Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th


Where were you? Do you remember how you felt the first time you saw the images from New York or Washington? Did you cry, or want to help, or get angry, or all three? Did you feel horror at the tragedy, pride in the first responders, and sorrow for those lost? Did you stick to the TV or radio to keep abreast of the current information? Did you fly the flag and get tears in your eyes when you heard the Star Spangled Banner? On that day, were you united with all other Americans, particularly those in New York and Washington, in resolving to never let it happen again? When, and why, did we lose that resolve?

3 comments:

Aunty2 said...

I was at work, with the TV set in the breakroom blaring, and along with all the other employees, glued to the horrifying images coming over the airways. I was sitting with tears running down my face, worried about what was coming our way being so close to a major military installation and also the "Shrine of Democracy" nearby. I was scared to death of what may happen to those members of my family who were (and in some cases) still are serving in the Armed Forces, if they would be called to fight in an immediate domestic war. I watched as the Towers fell and cried for my college roommate (from my first try at advanced education)who was working in the North Tower after finally getting her "Dream Job" with a premier investing firm. I watched with terror as the plane hit the Pentagon, not knowing if my beloved sister was there or at her "home base" since she visited DC frequently as part of her duties. I cried for the families of the heroes of Flight 93 who sacrified themselves for their country in Pennsylvania.
I felt the loss and the grief of the families of the Emergency Response personnel especially hard since my baby brother was a volunteer firefighter, and knew he would feel the pull to go help.
I felt the pride of most Americans when the Flag of our country proudly flew once again, at the site of Ground Zero and the Pentagon.
I still cry, and am now,when I remember the horror of the acts, and yes, the glory of the American people that day. I, for one, will never forget.

James said...

I started a new job after being unemployed for several months that day. The first plane struck between the time I left my truck in the parking lot and got to the receptionist's desk on the second floor. The job was with a media company, so there were four TV's showing on the wall behind the receptionist. I took one look at the view and stated that it was a terrorist attack, and most likely Al Queda, due to the failed attempt to bomb airliners over the Pacific several years previous (my degree is International Affairs, specializing in security issues, and I still try to watch as much of what's going on as possible).

I was, and am, full of rage about the attacks. Both because they happened but because of the barriers put in place to hinder our intelligence and military services' attempts to defend us, and to hamper efforts to retaliate. I knew after the '93 attack that there would be others unless we decisively acted against those responsible, but the US had a track record of not doing so (I'm an Army brat, I grew up with the Bader-Meinhoff gang blowing up US military installations in Germany, and going through anti-terrorism checkpoints, and had watched the responses to the Iranian takeover of our embassy and the attacks in Beirut).

I also threw my AR-15 in the back of my truck that evening, since Atlanta is a major metro area and would be a probable target if Al Queda were able to get suicide squads in place.

I also regret not being able to personally carry the fight against our enemies, even if I were to lose enough weight to qualify for enlistment, I'm a bit long in the tooth for a front-line unit. But I'm proud of my brother's service, he was a cadet at The Citadel in 2001, has since commissioned as an Infantry officer in the US Army, graduated from Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger Schools, served a tour in Iraq, and is now a Ranger Instructor, and I've tried to do my part by supporting him and his soldiers.

lela said...

James & Aunty2, I thing all of should remember our rage, and not become complacent. Everyone is involved in this fight against terrorism and its effects, not just those physically capable (and young enough) to enter the armed forces. All of us, everyone.