For me, 11 September, 2001 dawned just like any other
I got up, and started getting ready to go to math class.
I turned on the radio, and the announcer was saying that
a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World
I immediately assumed that the plane had been some prop
job, and that the pilot hadn’t been paying attention to
where he was going.
I remember asking myself how someone could miss a
building that big.
I never once considered it could be a terrorist attack.
It wasn’t that I thought America could never be
attacked, it was just that no one, especially me, had
ever heard of planes being flown into buildings being
used as a method of terrorism.
Then the announcer said a second plane had hit the other
tower, and I knew at that point we had been attacked.
They played music for a while, and it seemed so out of
Then, a little before 10 in the morning, the announcer
came back on and said that the Pentagon had been hit as
I remember thinking to myself, “What are we going to do
Who the hell would do something like this?
And I still had to go to class.
Luckily our professor, (a graduate student named Robert
Lee), made a short announcement about our upcoming test,
told us both towers had collapsed, and told us that we
could leave if we wanted to.
I don’t think anyone stayed.
I remember walking back to my apartment, and noticing
that no one was laughing, or joking, and that Everyone
was talking in hushed tones.
When I got back home, I found my friend Daniel and my
roommate Joseph sitting in front of the TV watching the
People from every nation were sending their condolences,
and then that message came in from the Taliban at around
13:00, saying that they weren’t responsible.
No condolences, just “We didn’t have anything to do with
it, and we don’t know where Osama is.”
Later on, we all saw the video of the Palestinians
dancing in the streets of Gaza, handing out candy, and
it mane everybody very angry.
For the rest of that day and for some weeks after that,
our nation seemed so much smaller than usual.
Everyone wanted to help, and everyone was kind and
polite to each other.
Anybody who displayed extremist partisan tendencies was
very swiftly put in their place, especially the people
who tried to say it was America’s fault, or who tried to
give the dancing Palestinians an excuse.
For a while it seemed like we had the answer, and we
knew what we had to do, and we didn’t care how long it
took, or what the cost would be.
It was America’s “Never Again.”
Unfortunately, we seem to have lost our resolve.
We’re just as partisan as ever now, if not more so.
People seem to have forgotten that the people who did
this haven’t gone away, and no amount of trying to
appease them is going to make them do so.
People keep moaning about the rights of those imprisoned
being violated, or the methods being used by the
security services in order to try to combat what can
effectively be called wild card warfare, without
providing any alternative, practical solutions.
Healthy debate is always a very good thing, but this
discussion has degenerated into a free-for-all on both
We need to stop all this bickering and one-upmanship
amongst ourselves, bite the bullet, and do what needs to
be done: Go after anyone who either commits terrorist
acts, or supports terrorism, international law be
Anyone who thinks taking the moral highroad by applying
the Geneva Convention to those not signatory to it, even
going so far as to extend its parameters beyond what
would be required if we were engaged in traditional
combat, is the right thing to do is hopelessly naive.
We don’t have time to sit here and engage in serious
navel-gazing, especially when it comes to an enemy who
isn’t really interested in whether or not we repent of
the sins they accuse us of.
And let’s be real clear about who that enemy is, because
it’s a very real one.
That enemy is anyone who either commits terrorist acts,
gives money to terrorists, sympathizes with them, or
gives them shelter.
It doesn’t matter whether the terrorism is committed
against America, or against its allies.
It’s not a very pretty view from where we sit right now,
but unless we keep these things in mind, and really
start acting accordingly it’s going to get a lot worse.
I, for one, am not interested in waking up one day to
find a bigger blood bath has been perpetrated on our
shores, nor am I interested to find out we’ve become the
latest addition to the one world government known as the
I think we know which path to take, even if we all agree
it won’t be easy.
Here’s hoping and praying for a better, more peaceful
future, for everyone who wants such things.
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