What a beautiful morning September 11, 2001 was, the sun was shining, the temperature perfect, the hustle and bustle along all the streets of New York City and all the boroughs were the same as usual. Until around 9am! when that first plane deliberately flew into the first tower and those of us still getting ready for work ….stopped and stared….. into our television screens. Within minutes our hearts split into two, broken down the middle as we watched scene after scene of horror in real time.
Most of us went into immediate shock, saying over and over again, “Is this really happening? What in God’s Name is going on? Was that a second plane?” Oh my God the tower is collapsing, the people are jumping out, falling to their deaths, the second tower is going down, the billowing clouds of grey dust everywhere, people running covered in it, firemen, policemen, ambulances converging through the clouds to get to the panicked masses. Then another plane flies into the Pentagon, and yet another crashes in a Pennsylvania field. The shock, the heartbreaking, the tears are now overwhelming any of us watching those television screens. Such a total feeling of confusion and helplessness as we stand transfixed on what is transpiring in front of us. After a time, our senses and logic return and we start to recall the locations of our friends and relatives, realizing they are in the midst of this horror. We start frantically calling each one, scared to death that if they aren’t answering they may be injured or worse, dead. Little by little as this awful day with the perfect weather unfolds we learn so much more.
We start to get the reports, hearing about all the people including hundreds of firemen and policemen caught with all the people in all the businesses in those towers who are gone forever, and all the ones who search for months to find those bodies. Men and women from across the Nation and across the seas who have come to help search through the tangled steel and rubble in hopes of finding anyone who may have survived and after a time, they begin to find their bodies.
We learn as time goes by, some will never be found and twenty years later we will recall that day as if it happened yesterday. The tears and the heartache still fresh. All the innocent lives lost because a terrorist led group wished to destroy our country financially with their hope of ruling it. As if their own portion of the World wasn’t big enough for them, because they want America to fall and follow their customs and beliefs, they chose to destroy the buildings filled with the innocents and taking the rescuers (while they could) in the same manner.
I often think about this and the reason for it and how they must have studied these buildings for quite a long while to see where to fly those planes to just the right spot that would totally destroy those towers. President Bush declared war after this because no matter the reasons, he knew we had to show a defense against these evil, selfish minded groups who wanted to take America to its knees. He knew that had we not, America as we know it to be, would be no more. He knew that by taking innocent American lives, they were taking away their own. Not everyone wants to understand this because we are “world curious” in these later generations, wanting to be everyone’s friend as long as it doesn’t interfere with our daily wants and needs. Those of us in my generation and older, however understood that without attempting to defend these lost innocent American lives all would have died in vain. Without ever having had a chance to be part of a better world. If anything, America’s strength comes from its’ ability to stand up for its’ inhabitants. To defend its’ right to protect, serve and honor humanity and especially within its’ own borders. The former President, with all his human faults, understood that and made his choice with that sole purpose of mind at least in the beginning.
Now twenty years after that day the war ended in Afghanistan but not with the results we all prayed would happen. We didn’t end the terrorism, torture and hardships of the innocent on their own soil. Not for our lack of trying and certainly not through any lack of bravery from our volunteer military who fought it through with honor and determination just like the firemen and policemen and others in 2001. No we ended it without a plan for the allies there to be safe. We ended with the deaths of 13 of our Military, countless innocent Afghani people and other civilians. The terrorists got their country back along with American weapons and equipment. It was poorly thought out by the current leadership and so the loss is once again ours to bare. Bare we will because we are stronger in spirit despite all those, including some of our own citizens, who wish to see it destroyed. That will never happen. The American spirit lives on in all of us who experienced 9/11/2001. It lives on in our children and grandchildren. So no we will never forget. We will never surrender. For under God we are invincible and we will always believe in the liberty and justice for all. We will follow our Constitution and its’ laws of guidance. We will always strive to be the leader for all humanity where individual freedoms are paramount.
So no never forget how it started, why it started and how it ended. Keep the candles burning for those who lost their lives. Keep the respect and the prayers going for all their families. Remember as long as America’s spirit stays within you, we will always stand no matter how hard we fall.
And That’s The Way I See It here in Jackson.