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9/11  [message #78130] Sun, 12 September 2021 01:25 Go to next message
Norway is currently offline  Norway

Getting started
Location: Minnesota, USA
Registered: August 2021
Messages: 1

My Remembrance of September 11th.
                Do you remember what happened on this day, September 11, 20 years ago?  Do you remember where you were when you heard the terrible news?  I do.  I remember it clearly, and then I remember the shame that I felt as the day wore on.
                I had just started college at a local school in Southern California where I grew up.  One class that I will always remember, not by what was talked about in the textbook, but in how the professor taught the class and what he wanted all students to realize about the world around them, to be aware of what was happening.  It was a class in psychology, 101 to be exact.  I was just getting up from my night's sleep and dreary eyed walked to the kitchen to see what my mom had prepared me for breakfast.  There was no breakfast!  Mom was in the living room watching television.  It seemed like she didn't care about me that morning, so I walked into the living room to see what had her attention so enwrapped.
                There were vivid colors on the TV screen showing an airplane crashing into a tall skyscraper.  What the hell, I said to myself.  But then I realized that this was something the Psych. Prof was wanting us to be aware of.  It was something that I could talk about in class, to show how much I was aware.
                I went to class that day in anticipation of being the only one in my class who had something to say, only to find out that the school had inexplicitly been closed for the day.  I was disappointed that I was not going to be able to get up in class and tell them what I had found out that morning.  I drove home in silence, being slightly upset.
                When I got home, mom was still watching the television, but she wasn't standing anymore; she had slipped onto the couch with her elbows on her knees crunched forward. I watched as the twin towers of the Trade Center came crashing down.  I saw the people running every which way in sheer panic.  I watched as the dust cloud enveloped the City of New York. I watched as people cried, openly.
                Then a TV announcer said how many people were possibly killed in what I was witnessing.  I couldn't get my mind around it; I couldn't fathom what I was hearing.  I backed up, slowly to begin with, until I hurried my pace until my back hit the wall behind me and slid down until my ass hit the floor.  It was then that I started to cry almost imperceptibly until it became outright sobbing.  My Mom ran over to me, took me  in here arms and hugged me.
                My mind flashed back to what I had been thinking of how elated I was that I had some news to tell the whole class.  The shame that I felt over my insensitivity hit me.  How could I have ever thought about myself so shamefully.
                As the days passed, I heard that I wasn't alone in my shame.  Many people had a difficult time trying to rationalize in their minds what a horrific thing had happened.  I guess not being alone in my grief was somewhat reassuring to me.  I'm still not over it though, and I hope to God I never will be.
                My word to anyone reading this, for that matter anyone in this country, is "remember, never forget."
Richard Norway

[Updated on: Sun, 12 September 2021 01:41] by Moderator

Re: 9/11  [message #78131 is a reply to message #78130] Sun, 12 September 2021 01:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Location: USA
Registered: July 2019
Messages: 372

My memories were painfully personal before they were overwhelmed by the size of the tragedy. I worked for a large corporation based on the east coast and I got a call while driving to work informing me of what was happening. When I got into the office I learned we had employees in the air when the Twin Towers were struck - one one a flight out of Boston. It was late in the day before we confirmed she wasn't on one of the flights that hit the WTC. Other employees were suddenly stranded all over the country as their flights were called down by the FAA.

Then the towers came down and the magnitude of the horror was suddenly overwhelming.

I grew up overseas in the era of "the ugly American." What happened on 9/11 was inhuman, horrible and appalling, and we should remember and never forget the innocent victims who did absolutely nothing to deserve their fate. We should also never forget that American wasn't innocent and didn't suffer an unprovoked attack.

Terrorism should be extinguished everywhere it rears its ugly head... and we responded in a way that gave the terrorists their just desserts. But hopefully something else we will remember and never forget is that our response didn't stop with dealing with the terrorists. Rather, it morphed into something far different from what was initially intended... and which only just recently was finally ended.

Re: 9/11  [message #78132 is a reply to message #78130] Sun, 12 September 2021 02:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

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Registered: February 2016
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I remember where I was on that Tuesday morning. In my office in town, here in upstate New York, just starting my business day. My office manager came in just before nine AM and told me a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We turned on a TV in the office, and saw what we thought was a terrible accident in progress. We were still watching when the second plane hit the other tower shortly thereafter. At that point we understood this was no accident. 

The rest of that day is fragmented in my memory. The people I talked to on the phone, who usually called about business, all were aghast at the attack. Very little got done the rest of that day as more news came in, about the Pentagon, and the plane crashing in a field in Pennsylvania. The extent of the plot against this country became clear. Everyone I spoke to that day was horrified, and frightened - and angry. Very, very angry. And as the numbers of the dead became fully understood, that anger only increased. 

Up until about five years before, I had lived in an apartment six blocks away from the World Trade Center, and commuted everyday by subway past it on my way to my office down the street from the Empire State Building. I could see the twin towers from the rooftop lookout of our apartment building. They were part of the skyline, part of the city. Tall. Strong. Permanent. Part of life.

And then they were gone.

With their passing went something else. The feeling that this country was somehow immune to this sort of terror. That it couldn't happen here. That we were somehow special.

We weren't. And we're not now. It can happen here. It did. And it could happen again. 

I have been a New Yorker for most of my life, living in the state, if not the city. I felt what had happened keenly. Someone had attacked my city, my state, and my country. Even twenty years later, knowing in some ways more, in some ways less, about what actually happened, I have never forgotten that moment. I never will.

It is not the sort of memory that fades. It's not the sort of memory we can afford to lose.

[Updated on: Sun, 12 September 2021 02:16]

Re: 9/11  [message #78133 is a reply to message #78130] Sun, 12 September 2021 07:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13759

I was at work in England. We heard the news. I thought it was much like the air accident many years before, I think with the Empire State Building. Then I discovered that it was not an accident.

From England I have a different perspective from that of the USA. We have been under attack many times, by sea, by land, by air and by terrorist, most notably the bombings of the IRA. I worked  in the centre of London during the height of the bombings, and in government buildings, likely political targets. Being appalled and upset was a certain reaction, and I could and can understand the US citizen's reaction of being aghast and being vengeful. Yet my own reaction is that being aghast and vengeful simply made certain that the terrorists had achieved their objective. Terror ruled, rules, because of that reaction.

I remember feeling more appalled by the TV coverage, the almost pornographic repeated shots of the aftermath, the horrible shot of one falling body who doubtless jumped to avoid incineration. My reaction, born of the stoicism that allowed Engand to survive the Blitz and led us to despise the IRA rather than fear it, was one of wishing the obvious incipient memorialsiation would cease, and that the USA would lick its horrible wounds and despise the terrorists. Instead the memorialsation has glorified them. Life changed that day, in part because of the act itself, and in greater part because of the extreme precautions the world took after it, as we trudge through airport security lines, shoes and belt in one hand and the waist of our trousers in the other lest a major terrorist act twenty years ago makes us display our underwear.

Then the act became glorified by our being told how difficult it was to achieve. And it was not at all hard. Hijacking an airliner was then woefully, childishly simple. Killing the crew is not hard. Aiming at a damned great tower is nor hard once you work out how to disengage autopilot. Landing a plane is hard, but they were never going to do that. Crashing it is easy. And if they  missed the tower and crashed elsewhere in crowded New York, they had still succeded.

That day made sure that terrorist acts started to be remembered, given anniversaries, treated with some sort of reverential awe. We had a bus bombing here not that long later. It became memorialised. The IRA never achieved that, or not to that degree. They 'just' killed people.

I am not unaffected by the events, am not callous, I understand the horror this large incident has caused, have huge respect for those who risked their lives to seek to rescue the innocent victims, for those who died trying to save them, and sorrow for those who died and those who loved them. And I despise those who caused the incident.

[Updated on: Sun, 12 September 2021 14:20]

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: 9/11  [message #78134 is a reply to message #78133] Sun, 12 September 2021 22:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 484

I realize that I'm likely in the minority of Americans who feel about it much the way Timmy does. Yes, I was appalled, and yes, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing.

Even more appalling to me was our reaction to it, going into an occupation of Afghanistan when many nations as far back as Alexander the Great or more recently the British Empire had tried and failed as miserably as I knew we would, Going into Iraq on false pretenses, upsetting the equilibrium of that part of the world, and leaving the place a disaster after our actions precipitate the deaths of countless innocent Iraqi citizens in one way or another. The whole thing was stupid and illadvised and only served to make certain American politicians and military industrialists filthy rich beyond their wildest imaginations at the expense of the American taxpayer an countless lives of many countries. 

I also realize my views won't be popular among many in my country, and I'm okay with that. Have at me if you must but it will be a one-sided battle 😂

“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: 9/11  [message #78135 is a reply to message #78134] Mon, 13 September 2021 04:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

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Registered: February 2016
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I have to agree that the incessant coverage of the attack by the media was appalling. So was the military response. It was all too quickly initiated, too intense. No one seemed to be thinking about what we were doing. Twenty years later, we were still losing Americans to 9/11. 

I do agree that such an event needed to be addressed. We had to do something. We had to strike back. But the way it was done...no.

I do not like seeing such events being used as propaganda by anyone. I do think we should remember what happened. The lives lost. But not compound that loss by making it shallow. It needs to count. More than it has. 

[Updated on: Tue, 14 September 2021 04:04]

Re: 9/11  [message #78136 is a reply to message #78130] Mon, 13 September 2021 08:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Toe is in the water

Registered: March 2014
Messages: 93

We were on holiday in the Netherlands at the time and had arranged to visit a somewhat stand-offish friend.
As we were taking our coats off and talking to his (ex)boyfriend, who arrived at the same time as us, we were annoyed that our host was being even ruder than usual in continuing to watch a disaster movie instead of greeting his guests. Until he told us it was the real thing. Given the time of day it must have been one of the first reports on Dutch tv. 

Of course we were appalled by the attacks and the scale of the destruction. But Timmy's mention of the IRA bombings reminds me that amongst the reactions of horror there was a little cynical element of schadenfreude given the extensive support in guns and money for the IRA that (was widely believed) had come from the USA.

As Geron has said a reaction was required. But, as so often happens, especially when driven by political pressure, it was without adequate defining of objectives and sufficient planning for the aftermath. Effectively a lashing out that turned into a long brawl, instead of a surgery in the cold light of day with appropriate aftercare. There is good reason for the expression 'revenge is a dish best served cold.' Now, having failed in it's own response, I fear the West can expect plenty of cold cuts in the future. 

Re: 9/11  [message #78137 is a reply to message #78136] Mon, 13 September 2021 18:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bisexual_Guy is currently offline  Bisexual_Guy

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Registered: September 2015
Messages: 155

I remember when the US declared war on Iraq, and dragged various allies in with them.  

I was not popular with some of my friends when I said that invading Iraq was a long term mistake, because the politicians and military in the US could not understand the religious fanaticism in much of the Middle East, and would result in many future problems.  Unfortunately, I was proven correct by the long term consequences, especially in Afghanistan.  Geroge W. Bush was at least wise enough to turn most control of Iraq over to a new Iraqi government relatively quickly, compared to the long term idiocy of the Afghan mess.  But the results of over-confidence, blustering, and just plain blundering have created long-term consequences that remain.

While I wish these things were not true, thay are.  We must live with it as best we can.  Hopefully, people will change enough that someday people will consider consequences in more detail.  (Yeah, right -- the double positive which means a negative.)  I am not holding my breath on that one.

Re: 9/11  [message #78138 is a reply to message #78130] Mon, 13 September 2021 19:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Registered: July 2019
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Everything said so far is true...sadly! On top of the failed imperialism we also are very poor at learning from our mistakes, and have allowed certain political philosophies and the military/industrial complex to gain far too much power.


Re: 9/11  [message #78139 is a reply to message #78138] Tue, 14 September 2021 04:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

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Registered: February 2016
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The US seems NEVER to learn from its mistakes. Part of the problem of being the toughest guy on the block is that you have a tendency to always think you're right. Or, not to care too much if you're not. 

Knee-jerk reactions have become the way we react to almost everything here. Time was, we had a strategy, and we thought about what our actions might mean down the road. And to our friends, as well as our foes. Now, all that seems to matter is that the road belongs to us, so that we can drive it any damn way we please.

I hate to say it, but it sure looks like we're heading for a pile-up of some sort at the next crossroads. And I think the onlookers are not going to be all that sympathetic.

Re: 9/11  [message #78140 is a reply to message #78139] Tue, 14 September 2021 19:27 Go to previous message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Messages: 372

Here's an unknown 9/11 hero to remember! I for one, did not know!


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