Justice for Mark Rothenberg - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Justice for Mark Rothenberg

It was such a normal American weekend.

A college reunion in October of 1998. The location: my alma mater, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

It was typical of any American college reunion anywhere. A weekend of seeing old friends and making new ones. A dinner on Friday night, seminars and a football game on a crisp, clear autumn day and dinner on Saturday night. A brunch on Sunday.

Like most people at these events, I suspect, one of the interesting aspects is meeting people from your own or other classes whom you didn’t know while you were actually going to school. That someone for me was a wonderfully charming couple named Mark and Meredith Rothenberg. Mark had graduated three years before me, and was in fact the brother-in-law of one of my old friends, Steve Bernstein, “Bernie” both a classmate and next door dorm resident. Mark’s friends and family called him by his nickname — “Mickey.”

A successful businessman, Mickey was talkative, funny, outgoing — a liberal Democrat to my Reagan conservatism. Although I didn’t hear this story from him that weekend, one of his stories was hilarious. In Beverly Hills at a restaurant, he encountered the comedian Jackie Mason. Totally unabashed when confronted with celebrities, Mickey rolled over and chatted up the comedian. The evening ends. At two in the morning the phone rings — a startled Mickey finds Jackie Mason on the other end. It seems both men had rented identical black Mercedes — and the hotel valet had mixed up the owners. Mickey had Mason’s Mercedes — and Jackie wanted his rented Mercedes back! He got it.

On September 11th, headed for a business trip in Taiwan, Mickey boarded United Flight 93 in Newark, scheduled to take him to San Francisco. 

He never made it. And for some reason Meredith doesn’t know, as the now infamous horror instigated by Osama bin Laden unfolded on Flight 93, Mickey didn’t or couldn’t call. He left behind Meredith and two daughters — Sara and Rachel.

Here’s a link if you’d like to know a little bit more about Mark “Mickey” Rothenberg.

He was, like all of his fellow passengers that day, transformed from being an average American to being an American hero. And I confess there have been very few days since 9/11 that I don’t think about Mickey — and the man who was ultimately responsible for his murder.

Justice for Mickey — for Meredith, for Sara and for Rachel — has arrived. But as with the families of everyone else who lost a family member that day, it can never undo the pain.

But for the rest of us in this country — and there are countless numbers who knew someone who died that day on Flight 93 or in the Twin Towers or the Pentagon — this day is a sweet moment. Or maybe I should say bittersweet.

This fight isn’t over as long as there are those who are going to act on the madness set in motion by Osama bin Laden. Make no mistake, they will continue. 

But they have to know — and now surely they are given pause to know — that President Bush was right. It may take days. It may take years.

But Justice will be done.

To Presidents Bush and Obama — and most especially to those incredibly brave Navy Seals and all the unknown men and women of the American intelligence services and the military who have spent a decade working on this very moment — job well done.

Justice, for one brief moment, has been done. Osama Bin Laden is at the bottom of the sea, never to kill again. Hell has a new arrival.

God Bless you Mickey. And thanks for the example. We will never forget.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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