|A day of infamy
It’s hard to believe nine years have passed since my nephew noted that the September 11, 2001 sneak attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. were “9-1-1” since that means emergency. Like Pearl Harbor, the murder of John Kennedy, and such, people will likely remember what they were doing that Tuesday morning. I know I do.
I was at the office, going about business as usual when one of the social workers started passing the word that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. My thought was that would have to be an uncanny accident – perhaps a pilot had suffered a heart attack or something. I’d been to New York and was familiar with the two tall towers. They were big, but still a small point in a huge sky. Radios and some portable televisions were turned on when the second jet slammed into the South Tower. “That’s no coincidence,” I knew. Who would do that? How? Why?
By the time news of a third guided missile attack on the Pentagon came around it was evident this was an historic day – this generation’s equivalent of Pearl Harbor. We were being attacked, murderously. Around this time I reflected back on an earlier bombing attempt on the World Trade Center – radical Islamics. They found a better way, it seemed.
Word came around of a fourth hijacked plane crashing in Pennsylvania – apparently the passengers learned of the earlier suicide attacks and weren’t going along with that one. Save one White House, or Capitol. We, The People, had begun the counter-offensive.
I recall being impressed with the cool professionalism of President Bush who completed his task with young students without alarm before going aloft. More impressive was his stop at Barksdale AFB.
Like the 19th and 20th centuries, the 21st would begin with a major war – of ideology rather than dynasties and nations.
A friend living in NYC sent the following email, dated September 12, 2001:
The amazing aspect of the attacks were the casualties - remarkbly few, considering. The wake-up, as it were, was that many people simply do not "get" the "We The People" format of this nation. It terrifies them. I've never fathomed how freedom can frighten. It's an old conflict, and it continues...