Reflecting on 9/11 Twenty Years After - Never Forget

As did many Americans this month, I have watched some of the documentaries on September 11, 2001.  The one I started watching this morning with images of that day, made tears well-up in my eyes and gave me pain in the pit of my stomach, similar that day.  I had to turn the TV off and then I decided to write this post instead.  

It is the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.  Revisiting the history of this horrific event is important for the current generation to understand what happened and how it affected the people of this country.  We cried that day out of sadness and anger.  We continue to cry when we remember that day and see the old photos and video.  Many families lost members  The country lost security but regained solidarity.  Many returned to the Christian-Judeo religious roots for comfort.  Patriotism returned to US citizens as they waved flags and heralded the heroes in military (Air Force, Army, National Guard, Navy, Marinces), first-responders (EMTs. firefighters, police), and front-line healthcare workers.  Songs and poems were written to memorialize those lost and those that remained.

Last night, I watched the intelligence account "Race Against Time: The CIA and 9/11" as they attempted to explain: what happened before the planes hit World Trade Center towers, during the day of 9/11 attacks, all that has happened throughout their organization regarding terrorism retaliation, and ongoing prevention today.  I was struck by how many of those interviewed felt so much remorse and guilt that they were unable to prevent  what happened. They knew a lot to warn us who was coming for America and the distorted why, but not enough to know the when, what, and where.  There was a little bit of negative and positive finger-pointing too.  They seemed to say the beginning of Islamic terrorism on mainland USA was the result of a weak president's (Clinton) response to terrorist attacks on USA property in other countries.  They also warned that future attacks may occur as a result of current weak administration 's (Biden) botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, a known haven for extremists/terrorists. Military presence in Afghanistan started out as a war on terrorism when a stronger president was in office during 9/11 attacks (Bush).  After the main terrorist leaders were killed, Afghanistan became  more like an extension of the middle-east peace-keeping mission under another strong president (Trump), which mostly helped their citizens and government - that is until the airport debacle that greatly hurt the reputation of the USA.  Then there was the Taliban releasing ISIS prisoners after they took over Bagram Airbase.  Are new terrorist attacks coming?  Is a new war imminent? 

There are 20th anniversary memorial plans for 9/11 families, heroes, and guests in New York City and across the United States.  They still want answers from CIA, FBI, and DOJ to their questions about who all are to blame.  Everyone of them remembers the destruction and still feels the pain.  All of America will recognize it and keep seeking truth for current and future generations.  To do so, on addition to the documentaries, many poets (including my 9/11 Tears Remembered - A Memorial Poem) and songwriters have memorialized our feelings on that day and how we feel when we reflect on 9/11 and its legacy.   9/11 is now referred to as Patriot Day for those who died and flags that waved.  America built a museum and monuments so we would not forget what happened.   We must never forget 9/11.  

Many are afraid that it may happen again because of the falling respect for America that occurred last month.  Now there are new songs and potential poetic musings.  Where there are currently mainstream media news stories and finger-pointing tweets, we hope these will not someday be part of a new set of terrorist-related documentaries.  As we remember the horrors, we must remain strong and united. We must not let fear divide us.  We should not let anything like 9/11/2001 ever happen again!

American Gemstones and Rocks: Chart by State

I finally compiled the promised list of gemstones by state!  It took a lot of research as there were several reference websites, none had complete list, and only a few said “official” for states.  There was also some confusion about the difference in gemstone (typically used in jewelry), rock (common collectable for state that may or may not be in jewelry), and about a state’s main mineral (gems are minerals and rocks are composed of minerals).  The chart below is not every stone produced in the state, just the ones selected to represent the state. To find the stones frequently mined in a state, click on the state in first column of chart below. If you live in, or go mining during travel to a particular state and see that I missed something or your state has made a change, please let me know in the comments under the post.

If you want to look at pictures, most gemstones in list below are on the USA state symbols site.  Some of the best photos I saw for USA rocks and minerals was on Wikipedia, where you may also find additional details about each. Links within the chart will go to blog posts where I have written about the particular stone.

American Gemstones and Rocks per State

STATE (Abbreviation)




Alabama (AL)

Star Blue Quartz

Hematite (Red Iron Ore)


Alaska (AK)

Nephrite Jade



Arizona (AZ)


Copper or Wulfenite (Yellow Lead Ore)




Crystal Quartz


California (CA)




Colorado (CO)



Yule Marble 

Connecticut (CT)


Almandine Garnet


Delaware (DE)




Florida (FL)


Agatized Coral


Georgia (GA)




Hawaii (HI)

Black Coral



Idaho (ID)

Star Garnet



Illinois (IL)




Indiana (IN)



Salem Limestone

Iowa (IA)


Petrified Palmwood


Kansas (KS)

Jelenite Amber


Greenhorn Limestone

Kentucky (KY)

Freshwater Pearl


Kentucky Agate

Louisiana (LA)

Lapearlite (Oyster Shell)



Maine (ME)




Maryland (MD)

Patuxent River Stone



Massachusetts (MA)



Roxbury Puddingstone 

Michigan (MI)

Chlorastrolite (Isle Royale Greenstone)


Petoskey Stone (Fossilized Coral)

Minnesota (MN)

Lake Superior Agate



Mississippi (MS)



Petrified Wood

Missouri (MO)




Montana (MT)



Montana Agate

Nebraska (NE)

Blue Chalcedony


Prairie Agate

Nevada (NV)

Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal or Nevada Turquoise



New Hampshire (NH)

Smoky Quartz



New Jersey (NJ)




New Mexico (NM)




New York (NY)


Herkimer “Diamond” Quartz


North Carolina (NC)


Gold or Garnet


North Dakota (ND)


Petrified Wood


Ohio (OH)

Ohio Flint

Trilobite Fossil


Oklahoma (OK)

Selenite Crystal


Rose Rock (Barite)

Oregon (OR)

Oregon Sunstone

Oregonite or Josephinite

Thunderegg (Agate)

Pennsylvania (PA)


Trilobite Fossil


Rhode Island (RI)




South Carolina (SC)



Blue Granite

South Dakota (SD)

Fairburn Agate

Rose Quartz


Tennessee (TN)

Tennessee River Pearl



Texas (TX)

Texas Blue Topaz


Oligocene (Petrified Palmwood)

Utah (UT)




Vermont (VT)

Grossular Garnet


Granite or Marble or Slate

Virginia (VA)




Washington (WA)

Petrified Wood



West Virginia (WV)

Lithostrotionella  (Fossil Coral/Chalcedony)

Bituminous Coal


Wisconsin (WI)



Red Granite

Wyoming (WY)

Nephrite Jade