Friday, September 11, 2015

Never Forget

While sipping my coffee this morning, I was watching the annual ceremony of the reading of the names of the 9/11 victims in the WTC.  I don't know why it surprised me to see as much crying as I saw, but I was struck by how raw the wounds from that day still are.  From the way most mass media talks about it, it's like dim distant past, something the country is completely over.  Easy to say if it's not your loved one, coworker, or other friend that died that day. 

In going over my years on this blog, I find I've written only a few posts on 9/11.  I suppose I try to contribute something that other people don't and with the superb writers floating in the blogosphere, I'm not sure I have much to say that's worthwhile.  I find it's one of those few days in my life where I instantly can vividly recall where I was, what I was doing, and all of the things we saw and heard.  

On that bright Tuesday morning, I was out of the office at a company that we contracted to do some testing on our radios.  As the technician and I were setting up the test, the company's secretary/receptionist came in and said the radio had a bulletin that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.  My first reaction, perhaps strangely, was that radio navigation systems can't be that wrong, it must have been a terrible accident.  Act of war did not enter my mind.  As the morning went on, a TV set was put in place and large antenna hooked up outside (there are no local TV channels).  We watched the second plane hit and quickly realized this was no accident.  That's when the thoughts of Pearl Harbor and other acts of war started.

In the days that followed, I learned that friends were affected by the events of 9-11, but weren't involved.  A co-worker was on business near Seattle, and had to rent a car to drive home.  A very close friend was waiting at JFK airport to fly home, and saw the attacks in real time.  He also had to rent a car and drive home.  A cousin lives within viewing distance and watched it. And now I have friends who have sons in the armed forces in Afghanistan, and others who have been in Iraq.  We need to remember we are at war, even if our enemy isn't a convenient nation-state.  You can pretend we're not at war if you'd like, but if someone swears to destroy you, it's prudent to believe them. 


  1. I was at work, in a lab with systems that could be "re-purposed" to watch TV. We missed it when the first plane hit, but watched the second one as it happened. My colleague turned to me and said, "We're at war, buddy." I'll never forget that moment.

  2. In the meantime we can have a " deal" with Iran and inport thousands of Muslim "refugees". What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Yep, I was sitting in a plane waiting to leave NYC when the first plane hit. Spent the night on Long Island waiting for bridges to re- open. Saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon when crossing the Potomac, then hit the tropical storm in JAX while driving 26 hours straight. It was the East Coast Disaster Tour. Saw a flatbed truck heading North up I-95 with a vehicle belonging to one of the hijackers around Daytona Beach, with what must have been 2 or 3 dozen black Surburbans in escort and a dozen state troopers, all with lights flashing. Could not retrieve my pickup in the airport long term parking 'til later in the week. The authorities were running the tags of all the vehicles and towing some vehicles farther from the terminal. My pickup was left untouched. Was laid off a few weeks later, as airline travel ceased, and Research product development ceased. Was unemployed for 5 months before finding another job. Needless to say, life changed. The worst part was seeing hundreds of small black objects flying out of the towers, and later seeing videos that clarified what I had seen were humans choosing not to be incinerated. Evil knows no bounds.

  4. I was working at DirecTV at the time, and we had access to the network feeds live from the scene.

    We saw a lot of things that never made it on air......

  5. I had no time for sadness. Pure, unadulterated rage was my emotion. It made me sick to see all the whimpering and whining by the talking heads, puking empathy and weakness. Time for mourning after we avenge our dead.

  6. War with who? Their passports were Saudi. Was the counterattack against the Saudis?

    How did these nutcase hijackers get through the greatest mostest bestest air superiority jet fighterist on its home turf world's greatest military machine etc. etc? It was Pearl harbor 2, they were let through because that would produce domestic results useful to those letting them through.

  7. I do the same thing, fool my dog by pretending to throw the tennis ball. But after a few repeats, my dog figures it out.

    Remember the Maine!