Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine-Eleven

I admit it... I had planned on either not posting today, or at the very least not mentioning the fact that today is 09/11....

But, the truth is, there are events that occur in our lifetimes that affect us so deeply and profoundly, we can never really keep them out of our thoughts. For me, there are certain events that I can recall as if they occurred just a few moments ago, even though they happened many years apart. Some are good and some are not.

One of the earliest memories I have of actually paying attention to the bigger world around me is that of President Ronald Reagan being shot. We had a radio with a tape recorder built in and I popped in tape after tape, recording everything that came across the airwaves.

Next would be the Space Shuttle Columbia.... It was the first time a "regular" person was allowed to go into space that I knew of, and a teacher at that. I was in 10th grade at Westminster High school in Colorado. A student ran through the school yelling that the shuttle had exploded. I was standing outside of the media center, and I couldn't believe it until I saw it being played on the televisions....

The attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City is next. That is when I started listening to NPR. I was glued to every radio or television set I would come across. Timothy McVeigh was everywhere in his orange jumpsuit.

There may be other events between those and September 11, 2001, but right now, nine-eleven is what comes to my mind next. September 11th is a day I will never forget. I worked for the educational co-op in Camden, Arkansas, at the time. It was like watching a movie, but you knew it wasn't one. And when the buildings fell, I cried. I pulled myself away from the televisions, went into the men's room, and cried. Once I was through, I was ready for a fight. This was OUR country, the friggin U.S. of A. If there was more to come, I was preparing myself mentally to protect my family, my friends, my way of life. No, I am not a militia-type. That is not what I mean. I just mean, from that point on, I found the true, blue, deep American in myself. I am damn proud to be an American. I never take for granted the life we have. There are men, women, and children who die every day because they are Americans, or are IN America.

Do I support war, or sending money all over the globe "in the name of" America? No. Do I believe we should hunt down the people behind what happened on this date five years ago? You bet your rear-end, I do.

It's been five years. Does it seem long ago, or just like yesterday? Do you watch the programs that have been produced since that day? Do you purposely turn them off or avoid them? Do you wish everyone would just let that day fade into history? Do you wish we talked about it even more than we do? Do you (still) tear up when you watch the towers collapse? I'm just throwing out things to think about.... You see, in America, you have the right to think about what you want to. You also have the right to express your beliefs, even if they are unpopular or contoversial or as mundane as peanut butter and jelly on bread...

Some people gave their lives five years ago, even though they had no intention of doing so when they woke up that morning. Some people gave their lives five years ago because they banded together in order to prevent a plane from reaching our nation's Capital. Some people helped others, giving up thier own lives so that other people wouldn't die. Some people made a left turn instead of a right, took a different plane, stopped to get coffee, took their children to kindergarten and ended up not losing their lives that day. When is it "our time?" Why are some people "spared?"

When you hear "nine-eleven," how does it make you feel? What do you think about? Where does your mind go? Is it a coicidence that in America, 9-1-1 is the number we dial for emergencies and this happened on 9/11? Is it a coincidence that the towers fell essentially straight down, rather than toppling in one (or two) directions? Is it a coincidence that the people on Flight 93 happened to be the very people who would come together to sacrifice themselves in order to prevent some other tragedy?

I had planned to talk about the new Dodge Challenger......

It is Sepetember 11. It has been five years. It feels like yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Your comments concerning 9/11 were moving, indeed. You "took it personally" and that is as it should be. I know parents want to always be strong for their children so they feel protected and safe, but I hope that they know or will perhaps come to know what YOU felt and feel about 9/11.

    Some time ago I heard that the terrorist had chosen 9/11 as the date for the attacks precisely because of 9-1-1. I think that the towers collapsed nearly vertically because the weakening of the structures occured internally to the building. If one corner at the base had been destroyed the collapse would have taken place in a much different way and been an even greater calamity.

    There are two threads at the Vanity Fair.com Forum VF Dish site you may be interested in reading concerning 9/11. One is currently found on page 1 and named "I want all of you to read this" and the other, on page 2 of the forum. The exact title escapes me but "9/11" is in the title, so you'll recognize it. Sorry.

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