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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 REMEMBERED

After the first newsflash, there wasn’t much reality to that morning of 9/11.  Some were on their way to their first coffee break and others wrapped in their own arms and thoughts saying, “This can’t happen here.”  Some remembered that day in Dallas – “Big D” they call it as the D in Death.  When the first bulletin on 9/11 was heard, the announcer sounded stunned and confused.  His careful training in voice and diction went out the window. You snatched fleetingly at the hope that it was only an unconfirmed rumor as you surfed the networks.  A paralysis was setting in as millions of minds focused on the suicide attacks at targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. There was a steady flow of bulletins, the announcers sounding breathless as though they had been slugged in the stomach.  But all the while a lump was forming in your throat. Your thoughts ambled in a most confused way as the news tickers clattered in the background. Old timers remembered Arthur Godfrey sobbing on the air as he described FDR’s funeral and the peculiar, choked phrase, “”God bless his gaudy guts.”  Tears glistened on the stubbly cheeks of combat GIs.  There was Walter Cronkite clearing his throat and announcing, “John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is dead.”  Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination threw our nation into half-mast. The terrorists’ attacks threw our nation into unparalleled tragedy.  CNN and FOX proclaimed “America’s new war!”  We’ve entered a new age, brutally shaken, but more than ever aware of the dark forces around us and within ourselves that can still be controlled. If we’ve learned anything, we have learned that there is no such thing as security. When anarchy reigns – and anarchy begins when you stop caring for your fellow man – then not even the most valuable person in the land is safe.  All the guns in the Secret Service could not keep us safe, and all the weapons of mass destruction at our command will not keep us safe. The only shield is compassion and understanding, firm in the face of hate.

3 Responses to “SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 REMEMBERED”

  • John Rolwing says:

    Yes I remember it well…my Golf partner for the day just called my attention to a lone aircraft hitting the north tower…I was watching Fox News and heard Brit Hume as the 2nd plane hit exclaim “whoa, what is this?” …it was then I realized that this would not be another lazy day in northern Michigan. I am proud to exclaim “Never Forget”…and I am loathe to say “Never Forgive”…I leave it to posterity to decide.

  • jean valjean says:

    When I heard from J. C. Corcoran, watching a TV monitor while he hosted his radio show, that the World Trade Center was on fire…and that a plane had apparently hit it, I knew it was a major news story, but knew the Empire State Building had been hit by an American bomber in 1945. When I turned on the TV, that’s when the horror hit: The second hijacked jet had not yet hit the second tower, but I saw the clear blue sky, and realized that the 1945 incident occurred in heavy fog. Trying not to think of a war-like attack, I hoped it was suicidal or unconscious pilot responsible for the horror. THEN….the second plane hit, and I knew, that second, that this country would never be the same. When, an hour later, reports surfaced that the Pentagon had been hit, I wondered if the whole country was under attack. Then, the next day: Anthrax. Was our water supply poisoned? Was there poison gas in the air at public places? Were “dirty bombs” about to detonate at shopping malls and schools?

    To this day, every time I board a subway train, I wonder about how utterly easy it would be for someone to repeat the London subway bombing and disrupt a major city’s goings for months or years, terrifying hundreds of millions elsewhere that they may be next.

    Time Magazine caught a lot of heat for naming Osama bin Laden as its “Person of the Year” in 2001. Perhaps had the title been “Newsmaker of the Year” the outrage would have been muted, because it wasn’t an honor…just a recognition.

    And nobody has ever done more to change the world — for better or for worse — than the people behind the 9-11 attacks. As much as it feels like a punch to the gut, I have to admit it was, for all intents and purposes, the perfect crime.

    Even if we eventually heal…we’ll never be the way we were on September TENTH of that year.

  • Towncar07 says:

    Jean Valjean just earned his loaf of bread for his comment…Well said and well spoken, and sadly the truth still haunts to this day.

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