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9/11

I remember where I was when I heard that John Kennedy had been shot. I remember where I was when I heard that an airplane had flown into the World Trade Center. Both of these events were profound national tragedies. Indeed, I can’t think of any other public event in my lifetime that I specifically remember learning about.

Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 was not a national tragedy no matter which side of the political divide one is on. He’s just one of many US Presidents who will have some impact, but nothing guaranteed to last. The rhetoric of some Obama opponents describes Obama’s Presidency as some kind of national emergency not just a threat to a few thousand people, but a threat to the whole country. That kind of rhetoric is irresponsible and bordering on the insane.

People who use apocalyptic language for political advantage work to cheapen the real tragedies. They dish0nor the heroes of 9/11.

24 Responses to 9/11

  1. avatar
    Paul September 11, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    The small town I live in lost 15 residents. Several children in my daughter’s school lost their fathers. I could see the towers burning as I drove up the turnpike to pick her up from pre-school. I don’t want to remember it. I hope some day I can forget it.

  2. avatar
    Majority Will September 11, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I was too young to remember Kennedy but I would add the loss of the Challenger on January 28, 1986 and I will never forget the morning of September 11th, 2001.

  3. avatar
    G September 11, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Same here. I would of course reference both Space Shuttle tragedies and the Oklahoma City bombing as well.

    Majority Will: I was too young to remember Kennedy but I would add the loss of the Challenger on January 28, 1986 and I will never forget the morning of September 11th, 2001.

  4. avatar
    Sef September 11, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    “Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 was not a national tragedy no matter which side of the political divide one is on.”

    Especially for the approximately 2 million of us who braved the cold and actually personally witnessed it.

  5. avatar
    Horus September 11, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    At the time of 9/11 I was living about 30 miles north of Ground Zero in New York.
    I was at home that day, watching MSNBC at the time the first plane hit the tower.

    People throughout the country really don’t know what New Yorkers went through that day and the months that followed, they can’t even imagine what we felt, and I doubt they ever will know.

    I have to blame 9/11 for the break-up of my first marriage, my wife had a nervous breakdown 2 weeks after 9/11 and everything went to shit after that. She moved out of my home just before the first anniversary of 9/11.
    The constant despair and sadness was just too much for me, everyone either had a relative or a friend that died in the towers that day. This is because the majority of New York Fire Fighters and Cops did not live in Manhattan, they lived in the suburbs around the city where they could afford a home. Just before the second anniversary of 9/11 I left New York for good, to sunny(and very hot) Arizona.
    But, there is an old Confucius saying that says “No matter where you go, there you are.”.
    I never really understood that saying until the aftermath of 9/11, you can’t run away from your problems, they follow you no matter where you go. I ran away from NY as fast as I could, but the despair followed me. I did not date anyone for a very long time, 7 years, I was too damaged.
    6 months ago I started dating a wonderful lady, who is 14 years younger than me, I am happy.
    But on this date, the despair returns, I only hope it goes away as quickly as it came this time.

  6. avatar
    Horus September 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Paul: I don’t want to remember it. I hope some day I can forget it.

    I feel the same way.
    I avoid all the ceremonies and repeats of TV broadcasts from 9/11 like they were the plague. It is just too painful to remember.

  7. avatar
    sfjeff September 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I was here on the West Coast on 9/11, in the shower getting ready to go to work. My wife was up with our baby daughter and had the TV on, when she called to me. The first plane had hit and they were discussing whether it could have been an accident or not. I think I was watching when the second plane hit- but that could be a false memory.

    I went into work in a sort of daze- I worked then near the San Francisco airport, in the landing flight path, and the first thing i noticed when I got there was that no planes were landing- it was eerily silent.

    Then we saw when they started letting planes come in for landings- escorted by a fighter plane. My first thought was ‘what could a fighter do….” then I realized what the fighter pilots orders were and that was a second shock.

    Yes, the only memory I have as vivid is Kennedy’s death, and I was too young to remember much about that except his funeral. Not even the shuttle or OKC bombing had the same impression on me because 9/11 really was a day that everything changed.

    One last comment. I judge Bush’s presidency pretty harshly, but his words after 9/11 reminding American’s that Muslim Americans did not cause this and are American’s too- and not to overreact was I thought his proudest moment. I was horribly worried that Americans would react violently against all perceived Muslims in America, and am very proud that with a few exceptions, America did not.

  8. avatar
    thisoldhippie September 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I was at work on most all of the major disasters that I can recall – often watching the event on television, (9/11 watching when the second plane struck). I vaguely remember Apollo 1 – my father had just left working for the Kennedy Space Center. i don’t remember JFK at all.

    I do remember coming home to find my husband in tears watching the Columbine shootings and Katrina on television.

  9. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny September 12, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    I am old enough to remember JFK’s assassination. I was playing soccer at the time. This was after school with friends. I remember I stayed longer than my mother allowed me, and in addition missed the bus back home. Coming home more than one hour later than usual, I half expected being reprimanded severely, but I found my mother and sisters chained to the radio – there were no round-the-clock TV broadcasts in Belgium yet at the time.

    “They have shot Kennedy”, my elder sister said. Suddenly remembering I still had homework to do, I answered “Let’s hope he survives” and went to my room.

    By the time I came back to watch soime TV, JFK had been pronounce dead. I still remember that the first thing I heard when enetering the saloon, was the TV news announcer reading a list of countries that had declared national mourning. The Soviet Union was one of them – of course, by then we did not know yet about Oswald’s history and the babushka lady, so that looked normal, while China did not – but perhaps that really was Taiwan.

    On September 9th, I was at my school where we were having the deliberation of the second sittings. Unlike other countries, Belgium allows virtually everybody to enter first year at university or university college and so, many students fail the first year. Deliberation is a general meeting of all staff, professors and lectors to decide the faith of those students who almost made it. I wasx there as the maths and computer program expert – the one who hjas to put a figure on how absolute or relative the failure was.

    We had been busy from 10 o’clock, (9 am Greenwich time) with a short break for soup and bread at 12. Shortly after 3 pm, we finished the first year’ deliberation. A lector of French, who had been so lucky as never having taught in the first year, entered the room for the deliberation of the second year and instead of the normal conversation about soup and bread not being good for professorial EQ, announced serenely but hurriedly what he had just heard on the radio. A plane had flown into a skycraper in New York, and it did not look like an accident.

    Unlike the first year, the other years took about an hour of deliberation each. After the second year, it looked like World War III had begun. After the third year (now the BA diploma year), everybody started to think of and talk about friends and relatives who might have been on a plane – wherever in the world. When the 4th year, now the MAs had been decided, we knew what had really happened – we were all convinced this was Al Qaida’s doing.

    At the time of the Norway killings, I was at the Ghent Feesten, dancing tango (3 to 6). Though you cannot recognize me anywhere in this video, you may get the ambience, and appreciate the fact that two Americans were the stars on that afternoon:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qprNCULcxk

  10. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny September 12, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: to decide the faith of those students who almost made it

    In case Orly or another islam basher is reading this. That “faith” is a horrible misspelling of the word “fate”.

  11. avatar
    The Magic M September 12, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: On September 9th, I was at my school […] A plane had flown into a skycraper in New York, and it did not look like an accident.

    If truthers are like birthers, they will now say “government supporters claim two different dates for WTC attacks!”. *sigh*

    I remember sitting at work when the first plane crashed into the tower (around 1400 local time). When a colleague came in and said “a plane crashed into the WTC”, I thought “oh well, another Cessna pilot who made a terrible mistake” and didn’t give it much further thought. It wasn’t until some 30 minutes later that I learned what kind of plane it was. The CNN website was pretty much down, I wanted to go home to learn more, but had a deadline to meet that day. My project manager said, sarcastically, “he were are, the world’s coming to an end and we’ve got a website to finish”.
    Even though I was far away from the actual events, I can’t remember anything else in my life that scared me quite like 9/11. And I’m a pretty tough person to scare.

  12. avatar
    Keith September 12, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    I was at my computer desk at home with the TV on watching ‘The West Wing’ while I caught up on eMail or something. The program was interrupted to report on the first plane hitting the building and I felt a chill go through me. I switched over to CNN (I think) to catch the ongoing reports just in time to see the second plane hit in real time as far as I could tell. That was just surreal. I had to drag my wife out of bed to watch it.

    What struck me today was that as sad as the events of 2001 were, the fact that some of those kids that were in the class where that Bush was reading are old enough to now go over and fight and be killed saddened me even more.

    Remind me how have we kept those kids safe again?

  13. avatar
    Keith September 12, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    Oh, yes. I was old enough to remember JFK’s assination. I was at school, my social studies class was two periods long with lunch and home room between the two periods.

    We came back from lunch and our home room teacher had the radio on. Everybody just sat in stunned silence listening. The second half of the social studies class was pandemonium after the death was confirmed, and weird ass conspiracy theories flew around like crazy. I remember thinking it was some kind of trick that Kennedy must be playing to fool the Russians, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what he could possibly accomplish.

    My next period was math and the teacher (the wife of a future Governor and Ambassador) was in tears and almost hysterical denouncing racism and prejudice, and one group standing on the other just to make themselves feel better, Chinese on Indians, Mexicans on Chinese, Blacks on Mexicans, Whites on Blacks, and everybody pushing back on the ones that are pushing them down. It was really weird to see such a proud, almost aristocratic, self assured teacher in such a state even under those circumstances. Weird, but in a way comforting for the rest of us, because it sort of gave everyone else ‘permission’ to react and express their feelings honestly.

  14. avatar
    Thrifty September 12, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I was at home playing video games when my mother called me from work telling me to turn on TV, that a plane hit one of the towers and shortly thereafter a plane hit the other tower. I remember I looked at the news for a minute, didn’t find the story all that interesting and went back to playing video games.

    I had some classes to attend later in the day, and I remember everyone seemed tense. People were crowded around the TV in the cafeteria, and everyone in the computer lab was scrolling over news sites.

    A message board that I have frequented since 1998 that usually doesn’t have a lot of activity had a ton of it that day, probably about as much as we get in a month.

    The next day in one of my classes, my teacher was having a hard time keeping her composure, and I didn’t really get it.

  15. avatar
    misha September 12, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    “People who use apocalyptic language for political advantage work to cheapen the real tragedies.”

    Just like Perry, Palin, Bachmann…

  16. avatar
    Ballantine September 12, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I remember sitting at work when the first plane crashed into the tower (around 1400 local time). When a colleague came in and said “a plane crashed into the WTC”, I thought “oh well, another Cessna pilot who made a terrible mistake” and didn’t give it much further thought.

    I thought the same thing until the second tower was hit. The whole day just seems surreal at this point like it didn’t really happen. Walked south to find a spot with a clear view of the towers and it was just a scene out of some movie with hundreds of people just staring at the towers in horror. I was looking around the clear skies wondering where our fighter cover was. I’m thinking F16s from Virginia could have been here by now. What about all the national guard bases around? Anyway, shortly thereafter there was the sound of a low flying jet and people started to run for cover thinking it another attack until people starting shouting it was one of ours and then a big cheer went up as the cavalry had finally arrived. The strangest thing was probably walking through mid town later that afternoon in broad daylight and walking block after block seeing no people, cars or life of any kind. By that time everyone had left or were gathered around the train, PATH and ferry terminals trying to get out. It was like something out of the Andromeda Strain. I finally got home around six having had to walk the last 5 miles. My wife was sick in bed and had no idea what had happened as the phone service was still out. “Gee, honey, you look like you had a hard day.”

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Sorry to say that there was a little cheering at the school I attended in rural Alabama.

    Keith: We came back from lunch and our home room teacher had the radio on. Everybody just sat in stunned silence listening.

  18. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny September 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    The Magic M: Paul Pieniezny: On September 9th, I was at my school […] A plane had flown into a skycraper in New York, and it did not look like an accident.

    If truthers are like birthers, they will now say “government supporters claim two different dates for WTC attacks!”. *sigh*

    Be quite sure that that too was just a typo of mine, of course. For my defense I can only allude to the European way of putting up dates. 9/11 still sounds a bit awkward for me. Well, if even He, Lucas Smith, gets it wrong sometimes… How long before West European kids, who only hear “9/11” when that day is referred to, will start thinking it happened on the 9th of November?

    Oh, and today I saw the guy who announced it to us on that day. I should have told him I had been thinking of it yesterday, and wondering whether he made that phrase up “it does not look like an accident.”

    Because at least one important person (was it Giuliani?) also seems to have thought it was an accident until the second plane struck.

  19. avatar
    Keith September 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: How long before West European kids, who only hear “9/11‘ when that day is referred to, will start thinking it happened on the 9th of November?

    How long before it enters folklore that the American Emergency Phone number ( Nine One One of course) is derived from and in honor of September 11?

    Paul Pieniezny: Because at least one important person (was it Giuliani?) also seems to have thought it was an accident until the second plane struck.

    Shirley everybody thought that. I know I did. (and please don’t call me Surely).

  20. avatar
    misha September 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    It was bound to happen:

    GORDON DUFF: SABROSKY INTERVIEW TIES ISRAEL TO 9/11

    Sabrosky makes a case, not just for a coverup of 9/11 but goes much further. He points out as do so many that the physics of the attack are unworkable. He, however, is one of the few to point to a conclusion many find obvious but few have the nerve to admit, that it would have been impossible to stage 9/11 without the full resources of both the CIA and Mossad and that 9/11 served the interests of both agencies quite well.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/03/19/22329/

  21. avatar
    Northland10 September 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Keith: Shirley everybody thought that. I know I did. (and please don’t call me Surely).

    Were you in amity with the king and came into England?

  22. avatar
    G September 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Disgusting!

    Dr. Conspiracy: Sorry to say that there was a little cheering at the school I attended in rural Alabama.

  23. avatar
    Judge Mental September 13, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    On 9/11/2001 I was at work in Abu Dhabi in The Middle East and at work. After getting a phone call from a friend who was watching CNN I got back to my house sharpish to follow develoments on tv.

    I’m happy to say that on 9/11 and on not a single day in the 10 years which followed have I ever encountered a muslim in UAE, Bahrain or Oman say or display any support for the actions of the perpetrators. I am certain that anyone who had displayed any evidence of support for the atrocity would have been immediately arrested.

    Too many muslims than I could ever remember (of assorted nationalties) have repeatedly and unreservedly expressed to me their disgust at the attack. On the other hand some muslims (in particular encountered during visits to Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt), have indicated to me that they are distrustful of the asessment of who perpetrated the attack. Those individuals struck me as being people as easily swayed by conspiracy theories as some of our birthers.

    I have encountered some fractured muslim support of the actual 9/11 attack during time spent in Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Some of the televised film of arab muslims celebrating after the planes hit was no doubt genuine but some of it was proven at the time to be old footage of other unconnected celebrations, probably caused more out of tv directors imprudent determination not to lose out to competitors who had genuine footage as opposed to any malicious desire to fabricate muslim sentiments.

    The overwhelming majority of arab muslims that I’ve encountered in half a lifetime in The Middle East would not under any circumstances support such an attack and would entertain absolutely no way to validly justify it via the teachings of their religion.

  24. avatar
    G September 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing that experience and POV.

    Judge Mental: On 9/11/2001 I was at work in Abu Dhabi in The Middle East and at work. After getting a phone call from a friend who was watching CNN I got back to my house sharpish to follow develoments on tv.I’m happy to say that on 9/11 and on not a single day in the 10 years which followed have I ever encountered a muslim in UAE, Bahrain or Oman say or display any support for the actions of the perpetrators. I am certain that anyone who had displayed any evidence of support for the atrocity would have been immediately arrested. Too many muslims than I could ever remember (of assorted nationalties) have repeatedly and unreservedly expressed to me their disgust at the attack. On the other hand some muslims (in particular encountered during visits to Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt), have indicated to me that they are distrustful of the asessment of who perpetrated the attack. Those individuals struck me as being people as easily swayed by conspiracy theories as some of our birthers.I have encountered some fractured muslim support of the actual 9/11 attack during time spent in Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Some of the televised film of arab muslims celebrating after the planes hit was no doubt genuine but some of it was proven at the time to be old footage of other unconnected celebrations, probably caused more out of tv directors imprudent determination not to lose out to competitors who had genuine footage as opposed to any malicious desire to fabricate muslim sentiments. The overwhelming majority of arab muslims that I’ve encountered in half a lifetime in The Middle East would not under any circumstances support such an attack and would entertain absolutely no way to validly justify it via the teachings of their religion.