Special 9/11 edition – Varvel’s Views From The Right

By Gary Varvel

9/11, Uncle Sam, firefighters, Osama bin Laden, 9/11 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REMEMBERING 9/11 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13 On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was at my drawing table



Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was at my drawing table in my office at The Indianapolis Star. I had muted the TV while I was reading the paper but I looked up to see smoke billowing out of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I turned the sound up on the TV. At 9:02 am. I watched in horror as Flight 175 flew toward the South Tower and then vanished into the building and a fireball exploded out of the other side. Soon afterward, my editor, Andrea Neal, walked in and told me that we were going to run a special edition. “Your deadline is in one hour,” she said. In my 40 year career, I only remember 2 other times that the paper ran a special edition; when President Reagan was shot in 1981 and when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff in ‘86. Now I’m tasked with documenting this historic event in an editorial cartoon and I have 1 hour. In the days following the world would learn about Osama bin Laden. But in that moment, with the adrenaline pumping, I knew nothing except that we were under attack. So I decided to draw a cartoon based on the mood in America which was shock, grief and anger. “This means war,” I thought. So I drew the cartoon below. After meeting the deadline, I immersed myself in the news coverage and I was reminded of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The iconic photo of that tragedy was firefighter Chris Fields carrying Baylee Almon’s lifeless body from the debris. This image inspired my cartoon (above). While I drew the cartoon, I remembered the Bible verse in John 15:13 (above). 343 firefighters, 23 NYPD officers and 37 Port Authority officers laid down their lives at ground zero trying to save others. Neal saw my cartoon before I was finished and was so moved that she suggested that my cartoon be turned into a poster and sold to raise money for the relief effort in New York. The poster raised $130,000. This cartoon never won any awards but I believe it was the most important and impactful cartoon in my career. Below you will find a few of my memorial cartoons drawn for the 9/11 anniversary. We need to remember and our young people need to be taught that there are evil people in the world who still want to kill us.

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2002

September 11, 2008. A tribute for the bravery and sacrifice of America’s first responders.


19 years later 9/11 photos remain just as haunting

Son of 9/11 victim describes the day that changed his life

Cal Thomas writes, “That they have been mostly quiet in recent years doesn’t mean they have been deterred.”

My letter to America by Noor bin Laden, niece of Osama bin Laden. Raised in the west by her Swiss mother with Judeo-Christian values, she describes herself as a freedom-loving Americanophile and patriot at heart.

New York Post’s Jon Levine writes, “Osama bin Laden’s niece says only Trump can prevent another 9/11.”

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