Tag Archives: 9/11

September 11, 2001 and Today

A solemn day, today, given the 9/11 anniversary.

I vividly recall being at home that morning, turning on the TV, and seeing the flaming tower, singular. I witnessed live the second plane hit, then watched in horror as the first building fell, then the second.

Horrible, horrible stuff, and sadly what followed wasn’t all that much better. We invaded Afghanistan, which made sense as Osama Bin Ladin was, the intelligence said, there. But it was also used, sadly, as an excuse to stage the Iraq invasion. Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s leader, had nothing to do with 9/11 but President George W. Bush and, I suspect especially, Vice President Cheney were eager to go after him. Hussein had, after all, tried to assassinate his father.

The world we live in today, sadly, still carries echoes of 9/11. We still have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq -and much of the Middle East- remains a mess. The current President doesn’t inspire much hope for any sort of resolution.

Incredibly, 19 years have passed since that attack.

One hopes we’re in a far better place 19 years from now.

17 years gone by…

It’s incredible to think its been that long.

September 11, 2001.  Or, as it’s better known today, “9/11”.  The day four commercial jet airlines were commandeered by several people loyal to Al Queda, and its leader Osama Bin Laden, and were used as weapons against the two World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.  The fourth plane wound up crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  The people on that final flight were aware of the hijacking and fought back but ultimately lost their lives in the crash.

I watched the event as it unfolded way back when and, frankly, the whole thing was beyond surreal.  If my memory serves, I started watching the coverage only moments before the second airliner hit the World Trade Center.

Yeah, I watched in horror as it hit the building.

I watched on, in growing horror, as the two buildings’ top floors were engulfed in fire.

I watched in horror as the announcer -I believe it was the late Peter Jennings- was talking about the situation and was unaware as the first building fell.

It was hard not to throw up.

Grim and horrible as those events were, the time immediately after 9/11 had the country, and the world, coming together in a way we hadn’t seen in a very long time.  Despite the deaths, despite the destruction, despite the madness and fear, there was a feeling we could do well and come out of this -as a nation and a world- better and stronger.

It was not to be.

Sadly, George Bush, perhaps egged on by VP Dick Cheney, used the tragedy to demand an invasion of Iraq, a nation which had nothing at all to do with Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda, who were stationed in Afghanistan.

Even more sadly, too many on both sides of the aisle felt invading Iraq and ridding it of Saddam Hussein was a worthwhile goal despite the questionable intelligence presented to justify it.  George W. Bush, whose father was involved in the first invasion of Iraq and who was targeted subsequently by Hussein for assassination, was even quoted at one point stating he wanted to do this because of what Hussein tried to do against his father.  One couldn’t help but wonder how much of that war was a result of a personal vendetta.

The Bush administration, riding high on the polls, got their war but the public would soon enough turn against it.  George W. Bush lost faith in Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  When Bush left office, his approval ratings, sky high immediately after 9/11, were in the toilet and even the Republicans didn’t mention his name much in the subsequent Presidential election.

And today, we’re still dealing with the repercussions of 9/11.

The loss of life and horror of 9/11 should never be forgotten.

The heroism of those who lost their lives, including the fire fighters who climbed the stairs of the World Trade Center and lost their lives in its collapse, must never be forgotten.

The evil perpetuated by people like Osama Bin Laden must be fought and eradicated.

It goes without saying.

Now that’s interesting…

Amanda Hess for Salon.com offers the following article which presents some interesting food for thought:

Why Teenagers Love Making Jokes About 9/11

It’s hard to believe but its been a whooping 14 years since the 9/11 attacks and, therefore, there are many, many youths out there who have absolutely no memory at all of the horrific events of that day in 2001.

What is interesting, and presented in this article, is the gallows humor some teens are engaged in regarding the conspiracy theories.  Ms. Hess analyses and tries to come up with the reason why we engage in such morbid humor (it isn’t the first time) and what it may mean.

I think her conclusions are fascinating even as the subject matter remains a truly disturbing one.