9-12: The Day The Hope Began To Fade

I purposely didn’t post a 9-11 tribute yesterday. Instead, I waited until today, because the “day after” was a time when many people first began to grieve. You see, 9-12 was the day when families realized that their wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, and friends would never return to them. For many, the hope that their loved ones had somehow survived, carried on throughout the day and into the night on 9-11. Waiting for a phone call that never came. Perhaps a glimpse of their beloved on a TV newscast. But deep inside, everyone knew it wasn’t going to happen. Still, the hope was there. Yes, it was possible that somehow, someone escaped the disaster.

But it wasn’t to be.

Then, on 9-12, reality began to set in. Their worlds, and ours, had changed forever.

On 9-11, I was inside a federal building just outside Washington D.C. I saw the billowing black smoke rising from the direction of the Pentagon. I heard the sirens. I saw the panic. I saw the horror unfold on a portable television sitting on a security officer’s small metal desk. And I also heard the sickening cheers and laughter coming from many federal prisoners who were from countries other than ours. They were ecstatic that the U.S. was under attack. In fact, a handful of those people who were celebrating the attacks were citizens of the U.S. I’ve never forgotten those sounds of elation and the expressions of pure joy on their faces, and I probably never will. And I’ll never understand how people can be joyful when innocent people are murdered.

Terrorism is absolutely one of the ugliest words in the dictionary. And terrorists who kill innocent people, well, I sincerely hope this is the next to the last thing they see on this earth.

But the last thing I hope they see is this, with U.S.A. stamped all over it, in large, bold letters.

 

  1. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Actually, Lee, I watched the second plane hit and the towers fall looking over Staten Island from the 7th floor of an office building. When the second plane hit we reallized the US was under attack. I watched the black smoke turn white when the towers fell.

    Our office manager refuse to let us leave until 3 PM. One woman who left at 9 AM was fired the next day. Nice company to work for, right? Hubby kept me updated until I went home. We really didn’t get much done at work, they should have let us leave.

    I have a friend who lost a daughter, but my nephew, an NYPD cop survived. His wife was told the day after that he was dead but he surfaced three days later in Bayonne hospital. He had a severe consusion and burnt lungs, but he was alive. It was 7 years before he could talk about his experience. He suffered from surivisor’s guilt because he lost his partner and other fellow officers.

    Yesterday brought it all back for me. I didn’t expect that.

  2. Mike Carrpenter
    Mike Carrpenter says:

    I agree with what you are saying. Unfortunately that is not the world that we live in. In today’s world there is so much pressure to do things now, whether that is a rush to war or rush to financial bailouts, speed is of the essence. Then when items to come light that there was a rush to judgment that the decisions may have been incorrect, politicians can’t admit their wrong or risk damage their entire party and become labeled a flip flopper. They paint themselves into a corner and defend it viciously, right or wrong.

    Bush had Iraq on his list from day one and 9/11 was a convenient excuse. Even on 9/11 Rumsfeld was discussing bombing targets in Iraq with the justification that there were not enough viable targets in Afghanistan. Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq based on known bogus information was unconscionable at best and criminal at worst.

  3. Pat Brown
    Pat Brown says:

    Mike, yes, it is easier in hindsight and words spoken in the heat of the moment are often regretted later. But I do have to think that leaders are supposed to take the time to find the facts and make the right choices, or at least the best ones they can given the intel they get. And if the intel is wrong, a true leader knows how to back out of a bad situation and not let it drag on for years.

  4. Diana
    Diana says:

    We watched the memorial from Australia, remembering that there were Australians killed in that day also. On my classical radio program, I played Leon Bolton’s fanfare, Wrapped in Mystery, which was written to commemorate the memory of those who died on 9/11.

    On the actual day 10 years ago, I remember being called to the lounge room by my husband to watch the second plane crash into the tower. I couldn’t and still can’t believe that people would do such a terrible thing to prove a point.

  5. Mike Carrpenter
    Mike Carrpenter says:

    Pat,

    I watched the 102 minutes that changed America. I had the same thoughts when those people spoke of immediate retaliating. Maybe in hind site we see how misguided those feelings were.

    I also watched shows from the night before. I turned to the History channel which was showing a clip of someone who had jumped. My twin girls, who are 7, saw it and one of them asked what the name of the movie was and if she could watch it. With a deep breath and a heavy heart I had to tell them what had happened that day. They had lots of questions and asked again if they could watch the show.

    I relented and they sat on my lap as we discussed what had happened, who was responsible and we talked a lot about the Freedom Tower and the memorials which had been opened. They are absolutely awesome girls.

  6. Ron DeLaby
    Ron DeLaby says:

    So as not to offend any goat begatting, child molesting, wife maiming, soap and water avoiding, raghead death cult worshippers, let me say that terrorism may be considered by some to be misguided.

  7. Pat Brown
    Pat Brown says:

    It was Pat Robertson who blamed it on the gays, or America’s accepting gays, so in a way, though I’m sure he’d deny it, Pat Robertson also cheered the attacks on since it gave him a strong argument to fuel his bigotry. Someone should have told him that one of the men who helped bring down Flight 93 was a gay man going home to the man he loved.

    The only ones to blame for the attack were the people who organized it and the ones who hijacked those planes.

    I have to say I was a bit disturbed yesterday when I watched the amateur videos that had been taken of the event. There were a couple of people who screaming that we needed to go over there and wipe them out. I was thinking whoa, you need to find out who was behind it before you rush off and start killing, no matter who good it might feel at the time.

    I think the rush for vengeance pushed the American government into a war against the wrong enemy. Distasteful and brutal as the man was, Saddam Hussein did not finance the terrorists behind 9/11. It was a Saudi man with strong connections to the Saudi royal family.

  8. Jordan
    Jordan says:

    I also agree. It’s not something I understand. Somewhere I read that there are people who believe (who are US born and raised) that all those people died on 9/11 because we’re a gay friendly nation, and they were happy about it. Where they got that stupid idea, I have no idea, and I’ll never understand wanting to kill innocent people. I guess some are just dumb like that.