September, 2001

We’d only been in Florida for a few months, having moved down in June for Ted’s new job.  I didn’t yet have gainful employment, staying home with our young children instead.  I was finishing up some contract design work for my old company the morning of the 11th, when Ted called.  ”Turn on the television,” he said, “a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center.”  

You know that cold unreal feeling you get, the sense of blood slowing down in your veins, while invisible needles prickle your skin.  It HAD to be an accident, didn’t it?  But how does a highly trained airline pilot fail to miss an entire building, one of the tallest in the world?

And then it happened again.

I stayed on the phone that day, an appliance I generally despise, with Ted and with my mother, now 1000 miles away…on a day when you really need a hug from your mom.  We watched the coverage expand to include the Pentagon, and finally a field in Pennsylvania.  

To this day I cannot read or watch anything to do with that last flight.  The selflessness of the passengers, knowing they were never getting out of that situation alive.  I still cannot make myself go through that again, though I would someday like to visit that field.

I likewise cannot look at the images, the people choosing a falling death over a burning one, the cops, the firefighters, the regular everyday citizens who all stood up and did whatever needed doing for the living and the dead.  The pain is still there, like a poorly healed wound.  Pick at it and it begins to bleed again.

So, yeah, I’m still angry.  We were blooded, hard, and we blooded back.  Which is the only thing the people who did the blooding would understand.  They’re not interested in diplomacy, trade agreements, anything that would better the lives of their people…they just want more blood.  They still get it, in dribs and drabs, from our military on the ground in their countries, but they pay and pay hard for the privelege, and eventually, they will run out of coin.  

So, remember what they did, and remember the fallen.

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One Response to “September, 2001”

  1. Joshua Says:
    September 12th, 2008

    9/11 was a huge own-goal for Islamic supremacists. Not only did it bring down the wrath of the U.S. military upon their heads, but it also cast a harsh spotlight on their ideology itself, and on the kind of world they intend to bring about. Warnings about their growing influence in the West, particularly Europe, would be a whole lot easier to dismiss out of hand as so much right-wing paranoia if bin Laden and company hadn’t tipped their hand in such spectacular fashion on that day.

    Indeed, my theory is that this is the main reason why we haven’t seen anything resembling a sequel to that attack since then – not just because it’s become a lot harder to pull off, but because Islamic supremacists belatedly realized how counterproductive 9/11 itself turned out to be.

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