six years later

A thought to reflect on: the last time September 11th was a Tuesday, it was the year 2001… six years later. A Tuesday morning. I want this thread to be about looking back and looking forward. I want this thread to be about you. I consider this point of reflection to be more important than any arbitrary milestone.

My thoughts at this moment. There is so much that we don’t know about 9/11. When I see people walking down the street, should they feel secure like I did one year after or should they feel something is not right as I did soon after I began to question the events. I will not speak today but I will listen. I guess, everyone has to question for themselves.

But who I especially feel for is the victims of 9/11, children who lost parents in the World Trade Center, children who turn six years old this year - those who never knew a world before 9/11. How do they question or compare the world to another time? I suppose I never knew the SDMB as it was before 9/11. Sometimes I wonder if it is forgotten, or in the background. This culture!! The music is crap, the movies are trash. In the song of Gavin DeGraw, “I’m surrounded by liars, everywhere I turn”. People are obnoxious, snarky, laughing airheads. I remember the 1980s when people had more levity and gravity (I don’t even want to write or think about generation 2000… ugh). People were real back then, none of this silly back and forth nonsense, vain, bloated talk.

I take the words of Ferris Bueller as wisdom: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” How are we to interpret the world? I do believe that this 9/11, Ipod generation does want to understand the world, they read blogs, listen to songs, watch Jon Stewart or Conan O’Brien, ect. I think of all the little things that I did or others did that make a difference. I give my perspective even though it won’t be heard. Let them know! Let them know! Never forget that you are there, that you are important - when you do something significant, after you do something significant, and above all, you are important right now. Just being there.

So what do you think about this six year milestone, the 9/11 generation, what can they teach you, what can you teach them. Let’s stay true to ourselves as all of us were this summer on the Board. Never loose sight of what really is important…everything but only in focus. After all, it’s only another Tuesday.

The first time I recall being fully convinced that our placid terrorism-free everyday life was going to come to an end was 1978 or 1979. I was figuring a small nuke. We got off easy, relatively speaking. But it does bring the problem to a head: sheer might may win wars but it won’t make the populace safe, and the only way to make us all relatively safe is to make the world relatively fair. (There will always be nutjobs with chips on their shoulders, but without oppression and deprivation as soil their ideas won’t take root in any major way).

The Irish, English, Palestinians and Israelis are probably simultaneously sympathetic (“sucks, doesn’t it?”) and gently contemptuous (“ooh, one incident every decade or so… can we get that deal?”). If the everyday lives of Americans has been disrupted by terrorism it’s because we have internalized the intended message; there’s no evidence that any of us is at any significant risk of terrorism.

I confess to a weird creepy and politically incorrect identification with the Empire in Star Wars. Some silly-ass inconsequential people did the equivalent of shooting a torpedo down the tiny ventilation chute of our Death Star. I readily admit that if my prior sympathies had been with them and/or against the US I’d have cheered in the streets, even though a few thousand dead people is nothing to cheer about and no matter what your politics this wasn’t going to solve anything.

As klunky modern rectangular slabs-in-the-sky go, the twin towers were actually pretty decent, architecturally speaking. They obtained a lot of benefit just from being twins. The long narrow grid-pattern gave it some character, too. I never thought they were beautiful, but I do kind of miss them, quite aside from what their absence stands for and etc.

Go in peace, world. We have many many millennia, perhaps millions of years, to go, and we are still in our abject infancy. (And very much acting like it all too often) I wish I could do more… I don’t know what 3rd-world angry militant folks think an individual American ought to do or could do. I could listen. Communicating would probably avail you of more than violence ever will.

No offense, but…can I ask how old you are? Because I was about to post that life post-9/11 seems pretty much business as usual. I’m 52, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that the 1980s were just as fake, silly, obnoxious, snarky, crass, vain, bloated, and nonsensical as today.

As were the 1990s, and the 1970s…it’s called the Human Condition.

I understand it afflicted folks 2,500 years ago, too. “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity”. That’s from Ecclesiastes. :wink:

Actually I thought the 80s set some kind of record for crassness. The words “Gravitas” and “Donald Trump The First Time” don’t really mesh well IMO. Yuppies and DINKs? Big shoulders and big hair? “Greed is good”? Nancy Reagan’s White House china?

Crass. YMMV. :smiley:

And the SDMB is pretty much the same place as it was on September 10, 2001. Snarky, crass, obnoxious, fake, silly, vain, bloated, and nonsensical. Still the best place on the Web. :smiley:

Since that day I took a job which places me closer to ‘target’ areas - downtown DC. Over time I have found I concern myself with possible small events - backpack bomb, lone gunman, that kinda thing; or large events - which way will the fallout go? For some reason I don’t sweat the potential medium sized event - a 9/11 sized event - not too sure why but perhaps a result of visible, intense, invasive security.

As far as the date goes I haven’t given it much thought; I guess I’ll pay attention to the scanners a little more today to hear if someone gets weird. I deal firsthand with a lot of hard situations which has generated more hope in me than anything else - people are often strong, try to do the right thing, fight against that which befalls them.

I think people are so quick to point to situations and say ‘see how the world is that much worse!’ As a fan of history and an observer of current events I am inclined to disagree.

Yes 9/11 was awful but I also remember the dark days that followed and wondered if the good life would ever return. It did, with a vengeance, and I am happier for witnessing it.

To me, the biggest immediate changes caused by 9/11 were:

  • Logistics managers from all over Europe had been in a 24h meeting in London. They weren’t allowed to go back home until our managers in the US got their washed underwear back… not just not allowed to fly, but take the train or the ferry. Most of the people who got stuck in London would have been much calmer if they’d been allowed to go back home and hug their families. At least the company had the decency to give them a clothing allocation.

  • Someone suddenly realized that my factory contained explosive substances and was in terrorist country. Gee, no shit, and it took 30 years and 30K dead 3K miles away for you to notice? So for a while we had three rent-a-cops in the factory 24/7, while before there had only been one on the 4 days a year where no production was going on.

I grew up under threat of terrorism. Watching the towers fall was ouchie, watching the americans run around like headless chickens… was actually kind of fun.

Then how do you explain the 9/11 hijackers, most if not all of whom were from solidly middle-class backgrounds? What about the guys who stormed the Glasgow airport recently? They were doctors and hardly “deprieved”. This is not limited to impoverished refugees donning explosive vests, the terrorism has solid roots in people who are well off. It’s not a matter of making the world “fair” - these folks believe they are right, everyone else is wrong, and they have some sort of twisted right to kill those who won’t convert to their idea of the world.

So, there I was, at work, and I ran into a victim of 9/11. He was outside the towers that day, and he saw the people jump. He worked in the rubble, saving lives.

He’s been having post traumatic stress disorder. He fell into a bad place, and thanks to our substance treatment center, he’s getting back on his feet.

I can’t say much more about it, but no, not all the victims were inside.

Since this is not in The Pit, I will restrain. As pointed out by E-Sabbath, there is a lot of pain to go around.

For myself, for many Americans, this is most definitely not just another Tuesday. Is it as bad as it was on Sept. 11th, 2002? It is not. Is it bad? Yes it is. If you need cite as to why, that can be provided.


Take a few minutes to read this thread: World Trade Center Plane Crash

Ditto. But depending on how I feel when I have a few minutes to walk away from the computer and do more of what others are suggesting (stopping and looking around, etc), I might end up taking this there.

Looking back: It was the most frightened I’ve ever been for my country, at least in the early hours when we didn’t yet know the extent of the attacks. Yet what came out of it was a friendship that has rewarded my wife and me many times over.

Looking ahead: I hope my fellow Americans won’t allow themselves to be led blindly into another unlimited vengeance adventure, no matter how outrageous the attacks against us. “Nine-eleven” was supposed to change us forever; I’m not sure it has, at least not in a good way. I think it will take many years yet to sort out how this one day affected us as a people.

…Thanks Nava. You know, I thought you rather liked some Americans (like myself, and others in the MMP) and this was a pretty callous thing to say. Maybe you don’t care, but it’s not going to be forgotten that easily.

And I am of the opinion that we need to move beyond it, and I still don’t think it’s funny or necessary to make fun of us.

I did open a pit thread . I just need an explanation of the word ‘fun’ as it relates to this.

The thing I remember most about that morning was how suddenly, and for a few weeks even, we were communicating. Strangers on the street, waiting in line at the store and on the bus were part of my community. We’d hand each other tissues as we silently cried, or just make eye contact and nod, understanding where we were all at. It was like a funeral for…something. People walking by on the sidewalk outside where I worked would just get overwhelmed and walk in, not knowing why. I’d invite them to sit down and have a cup of tea and we’d cry together. Sometimes we didn’t even speak the same language. One guy was the jerk who used to cat call me when I got out of my car every morning. Now I was hugging him and we were crying together, and neither of us thought twice about it. We were all polite and understanding and patient with each other. We were on our best behavior. For the first time ever, I wanted to fly the American flag from my window. I remember thinking, “Wow, is this why other places seem to have a more cohesive national identity? Because they experience more death and violence, it brings them closer together?”

I still think about that, occasionally. The idea of community has been my overriding concern for many years. Finding a place where people are gentle with me, and make me feel like I’m one of them and they understand me. I really felt that for those first few weeks after 9/11. And I feel really guilty for being just a little bit glad I got to experience that.

As explained in the pit thread, the “fun” in a black humor sense was re. the over reactions, it was not (and that was already here) over the bombing themselves… there are times when you have to laugh or cry and when your firemen are rejected as a “security risk”, your blood for the same reason, your coworkers are forbidden to travel home… you have to laugh or cry. A lot of us chose to laugh.

Dealing with the tragedy of 9/11 is not enough, same as it was not enough to deal with the tragedy of Hypercor (which I realize means nothing to you). Hypercor prompted a lot of Catalans who had in the two previous national and EU elections been ETA’s biggest supporters to withdraw that support. The Twin Towers demise prompted a lot of new security measures, the creation of more elements for the global alphabet soup (just last week some EU bigwig was proposing the creation of another agency which would have the same functions as Europol and Interpol), two wars so far. Maybe it can also prompt good things. It prompted some people to realize that this world is, indeed, smaller every day and that the actions of one person do affect people he’s never met and may never meet; to my way of thinking, this is good.

It’s not over, and not just because some fighting cocks still haven’t said it’s over. The war on terror is not fought on battle fields, it’s fought on hearts. Any time that we paint the world in black and white, in “us vs them” terms, terror gets another notch. The black humor I saw floating about in the hours following the Towers’ fall showed that there was a lot of “us vs them” mentality floating about… like an X-ray, it didn’t create bones, it merely revealed them.

What have we done to eliminate this mentality, to ensure that if a building falls in any country in the world, or a hurricane or an earthquake strikes, help will not be refused on security grounds? That nobody will use the safety of their trapped citizens as an excuse to refuse aid?

That was grounds to cry. We cried. And then we looked at a way to turn it into a laugh, because the other path leads to hate, and hate is never the right answer.

Just how could Spain have helped NYC in the 102 minutes from the first plane hitting and the second tower falling? Even a Concorde couldn’t have gotten your aid there in time.

Not in those, but we were trying to send firemen and search dogs within less than 24 hours and they were rejected.

If a single life more could have been saved, shouldn’t it have been?

They wouldn’t have made any difference.

The US is a pretty big country. Rescue teams from all over the nation were there. Not that they found many people and the site was crawling with workers. They were sending people from NYC who wanted to help home because they had to get them out of the way.

I’m sure Walloon will be here soon to point out the time the last survivor was pulled from the site but additonal teams would not have helped. This wasn’t an earthquake, or tidal wave, where teams can go and search for days and days over a wide area. Your taking offence at your firemen and rescue dogs being ‘refused’ is really misplaced.

I’m fairly ambivalent this morning. There are only 3 “anniversaries” that mean a lot to me - the day we got married and each of the days our sons were born.

But -
The absolute stillness that night, when there was not a plane in the sky, was eerie, yet oddly peaceful, and something I won’t soon forget. I’ve never before seen the sky so empty - even deep in the Rockies. A handful of evil people with box cutters cleared the skies… Amazing.
The shattering of that silence by 2 National Guard F-16’s was comforting. And then the silence returned and I wondered when the last time armed fighters patrolled Colorado airspace like that.

I still don’t think “they” are going to attack Arvada, so I’ve no fear for my family then or now, but we spent a lot of time that week playing with the kids (who were 2 and 5 at the time).

Looking around me today… (warning! political rant to follow)
I despise our politicians. Both sides sicken me and I have greater contempt only for those that would deliberately, and with malice aforethought, kill innocent people. The response to Sept 11 has hurt this country more than the attacks could have. We were so optimistic that first week…

See, that was not the reason we were given. We were told, not “we have resources, what we need is something else and we’ll let you know as soon as we figure it out.”

We were told our firemen could not fly in because they posed a security risk.

The reasons you guys give make sense. The one we were given, did not. Not any more than when the Russians refused help from certain countries in the Kursk incident because, well, they were from those countries. Or similar politik-vs-need incidents in Latin American quakes.