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September 11th . . . What Was Before We Know No More

Sep 09

filed under: Yada Yada

As I write this post we are two days away from the 10th anniversary of the horrible events that took place on September 11, 2001 in New York city. The upcoming anniversary is all over the news as it should be to remind us that my country, your country, the United States of America was viciously attacked by terrorists of the worst kind. No we will never, nor should we ever forget that fateful day when 2,995 souls were lost in the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in an open field in Pennsylvania.

I think its hard for any one to disagree that America as we knew it changed forever on that day. We lost something didn’t we. Shall we call it our innocence since we felt so violated. Yes I think innocence is part of what we lost. How dare those terrorists come across our borders and kill so many innocent people in the manner in which they did. This could take place in another part of the world, not in my country, not in your country, not in the United States of America.

Call me naive but when those commercial planes took down the Twin Towers, I had a hard time fathoming that this could happen in the United States of America. Surely my government, our military, would be there to protect us from such events ever taking place. I am no longer naive, I have lost my innocence.

Two words have now become part of our every day lives, do you recognize them “Breaking News”. For a very long time after President Kennedy was shot, whenever I saw those two words come across the television, my first thought would be the current president in office has been shot. That would have been a horrible thing, but it would not have affected my safety. Now when I see “Breaking News” in the bright red and yellow letters, I immediately think there has possibly been another horrible terrorist attack somewhere in the country.  I have lost my sense of feeling safe because if September 11th could happen once, something like it or something even worse could happen again.

The word terrorist and vigilant.. Yes, terrorists had done some awful things before 9/11, but they carried out their horrible deeds somewhere else, never in my country, your country, the United State of America. But I know different now, terrorists can live here, just as some of the 19 terrorists lived here and  flew those planes on 9/11. Perhaps they are a neighbor, or someone on the plane sitting next to me, or walking around in Times Square having just abandoned a car with a bomb in the trunk. I must now be vigilant, I really never had to be vigilant before 9/11

Homeland security and the TSA. I heard the other day that its possible we may be able to leave our shoes and belts on when we go through airport security in a few months. Is it possible that this is something I actually look forward to, when prior to 9/11 we never had to take off our shoes, or worry about the creams or liquids we had packed in our bags. Will the invasive pat downs of 90 year old women in diapers ever go away. I don’t think so.

Then there’s all the special events, the Super Bowl, New Years Eve in Time’s Square, the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, events where there are thousands of people all in one place, just like the Twin Towers. I always think about the possibility of another terrorist attack. I don’t want to, its almost become second nature to think that way now. You pray it will never happen, but you now know in my country, in your country, in the United States of America, that the possibility is very real.

Last, I think about the world that my grandchildren now live in. For my grandchildren the words “terrorism” and “terrorists” are very common. They are now being taught about the events of September 11th in their schools. Hard to believe its now history when it still seems like yesterday. Its sad that the world we now live in with terrorism and terrorists is now normal for them. I wish they knew the America that I grew up in with words like safe, secure, and yes lets not forget  peace and love. These were words we could count on in my country, in your country, in the United State of America.


Written by Howard Harris