Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/01 Before and After

September 11, 2001 forever changed America. Even though dozens of acts of terrorism had been occurring over and over throughout the globe for many years, Americans collectively chose to keep our fat heads buried in the sand. Those same shining towers in Lower Manhattan were bombed in 1993. No big deal, right? After all, the north tower didn't collapse and fall into the south towers as planned and only six souls perished with just around 1000 injuries....

Give me a break. This along with scores of other events should have been our wake-up call. Instead, we chose to worry about the destruction of our computers at the dawn of Y2K and felt compelled to know how much action President Clinton really did get while working OT in the oval office?

I probably was as guilty as anyone. Back in 2001, a much smaller R.E. Dad family lived in West Hartford, CT patiently waiting for Mom MD to complete her residency. If you aren't familiar with one of the most beautiful towns in these United States, West Hartford lies in the central section of Connecticut about 125 miles from Manhattan.

That horrific day, I remember grabbing my daily cup of joe and salt bagel from Brueggers Bagels at the town centre, and driving a couple miles south on Main Street to reach my office in time for work at about 8:30. I still recall remarking to the lady who sat in the adjacent cubicle at how gorgeous it was that morning. A bright sunny sky combined with a cool breeze gave me the incredibly comforting feeling that it was simply a fantastic time to be alive. I remember logging into my computer, eating my breakfast, opening up my first file, and then...............

A female co-worker runs by and says a plane has run into the World Trade Center. My first thought was that it must have been a small plane like the one that recently collided with a helicopter in NYC over the Hudson River. An accident, right? We quickly locate and turn on our training TV.

Oh my God, live on a grainy old TV we see a commercial plane run smack into the other tower. No pilot error. This is an act of terrorism. Who and why? Pre-9/11, I honestly believed everyone on Earth loved the United States...the only remaining superpower. After all, we provide food, medicine and military support to anyone anytime with no questions least so I thought.

The days that immediately followed were gut much carnage. Friends and relatives frantically searched for their loved ones. Videotape of the plane flying into the tower, the gaping hole in the Pentagon, and the collapsing of the once mighty giants ran 24/7. We couldn't stop thinking of the terror that those innocent souls who were flying on the four hijacked planes must have felt. We felt sorrow, but our mourning turned to anger. We wanted revenge.

We had been violently shoved off the top of the mountain. We weren't invincible. We couldn't just ignore the rest of the planet. This was the new reality. Fast forward to 9/11/09.

We as Americans can NOT return to Pre-9/11. Please do not let this happen. Too much has been sacrificed. Too many of our fellow citizens including New York's Bravest and Finest were lost that day. Our military continues to fight overseas in harms way for our freedom. Please remember this day and take nothing for granted. We are the best country in the world. Don't forget, don't ever forget! I promise I won't.


Kat said...

Today (Saturday morning) I read the recollections of a 14 year old girl about 9/11. She was 6 when the event happened and it was obvious that she did not have the same world view and perspective as adults. Not because she is immature, but because she did not have the same recollections of a pre 9/11 world. She had probably never felt the "nobody can touch us, we're American" attitude. That day changed the way Americans think. I just wish I could explain the devastation to the American psyche it to the younger generation, but I don't think it can ever be. They just don't have the perspective to even comprehend.

shrink on the couch said...

My husband and I were just talking about what a beautiful day it was on 9/11. The sun was shining, bright blue skies, a cool breeze (not at all typical for so early in September down here in Hotville).

It is very sad to think about all of this partisan bickering and sneering that has resumed. How quickly we forget what American democracy represents.