9-11 Remembered

September 11, 2008 at 11:12 pm (Introspective) (, , )

I’ve not forgotten.  September 11, 2001 changed our country.  I remember taking history in Junior High and High School, asking my parent about some of the events that has shaped our nations history.  The moon walk.  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”  These and others were huge and shaped generations to come.  What would be written in history books of the future that I had lived through?  9-11 changed that and more.

My Own Experience During 9-11-2001

I was a bit of a news junkie back then.  I would wake up and listen to the news every morning.  I woke up that morning and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  An airplane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings.  I ran downstairs and my Dad had the tv on.  The TV rendering of events was even more inexplicable.  What is happening?  Didn’t people know they shouldn’t run into buildings?  And then the second plan hit.  I was glued to the TV.  I got ready for school as fast as I could.  When I got to school, we just all sat their watching the TV.  At that point, there was little doubt that it wasn’t and accident and was indeed an attack.  One of the teachers got on the loudspeaker and said, “You are welcome to join me if you want but I’m going to pray.”  We all prayed.  We were on the opposite side of the country but we just prayed for all of our distant cousins going through chaos.  Very few of my classmates knew anyone in New York but plenty of us had family in the military and knew their orders were about to change.  My school had a sister school in Canada and the school sent us a sympathy card.  It was unreal.  I remember the speech President Bush gave from Ground Zero.  He reminded the nation that we as a country would go to war but on our own terms.  I remember that soon after that some of the JROTC kids in my high school carried around a coffee can raising money for video games to “Train to kill terrorists.”  I sometimes wonder if I would have been the same person without 9-11.  I can’t tell you.

9-11 and the Country

The attacks of 9-11 has changed our country.  I don’t just mean the long waits at airports.  We don’t live under the delusion that we are invulnerable to attacks.  Right after 9-11 there was a swell of patriotism that I had never seen before.  People identifying themselves as Americans.  As short-lived as it was, it was nice to know that it exists.  In our Post-9-11 world, some things have fundamentally changed.

Military service has been redefined for our generation.  I’m related to three people in the military and many more of my classmates in high school joined up right after graduation.  It is hard for me to imagine my friends who are my age have served in a war (arguably one of the most devastating of human relations) and here I am, living in relative comfort, miles away.  I prayed.  Every night I would pray for my family and friends who were serving.  I also made sure I thanked men and women in uniform who I saw.  The last one overseas is my State Farm Agent.  Please pray for him.

Knowledge of all things Middle Eastern has increased.  Before 9-11 there was the “Middle East Crisis,” where the area just didn’t seem to get along.  Now, it is our Crisis and no long confined to the Middle East.  I now know a bit of Arabic.  Everyone and their mother knows the pillars of Islam.  This isn’t a bad thing, and in fact I would say increase education is a good thing as it *hopefully* leads to understanding.  Doubt I would have these experiences if things had occurred differently.

Interrogation methodology and privacy have all been redefined in light of 9-11.  Where is the line?  If spying on 100 people without a warrant, is it worth it if 2 people get caught potentially saving 100/000s of lives?  What if 1 life is saved.  Is it worth it?  If during “enhanced interrogation” a plot is foiled saving lives?  What is the cost?  The cost is the values that this nation touts as being uniquely/original American.  How will our children judge us?  I hope everyone would agree that these changes are definitely wrong if they were to become permanent.

9-11 in Retrospect

Today is the 7th anniversary of the attacks.  Let us not forget them personally or their impact on our nation for good or for ill.

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