That day is here again, an eerie annual reminder of what evil can do if left unchecked. I awoke that particular day and did what I normally do every morning. I poured a cup of coffee, picked up the newspaper and began reading the headlines. I recall becoming rather absorbed in a particular story and after finishing the article, it dawned on me that I had not turned on the television. Moreover, I got a gut feeling that I should turn on the television.
Walking to the living room, I realized that the feeling that I was experiencing was the same feeling I had on April 19, 1995, the date of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building. I turned on the television and CNN was doing a live report on an airplane that had crashed into one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City. As I watched in amazement, the continuing report showed the various first responders and agencies reacting to the tragedy.
I had serious doubts almost immediately that the crash was an accident, but I had not mentally ruled it out. Looking at the location where the jet had crashed and seeing the twin tower billowing smoke and flames, I didn't really see much hope for the people at, and on top of, the crash site. But, being an optimist, I had hope that maybe the people could be rescued by helicopter or that the high technology of today's highrises held some sort of of fire escape system that would allow the people to get out of the building.
Then, it happened. I literally saw the second jet crash into the second tower and I knew instantly that the United States was under some form of attack. I began calling family and friends to advise them of the current situation. Some were aware of what was going on and some were not. I told everyone to turn on the television and pay close attention to any warnings from the government.
The news coverage got worse. CNN and all the other television media were now all covering the crash. Reports that the two jets that had crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked by terrorists and that more hijacked planes were still in the air. The media said that the military had scrambled fighter jets, that all flights were canceled and all in-air flights were told to land immediately at the nearest airport.
Then came the news that a hijacked plane had crashed into the Pentagon and that another hijacked plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. A feeling of anger started replacing the anxiety that I was feeling. I was no longer sitting down, rather, standing in an almost defensive position in front of the television.
People began jumping from the top floors of the blazing building. Firefighters and police were everywhere, doing everything they possibly could do to come to the aid of the victims. I could see the faces of the people in the streets, watching in horror as things got progressively worse.
Then, the first tower disintegrated right in front of my eyes in a matter of ten seconds. I could not believe what I was seeing. I remember thinking that someone or some country will pay for this! In the next thirty minutes or so, all I could see on any channel was chaos and fear. Then, the second tower disintegrated and collapsed. The ensuing minutes afterwards was excruciatingly sad. People were wandering the streets, injured, covered in white ash, and with a look of complete bewilderment on their faces. My anger turned to rage!
I'm still angry today! I believe in an eye for an eye! Perhaps one day, my anger will subside, but not today! God bless the victims and families of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and God bless America.
The Pictures: September 11 photographs taken by many different photographers. Warning: Some of the pictures are graphic.
This Date In History: 1777; The British army, led by generals William Howe and Charles Cornwallis, defeats the American forces led by General George Washington as the Battle of the Brandywine, in Pennsylvania. 1847; Stephen Foster's song, "Oh! Susanna" is performed for the first time at a concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the first of his many popular folk tunes to gain widespread success.
1962; The Beatles record "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I love you," their first songs for the music label EMI. 1973; Chile's Socialist president Salvador Allende dies during a military coup led by General Augustine Pinochet and supported by the United States. 1985; Baseball player Pete Rose gets his 4,192 career hit, breaking Ty Cobb's career record which lasted over 50 years.
2001; Arab terrorists hijack commercial jet liners and crash into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, The Penatgon and in Pennsyvlania, killing thousands of people.
Birthdays: D.H. Lawrence, novelist and poet (1885), Paul Bear Bryant, coach of the University of Alabama, six time national championship, football team (Roll Tide!) (1913), Tom Landry, football coach (1924), Brian de Palma, film director (1940).
The Hits Just Keep On Coming: Today's "Hits" will not be entered in deference to the victims and victim's families of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. This section will return tomorrow.
That's it for today my friends. More tomorrow.
Stay Tuned !