Monday, September 11

9/11

Five years ago, as tens of thousands of Americans watched on television with a sense of surreal horror, the two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed into flaming steel, rubble, and dust, and vanished from the skyline of lower Manhattan. Just hours earlier, the most brazen and horrific terrorist attack in human history was carried out when extreme Muslim partisans crashed commercial airliners into both of the towers as well as the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth hijacked plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when the passengers realized what was transpiring and overwhelmed the terrorists. The death toll rose to nearly three thousand--including scores of police, fire, and rescue workers who ran into the buildings to save those trapped in the infernos that ensued. And thus the nation was suddenly transformed--and unified--by adversity in a way that prosperity never could. That unity did not long endure of course, but it was palpable while it lasted.

5 comments:

Rob Scott said...

I'll bet we all remember where we were that day and how numb we felt. I was at work, and stayed at work, though I got little done.

What really bothers me, though, is how we have completely fumbled our response as a nation. Physical safety has suddenly become paramount, even though more people die in car accidents every month than did on 9/11. Worse, we are willing to trade hard-won freedom for the illusion of safety.

I believe Benjamin Franklin had something to say about that: "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

sfoodman said...

I was on a plane that was grounded on the infamous 9/11. I have flown on three 9/11 flights since including today. While I don't deliberately try to fly on that date, I do not arrange my schedule to avoid it either. At this point, I try not to let terrorists determine how I live my life.

Rob Scott said...

George: I understand completely. I have a friend who is rather unsure of herself; a few years ago a group of us were going through the security checkpoint and she was randomly selected for a full body search. I do not exaggerate when I say she was terrified. We have become our own terrorists.

George said...

Steve: I agree that the terrorists should never dictate how we live. Which is why I don't relish flying these days. Most of the time, I am able to live rather normally. When I fly, I am harried, prodded, poked, hassled, hurried into unending lines, and then jammed onto terribly crowded and uncomfortable planes. So, I just try my best not to subject myself to that any more. It is not that I am afraid of flying--I know that I will die on time. It is just that I now have a hard time tolerating it. Thankfully, I don't have to travel to make a living. I know that you do. That is why I pray for you--unceasingly!

sfoodman said...

I,too, am tired of the hassle. My comment was more of a statement of my resolve in response to this memorial rather than a response to your comment. I remember quite well your phone call that day checking on my whereabouts. Thanks, brother!