On that bright Tuesday morning, I was out of the office at a small 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 local radio station 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 over the air 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. I've heard it credited to Ian Fleming as his character Auric Goldfinger, but the saying goes, "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action". And so it appeared that day.In all, I'm a mix of responses. The first group of feelz is "remember the fallen", "remember the first responders who ran into the buildings", "remember the dead and wounded servicemen, the ones who came back with missing limbs, or injuries that can't be seen" and "remember their families". The second group of feelz is along the lines expressed best by Aesop at Raconteur Report in his excellent post: "Every Day is 9/11. That's Exactly the Problem".
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 at Boeing, 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.
Despite successes on various battlefields, and serious reductions in the capability of the other side, the fact remains that this is not a fight that's over. It doesn't even appear to be a fight with a prospect of going away, at least as it's being conducted. Perhaps the right response should have been MIRVs taking out Mecca, Medina and more - turning much of the muslim world to radioactive glass. As others have said, the other side in this war is determined to play the long game and to destroy Western Civilization. Proof? Look at pretty much all of western Europe, with the one or two exceptions that aren't allowing "refugees". The west, mostly led by the postmodernists determined to destroy western civilization themselves, don't seem particularly interested in trying to stop the muslims. Proof? Look at pretty much all of the west.
Much like the joke about lawyers, the bad Muslims give the other 1% a bad name.
But we know where talking about carrying out a genocide leads; we have the history of the times it has been tried. Heck, there are calls now for killing all the whites, and I'm sure if you listened more than I care to you you'd find calls for the genocide of all sorts of folks. Without an effort to drastically curtail their efforts to destroy western civilization, this low level crap will go on for the next 1400 years as it has for the last 1400 - or until they win. The only times it has slowed in the last 1400 years was when someone ("Charles Martel, Ferdinand of Spain, Vlad The Hero, and the entire interred Knights of Malta" as Aesop put it) responded brutally to brutal attacks.
Imagine you were in those buildings. It's a normal workday, maybe you had the usual morning rush, getting your kids off to school. All normal. You get to work, get settled into your place, start digging into whatever sort of problems your job has you solving. Just like every other day. Suddenly, because of a 7th century mandate, as interpreted by a nutjob in a cave half a world away, your building shakes. Pretty soon it's on fire. You try for the stairs but can't get there, the stairwell is choked with flames and smoke. You're trapped. The fire is getting worse. There's nobody coming to help you that can give a tiny bit of hope. The only way out is death. But staying where you are is being burned to death. Which way do you take? Do you burn to death, slowly, agonizingly, or jump and get it over with in one moment, after a long fall to think about it?