjoyed the game and the two practiced and played together in minor hockey and then for their high school team, the Catholic Memorial Knights. Mark and Mike helped the Knights win three state championships.

In college, Mark played for the Boston University Terriers and played in the NCAA Tournament four times with three trips to the semi-finals and one championship game against Northern Michigan in 1991. The championship game went into triple-overtime, but ended in an 8-7 win for Michigan.

After college, Mark played in the American Hockey League for three years as a ninth-round draft pick for the New York Rangers. Later, he played for the South Carolina Stingrays for two years, where he and Mike became teammates again the first year. This would be the last time the two played together professionally. Mike eventually went on to become an assistant hockey coach at Boston University.

After leaving the Stingrays, Mark turned to coaching and eventually landed jobs as assistant coach for Brown University and then Harvard. Of the latter, he said, "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to be at one of the best institutions for academics and hockey in this country." Mark's work at Harvard eventually earned him the notice of the Chicago Freeze, a North American Hockey League team, who made him an assistant coach in 1999.

Then in 2000, Mark was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant scout under hockey great Garnet "Ace" Bailey.

On September 11th, 2001, Mark and Garnet were traveling together aboard United Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. Eastern.

At Mark's memorial mass on September 19th, Mike spoke of Mark's deepening faith, his plans to enroll in law school, and their love for each other. "We had an unspoken love. We spent so much time together. I knew how he felt and he knew how I felt."

Mike spoke of when he became a father for the first time, saying, "Nothing was like the day I saw my brother holding my son, Jack."

And of the fateful events surrounding Mark's death, Mike stated, "It makes me feel good that my brother was with Ace. We need courage to face what happened, as a family and as a country. We need to return to life as it was on September 10th. I'm going to be out there again. And I'm going to be flying by plane... trying to figure out a way to beat BC. In no way am I going to let the people involved in this think they got me twice."

Mark's legacy did not die with him, however. During his days playing and coaching, he mentored many young hockey players. Mark worked for both the Massachusetts USA Satellite Program (where he eventually was named the program director) and the International Hockey Academy. He also opened a hockey summer camp of his own in Canton, Massachusetts, which helped children both athletically and academically.

His work now lives on with the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation, which was founded by his family and friends. The Foundation provides annual grants to help young people with tuition, summer programs and appropriate extracurricular activities so as to better themselves as well as their schools and communities.

Additionally, Kevin O’Sullivan, an old friend and Catholic Memorial teammate, recently opened a sports complex in memory of Mark: the Mark Bavis Ice Arena in Rockland, Massachusetts. The complex features two ice surfaces, a turf field, 5 locker rooms, 5 party rooms (where kids can enjoy sports-themed birthday parties), a lounge with a big-screen TV, a meeting room and a pro shop.

Mark was preceded in death by a brother and his father. He is survived by his twin brother, Mike; his mother, Mary; two other brothers, Pat and Johnny; and three sisters, Kelly, Mary Ellen and Kathy.

Additional information and photos about Mark can be found on the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation website.

We remember Mark and everyone one else who died on September 11, 2001. They may no longer be with us, but their legacies will live forever. Please click the image below to go to the "2,996" project website where you can find links to more tributes. Thank you, and may God bless you, God bless the Bavis Family and God bless America.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Unfortunately, the "2,996" website went down. Here's a mirror:

And another:

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More thoughts on the "2,996" tributes

We say "We Remember," but we really can't. It's almost impossible for any one person to remember all 2,996 names, faces and lives of those who died on 9/11. That's what's great about the "2,996" project. Everyone who died that day is being remembered and honored as individuals by thousands of people around the world, and hopefully, these stories will touch the lives of thousands more. I myself have been touched by Mark Bavis' story and the stories of all the other people I've read about. I won't soon forget any of them.

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The unsung heroes of 9/11

The firefighters, police officers, the passengers aboard United 93 and a few average citizens get a lot of coverage for being heroes on September 11th, 2001, but there are a couple groups that I think don't get nearly enough credit.

The first group is the nation's air traffic controllers. These people not only handled the first reports of the hijackings and talked to some of the four planes' passengers and crew members, but when the unprecedented order came down, they worked to bring thousands of commercial and civilian aircraft to quick and safe landings. It simply amazes me that not one accident happened during all that chaos.

The second group is the crew members in those planes. The flight and cabin crews no doubt were put to the test without initially understanding why. They not only had to land the planes, but had to keep passengers calm. Perhaps some word of the 9/11 hijackings reached the passengers and crew of some or all the planes and they might have been worried that they were next. I don't know since these events aren't really covered much. Whatever the case, they did their jobs superbly.

All this really goes to prove just how level-headed dedicated, and skilled these people are and they must be commended along with all the other heroes from that day.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thoughts on the other "2,996" tributes

I've been reading some of the other "2,996" tributes - about 2 or 3 dozen so far - and I've come to the following conclusions:

1) 9/11 robbed us of many beautiful people of all walks of life.
2) "2,996" is proving that there are still many beautiful people of all walks of life in this world.
3) Many of those lost have left behind legacies that will continue to touch lives well after all of us who lived through that horrible day are gone.
4) Though terrorists may kill us, they will never win.

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