9/11

posted at 10:20 am on September 11, 2007 by Bryan

“A Beautiful Day.” That’s what U2 was singing on my car stereo as I pulled into the parking garage. And it was a beautiful day, with a clear blue sky and a crisp feel to the air. As I stepped to the sidewalk across from the beige brick building where I worked, I met up with a co-worker, an attractive woman whom I don’t know well but had always liked to talk to. That day, as we crossed the street, we talked about how stunning the weather was, and I teased her that my office had a window while hers didn’t, and that I’d get to enjoy the day.

We walked into the building, said “See ya” and I rounded the corner into my office, where I put my laptop down and headed off to the cafeteria for coffee. Paying respects to the kitchen staff, I got back to my desk and sat down to check email. Nothing much, a couple of industry newsletters, one or two video or image requests. One of my office mates, a tall guy who animates what Hubble sees for a living, burst in with a request. We had a video distribution system within our building, and it was a real black art to run the thing. My co-worker wanted me to pipe video to the monitors in our production studio and to the monitors in the hallways, because something was going on up north. It seemed that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

I walked into our studio to see the animator and one of our administration secretaries glued to the one monitor that was already displaying Fox News Channel, and the image of the first tower burning. I looked at our distribution system for a second, punched a few numbers to bring up the audio and pipe the signals to the rest of the building, and heard the two say “Oh my God.” The second plane had hit. I knew immediately that we were under a terror attack, and that things wouldn’t be the same again for a long time.

The rest of the day was a disaster in real time. Our phone rang—it was the animator’s sister-in-law, who reported a huge black column of smoke rising from the direction of the Pentagon. The phone rang again, and it was my wife. She’d just turned on the tv, which I’d left on Fox the night before, to see the horrifying sight of both towers of the WTC on fire. She asked what was going on, and all I could say was “They’re trying to kill us.” I didn’t know who, but their intent was obvious. While we talked about what it all meant, the towers started collapsing, first one and then the other. My father is a retired fire investigator, so the first thing I thought of was that those towers must have been full of rescue personnel, with others streaming in and around them. They must all be dead now, I thought, and wondered if New York would ever recover. My wife said “There’s going to be a war” and I said “There had better be.”

I went home from work early to be with my wife and son. A neighbor was with them when I arrived, and after discussing the events the neighbor said “Well, at least the recession is over.” I thought it was a terrible thing to say, but didn’t respond. We talked about the plane that had hit in Pennsylvania, speculated that more were still unaccounted for, and I realized that where we lived we were positioned between all the attacks. Planes full of innocents and terrorists had dropped to our north, south, and northwest. I had never felt more like I was in somebody’s crosshairs, and I was sitting on my couch tickling my son. None of it seemed real.

Six years on, the whole day and most events connected to it since still make me angry. We commemorate that day with bloodless speeches, the towers are still unrebuilt, and the world still hasn’t awakened to the jihad threat. Bin Laden taunts us by audio tape from his lair in Pakistan or Iran or wherever he is. Truthers profane our memories of 9-11 and their numbers are growing. Our political leadership spends more of its time and energy strategizing against each other than against the enemies of freedom. Our troops fight on valiantly in a war that fewer than half the country supports, thanks in large part to a long and well-organized campaign of lies against it.

We say to ourselves “Never again,” but the truth is that we’re set up for another one. Too few of us take the threat seriously. Too few of us connect the bin Ladenist jihad with the Iranian mullahcracy, the Hamas and Hezbollah wings and the European and American terror cells. They may disagree on this or that in Islamic theology, but they are all working toward the same fundamental goal: A restored caliphate, en route to global Islamic domination.

We mis-framed this war from the beginning, and the costs of that are getting away from us. We had to convince ourselves that we were right and the terrorists were wrong before we could fight them, and we keep having to convince ourselves of that every step of the way. Thus every infraction committed by our side becomes an anti-war rallying cry, and every atrocious war crime committed by the other side is ignored or minimized. As a culture we’re still not fully convinced that we’re right and unified around that conviction. Some of us understand the basic duty of self-defense, but not enough. Though we’re fighting for the world’s freedom while the enemy is fighting for a medieval religious tyranny, we’re too busy engaging in recriminations and intramural fights to see things clearly. Six years after 9-11, an event that should have unified us and filled us with resolve, we’re a house divided.

Six years on, videos like this one are more necessary than ever. And that doesn’t say much good about the current state of play in the war to save the West.

More: Remembrance and resistance. And Robert Spencer pens the line of the day:

Six years after 9/11, the jihad proceeds apace, and the UN investigates…Islamophobia.


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Comments

I will never forget. I am as angry today as I was the day of the attack. I’m angry at the perpetrators but I think I’m angrier at those who sneer that we brought this on ourselves.

I still get a chill when I watch movies or TV shows made in New York prior to 09/11. Invariably there will be a shot of the Towers standing tall in the sunshine.

I took a minute at 8:46 to say a prayer for all the murder victims. I hope everyone did the same.

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM

From Jiangxi’s link…

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

I learned that lesson earlier in the year, denial is asking for disaster. A school shooting and 9/11 within a year.

Bad Candy on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

On that day my 14 year old son came to me and said he wanted me to let him join the army so he could kill everyone of those terrorist bastards. In 13 days he (and the 101st BCT he is part of) leaves for Kuwait to fulfill that commitment to his country. God bless them all!

God bless this country and those who have laid their lives on the alter of freedom. God bless their families and friends. God bless our leaders who have not forgotten. And please, God bless the people in this country, especially the democrat leaders, who do not understand the threat, that their stiff necks will be turned to see the damage they are doing in the name of dissent and the quest for ultimate political power. They aren’t happy with congress. They want the whole tamale and they don’t give a frap who has to pay the price.

csdeven on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Stay strong, never forget

Defector01 on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

I will never forget. I am as angry today as I was the day of the attack. I’m angry at the perpetrators but I think I’m angrier at those who sneer that we brought this on ourselves.

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM

Yes, yes indeed……

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

csdeven on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

And god bless you, your son and his band of brothers…

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 12:28 PM

Never forget the fine words of one of the last great Democrats (FDR) from December 8, 1941:

No matter how long it may take us to win through to absolute victory…

faraway on September 11, 2007 at 12:31 PM

I’ll never forget the words that came out of a [screamingly liberal] co-worker’s mouth as the second plane hit…

“Why can’t we just give them a homeland?” (The assumption being that it was the Palestinians doing what they do.)

saint kansas on September 11, 2007 at 12:32 PM

to the survivors of 9/11,
to those who lost Loved Ones….

May God’s Rain wash the Bird sht off of your front steps
May God’s Snow cover your unkempt garden
May God’s Wind blow the hair back from your face
May God’s Good Earth always be firm under your feet
May God’s Ways always be of interest to you even when seemingly illogical
May the Songs of God’s Birds be louder than your cell&head phones
& May there always be some small something in your everyday
that brings God to you to heal your broken Heart.

lobosan5 on September 11, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Like many who have posted here, my drifting from the democratic party was finalized on 9/11. I recall thinking it was time to get serious about this global threat and quit the pussyfooting around. They attacked American home land and the gloves were off. Algore and his party was not going to take the fight to the enemy. To this day, my family and coworkers do not understand why I am a conservative.

The day of 9/11, I was not favorably impressed with President Bush’s statements as he flew around the country. But when he address the nation in the next day or so, I recall thinking ‘thank God, he gets it.’ When he addressed the workers at GZ through the bullhorn I thought, ‘let’s do this thing.’

Never forget, never submit

Mallard T. Drake on September 11, 2007 at 12:34 PM

I took a minute at 8:46 to say a prayer for all the murder victims. I hope everyone did the same.

I did, and I’m an atheist. I stopped under the big clock outside my building and closed my eyes and said a prayer.

saint kansas on September 11, 2007 at 12:35 PM

csdeven on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Amen to all that. Good luck to your son. He is one of our finest.

Mallard T. Drake on September 11, 2007 at 12:36 PM

I was never a liberal, even though my liberal school wanted to convert me – I kicked and screamed and hollered too much and they finally gave up.

And csdeven, Godspeed to your son. He is a brave soul. We need more just like him who “get it.”

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2007 at 12:42 PM

I see lots of us are angry at Google.

Go to Dogpile. They remember every national holiday, and have done so today.

Kimmer on September 11, 2007 at 12:44 PM

I will always remember the great sacrifices of the innocents and the heroes who tried at the cost of their lives to save them on that day.

I will always remember as an example the bravery of those on flight 93 who died so that others would not.

I will always remember that the nation that spawned those heroic, self sacrificing actions must not perish from the earth.

Two hundred and thirty one years of sacrifice must not have been in vain.

Speakup on September 11, 2007 at 12:46 PM

Probably the only time you’ll hear this from me, but kudos to MSNBC this morning for re-broadcasting in realtime NBC’s coverage from that morning. I watched the pivotal hour from the 2nd plane strike, the Pentagon attack, and the two collapses. It really helped to remind just how disturbing, confusing, and significant the events of that day were, and went strongly against the grains of denial that otherwise pre-occupy the MSM.

Meanwhile, the History Channel has two shows about tertiary aspects of the attack on tonight. So far as I can tell, everybody from the networks to the cable stations are doing programming-as-usual. National Geographic rebroadcast its (outstanding) 9/11 two-parter over the weekend, but you’d think tonight would’ve been more appropriate scheduling.

Blacklake on September 11, 2007 at 12:49 PM

To some on the left, they never got it. One of my co-workers was a feminist, lesbian, atheist, socialist. On 9/11 I was talking with our manager outside her office. We were talking about how the news reports were that this was an attack from the mid-east and maybe OBL. This woman, overhearing us, said ‘I hope it was an American that did this.’ Our manager, astonished, said ‘What are you talking about.’ She responded about how the media is always ready to blame ‘the brown’ people and she wanted the perpetrators to be American to prove them wrong. While our manager continued to talk with her, I just walked away, shaking my head in disgust.

In the days and weeks after, she would refer to 9/11 as ‘the day the world changed’ in a sneering, mocking tone. Not surprisingly, she became on organizer of the anti-war movement in Seattle.

For some people, it must take a direct hit to wake them up. Even then, some will still consider the attackers as victims. We have to carry on dispite them.

Mallard T. Drake on September 11, 2007 at 12:49 PM

I come to this site and see all the outpouring of love for this country that you all have (with very few exceptions), and then I look at what the other side of the aisle is thinking on the anniversary of the event that changed my life forever, and see nothing but blame (from DKos):

Most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, yet that country has paid no price for producing and harboring terrorists. Neither has Pakistan, the country in which Osama bin Laden is now hiding.

The PDB said: Bin Laden determined to Strike in U.S.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq.

Sitting in a classroom for seven minutes after being told “America is under attack” is a poor display of leadership, especially if you’re America’s president.

If the administration had tried to sell the Iraq war based on anything other than the fear of weapons of mass destruction, we never would have invaded.

Colin Powell, the most trusted man in the administration, said: “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”

There were no WMDs. Not “in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat,” and not even in the Oval Office “somewhere.”

Four and a half years after declaring that “major combat operations have ended,” major combat operations have not ended.

Taunting the insurgents by sneering “Bring ’em on” was really dumb because the insurgents brought it on.

The insurgency wasn’t “in its last throes” then, and it isn’t in its last throes now.

The Taliban has bounced back in Afghanistan. The Maliki government has flatlined in Iraq.

Osama bin Laden has not been caught, either dead or alive. He is still making videos.

There ain’t a tow truck big enough to haul those clunkers away.

Cheers and Jeers starts in There’s Moreville… [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LET IT GO ON THIS DAY?? It truly infuriates me that, on the anniversary of the one day that brought this country together six years ago, they can’t stop with their BS.

This is why I can’t bring myself to vote for a Dem. I may not always agree with everything the Republicans stand for, but I know that they haven’t forgotten, and hope they never do.

Rick on September 11, 2007 at 12:54 PM

I will forever remember that morning. I was at Newark airport boarding a flight to Washington DC right when the first plane hit. I had just gotten off my cell phone after wishing my father a happy 82nd birthday and got a message on my pager about a plane hitting the WTC. Having done a lot of flying in the NY area for most of my life, I just wondered how a small plane could hit the tallest building in the world on a perfectly clear day. A few minutes later another message about the 2nd tower and clarifying that they were commercial aircraft. I immediately thought at that moment that we were under attack.
Our flight never left the gate and we were asked to deplane. When I stepped back into the terminal, I could see both towers on fire from the windows of Terminal C while also watching the video feeds on the TV that was on at the bar. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing with my own eyes. Even though there were about a hundred or so people standing by the windows, it was totally silent when we watched the first tower fall. As news began to come over the TV about the Pentagon, an announcement came over the PA to evacuate the terminal. That was the first time that I really began to fear what was happening. How did we know that airports were not also being targeted? Walking out of the terminal to the parking lot I could hear the F-16’s streaking overhead while hundreds of people walked along the roads to the parking lots carrying their luggage. It was so surreal. I thought to myself “this is what it’s like in other countries, not in the United States”.
I had grown up with the WTC. I remember driving past the under-construction towers on the way to my grand-parents house in Brooklyn when I was little and looking out the back window of our station wagon straight up. Every month they would get higher and higher, sometimes obscured by clouds when the weather was bad. When I was working in the city I would take the PATH train from NJ to the WTC every morning and join the tens of thousands of business people passing through the buildings. I took many people flying up the Hudson River. You had to remain below 1000ft over the river so even in a plane you would be looking UP at the WTC. My cousin was a waiter in the Windows on the World restaurant.
Now, every time I fly back to visit my family and we’re on the final approach to Newark, I look out the window at lower Manhattan and I feel the anger rise up like it did that day as more and more of the details of who was behind the attack came out. I am one who believes that those towers should be rebuilt exactly as they were before, just as an “up yours” symbol to Bin Laden and the other jihadis.
When I watch the democrats, and some republicans, politicizing this event along with the war I just shake my head in disbelief at the amount of effort being wasted while we continue to let dangerous people into our country to plan the next attack all in the name of political correctness.
No, we don’t need to “understand” this religion, we need to identify and find the people who are distorting it and using it as a reason for terrorism, and kill them as well as deport the ones in this country that support them.
I, for one, will never forget and will never, ever submit.

AZ_Mike on September 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM

csdeven on September 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Thank you, God bless your son. We are fortunate to have him and many others like him. You take a lot of crap from other commenters in Fred posts, but I always look for and enjoy your comments!

Brat on September 11, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Just maybe the best piece ever written on HotAir.

Bryan, your perfectly articulate moral clarity is more refreshing than I can explain – and exactly what I needed to hear today.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:10 PM

Anyone surprised about this? I’m not.

Google Ignores 9/11…..

Weasel Zipper on September 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM

Google may have missed the boat, but many of its users have not: Google Hot Trends

The Race Card on September 11, 2007 at 1:12 PM

A co-worker asked me this morning why the flags are at half staff.
Me: “It’s the 11th.”
Her: “Whew, I thought somebody died or something.”

Not wanting to incite some interoffice strife, I just gave her a polite grin and she went away. I guess “she forgot.”

I know that she listens to NPR. Maybe they, like Google, forgot too.

Brat on September 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

Channel 4 screened Farenheit 9/11 last night, showing how tasteful they are.

aengus on September 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

csdeven, my utmost respect, thanks, and prayers go out to your son

Keli on September 11, 2007 at 1:17 PM

Thanks everyone. Limericks son leaves pretty soon too.

God bless him and his family.

csdeven on September 11, 2007 at 1:23 PM

By the way … take a minute today and remember Rick Rescorla, who may be my very favorite personal hero.

Read his full story. If you get a chance, read *all* of “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young.” Read about Rescorla’s amazing heroism at the Battle for the Ia Drang Valley.

(Read the book. The Mel Gibson movie is good … but read the book)

Then read how Rescorla’s life ended on 9/11.

Try to estimate how many lives he saved that day. It’ll take you a while. The simple truth is that this one man may have cut the death toll in half that day.

Read how he died.

Then figure the odds that this uniquely heroic, uniquely American (immigrant!) character just happened to be present at that pivotal moment in 1965 and again at that singular moment in 2001, more than a third of a century later.

And now try to tell me with a straight face that there is no God.

I’m not the most faithful type. I doubt God sometimes. But whenever I do, I think of Rick Rescorla and 9/11. And then I stop doubting. It just defies credulity to think Rescorla’s presence that day was an act of chance.

If you don’t know his name, learn it. You’ll be glad you did. He’s a Leonidas for the modern age, and his name should become legendary. John Smeaton would by buying him beer, if he could.

http://www.rickrescorla.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rescorla

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM

On 9/11/2001 I was living on the beach in Pompano Beach,FL. I had a small apartment and was working on building a business. My self assigned duties were to meet with an architect in his downtown Ft.Lauderdale office to discuss revisions to a set of blueprints. As I arrived in the lobby that morning and after I was acknowleged by the receptionist I sensed an unsettleing air about the place. The receptionist went on with her tasks, while I entered the suite of offices. I could not help but ask an associate about the seemingly disturbed atmosphere of the entire building. I can still recall the chill I felt as he informed of the facts. Spoken with just a hint of a Cuban accent he said “Oh you don’t know what happened?” I said no I was focused on work and hadn’t listened to or watched any media that morning. He said “The world trade center in New York had been attached we are on the brink of WW III man!” I can now relate to President Bush’s initial reaction which was one of a long pause. I regained my composure and continued on to the plan review session I had scheduled with the lead architect. We finalized our decisions and I was on my way. It wasn’t until six pm that I got to view the actual footage of the dirty deeds via my neighbor. In the interim between hearing the news and seeing the footage I called around to various states to inquire about the safety of my family members and loved ones. It wasn’t until a week or so after the event that it was revealed alot of the pre 9/11 activities took place in Florida. The realization that some of these misguided individuals were living literally a few miles north of me on A1A just north of Hillsboro Mile in Deeffeild Beach, was cause for introspection. What did they look like? Did our paths ever cross? If so could I sense the evil that dwelled within them by pure instinct. Those questions will never be answered. Today six years later due to the worldwide information deluge I or any of us don’t have the luxury of ignorance about Islamofacism. The MSM is gorging themselves on a carcass of misinformation which has now given the very mastermind behind this horrific disaster a platform to speak directly to the Amarican people demanding we submitt to Islam?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My answer to that is ‘you talkin to me?’

sonnyspats1 on September 11, 2007 at 1:25 PM

At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 struck World Trade Center Tower 1 (see September 11, 2001 attacks). Rescorla, following his evacuation plans, ignored building officials’ advice to stay put and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley’s 2,700 employees on twenty floors of World Trade Center Tower 2, and 1,000 employees in WTC 5. Rescorla reminded everyone to “…be proud to be an American …everyone will be talking about you tomorrow”, and sang God Bless America and other military and Cornish songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building, including an adaptation of the song Men of Harlech:

“Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!”

Rescorla had most of Morgan Stanley’s 2700 employees as well as people working on other floors of WTC 2 safely out of the buildings by the time United Airlines Flight 175 hit WTC 2 at 9:02 a.m.

After having led many of his fellow employees to safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. When one of his colleagues told him he too had to evacuate the World Trade Center, Rescorla replied “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out”.

According to Stephan Newhouse, chairman of Morgan Stanley International, Rescorla was seen as high as the 72nd floor evacuating people, clearing the floors and working his way down.

He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains were not recovered. As a result of Rescorla’s actions, only 6 of Morgan Stanley’s 2700 WTC employees were killed on September 11, 2001, including Rick and three of his deputies who followed him back into the building – Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM

YES csdeven, thanks and prayers to your son as well. Stay safe….

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 1:29 PM

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM

I’m glad you posted that. It hits close to home. Rescoria saved countless lives.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM

From Rick Rescorla wikipedia entry:

“You should be able to strip a man naked and throw him out with nothing on him. By the end of the day, the man should be clothed and fed. By the end of the week, he should own a horse. And by the end of a year he should own a business and have money in the bank”

History Channels’ documentary was excellent. Thank you for the additional links.

captivated_dem on September 11, 2007 at 1:38 PM

JiangxiDad on September 11, 2007 at 12:18 PM

A very good simple explanation. A sad truth as well. I don’t mind violence if it’s to protect my country and those I love. There’s something comforting about being armed in case something ever happens.

God bless our troops as they fight to keep us safe. Without them we wouldn’t be here today.

wherestherum on September 11, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM

I remember hearing about Rick, he was a true hero and a man with amazing foresight, god bless him and his family.

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 1:42 PM

http://www.rickrescorla.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rescorla

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM

Thanks for posting those links Professor. I’ll be reading up on Rick.

infidel4life on September 11, 2007 at 1:48 PM

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM

From the wiki page…

“You should be able to strip a man naked and throw him out with nothing on him. By the end of the day, the man should be clothed and fed. By the end of the week, he should own a horse. And by the end of a year he should own a business and have money in the bank”

Sounds like he was an incredible man.

Esthier on September 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM

I was at a sonogram appointment with my wife in DC — that was the morning we found out our first (who just started school last week) was a boy. As we left the radiologist and walked back to her offices at 18th and M, we heard two guys in the lobby talking about kamizazes. I thought, “is Pearl Harbor out on DVD?” When we got to her office, the place was empty; none of the offices or cubicles had occupants. When we finally made it to the boardroom, we found everyone, frozen in front of the wall of TV screens. We had just entered the room when the report came in from the Pentagon — as it was reported in that first minute, they thought it was a car bomb. There were rumors flying around about a bomb at State, too. Within minutes the building was evacuated and we walked North, home, with everyone avoiding the subway. The first tower fell as we made our way home; we saw it on a TV in an electronics store window on Connecticut.

My mother’s sister was a systems engineer at Marsh, but she was in Memphis that day rather than NYC. My wife’s best friend’s husband was in the second tower to be hit, but left when the first tower was struck and made it to the Brooklyn bridge footpath before it fell. I had over a dozen former students in the towers, and all made it out safely. Not so for all those thousands of others.

In one moment of remembering I can feel as much rage as I felt then.

DrSteve on September 11, 2007 at 1:50 PM

The United States could use a lot more people like Rick Rescorla these days and in the future. God Bless America!

deadbackpacker on September 11, 2007 at 1:51 PM

I had forgotten that Rick Rescorla served in VietNam. Contrast him with another VietNam ‘hero’ who was last seen that day running for his life down the Capitol steps. Anyone want to guess who THAT was!

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 1:53 PM

There is a liquor store 1 block from my house, I just walked there to get a beer. Fully 1/3rd to possibly 1/2 of the cars I saw were driving with their headlights on. This small town I live in 40 miles northeast of San Diego California has not forgotten what day it is. I am comforted by this knowledge.

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 1:57 PM

I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 9/11/01, subbing as principal flutist for a couple of months in the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. I had just arrived on the morning of 9/9/01. I was one of maybe three or four Americans in this very fine orchestra, perhaps the best of South America. Of course, I didn’t know any Portugese.

The rehearsal took its normal break at 10:30 AM their time (9:30 AM normal time), and the conductor left to his office. The conductor came running back down the stairs two minutes later with the news; he took me aside first and explained to me (in fluent English) what had happened, how very sorry he was, if there was anything I needed, etc. This reaction came from a man that many musicians fear upon hearing his name.

The rest of the rehearsal was an incredible ordeal to endure. I suddenly had more friends than I could ever imagine, though, even if I couldn’t speak their language. Those who could speak some English or Spanish told me, more or less, “You know, we don’t like your government very much, but NOBODY deserves what’s happened to you. We’ll be there with you and for you.” Taxi drivers wanted to talk about it, were disappointed that I couldn’t converse with them well, and expressed their sorrow.

A month later, we routed the Taliban government of Afghanistan. By that time, I could understand Portugese well enough to read the local paper. 82% of Paulistanos (residents of Sao Paulo) polled did not think that we should have gone to war. Their attitudes basically reflected the attitudes of the left today. Man, that support went away quickly.

The administrative manager of the orchestra vented such an attitude to my face. I knew him to be a reasonable guy, though, so I posed the following situation to him. “Suppose you’re the president of Brazil. Sao Paulo’s tallest buildings get bombed, and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio gets blown up. What would you do?” He responded, “I never thought of it that way. We’d be going to war, and my first phone call would be to your president to ask for help, assuming he hadn’t already called me to offer.

That’s my 9/11 experience. I lost no family or friends that day; all I lost was a bit of sanity. Today I share our anger that we are in no better state when it comes to fighting apathy and war-is-always-wrong attitudes like the ones I’ve exhibited above. I also truly miss the attitude of our president in the weeks following 9/11; he did so well then because he actually spoke the unfiltered, ugly truth to us and did so often. To those who did lose someone, my thoughts and prayers are with you this day.

flutejpl on September 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM

1/2 of the cars I saw were driving with their headlights on.

Thanks for the reminder dorian. I have mine on every morning, but will make sure to have them on this evening.

Brat on September 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM

The day we forget and become complacent is a victory for the Islamo-Nazis. And a victory for the Islamo-Nazis is a defeat for us.

It is not just the weaponry that matters, but whether or not we become complacent and forgetful of 9/11 that also matters. Ideology, public relations, the image presented are also factors in this war.

The False Dervish on September 11, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Sorry to blather on – pun intended – about Rick Rescorla.

I guess to me he’s just one very bright silver lining on that very dark cloud.

It’s not just what he did that day. It’s his whole life, and the way it ended just seems so completely unlikely in its heroism, so utterly Hollywood … if I’d read his life story in a book, I’d have e-mailed the author and told him to work on making his characters more believable.

His whole life is like something out of Tolkien. And its like every day of it was arranged to put him right there in that building on the day it ended.

Make sure you read “We Were Soldiers …” It’s just amazing.

Sorry. Shutting up now. Peace. God bless.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 2:24 PM

I was about 20 minutes into my 40 minute drive into work (west coast time) and heard the news about the first plane on the local sports station. Remarkably, the sports station had the best radio coverage for about the first hour.

Later, at my desk, I kept up with radio and news sites. The Agency owner – a real harda** about radios at desks, instructed all employees to get out radios and listen in. As everyone notes – absolutely no work got done that day. I rushed home to my wife and my two month old daughter – our first born – who was sleeping. We didn’t say anything to each other- my wife cried, and we just sat in the baby’s room watching her.

I saw on buzz.mn that Lileks is asking if readers are tired of being asked to remember – one commenter replied that they were “tired of being asked to forget”. Better words never spoken.

Never forget.

Cry havoc…

juanito on September 11, 2007 at 2:34 PM

Sorry to blather on – pun intended – about Rick Rescorla.

I guess to me he’s just one very bright silver lining on that very dark cloud.

It’s not just what he did that day. It’s his whole life, and the way it ended just seems so completely unlikely in its heroism, so utterly Hollywood … if I’d read his life story in a book, I’d have e-mailed the author and told him to work on making his characters more believable.

His whole life is like something out of Tolkien. And its like every day of it was arranged to put him right there in that building on the day it ended.

Make sure you read “We Were Soldiers …” It’s just amazing.

Sorry. Shutting up now. Peace. God bless.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Rescorla is the perfect candidate for a movie. Hello Hollywood? Anyone there want to make a movie about a real hero?

See Bryan’s other post today http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/11/and-the-beat-goes-on-2/

Hollywood chooses these stories and many more like them, ignoring the heroism of Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith, the Marines to took Fallujah from al Qaeda and all of the hundreds of other stories of triumph, sacrifice and heroism from this war.

Brat on September 11, 2007 at 3:05 PM

RIP all victims of hate and murder.

May we one day achieve that infinite global peace which has eluded us since the dawn of civilization.

SilverStar830 on September 11, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Christoph on September 11, 2007 at 10:36 AM

I was in the northern flight pattern of Dulles, on the 10th floor of only several 13-story buildings in northern Virginia.

I had not the luxury, between the national & local news reports, to scoff at anything. In addition to planes, there were reports of car bombs and explosions throughout DC.

I just had to figure out how to get away from the most likely targets, intended or collateral, and try to get my ass home to my husband.

I have to relive 9/11 almost daily, between my job & random discussions with coworkers & friends. We are in the crosshairs, and we know it.

John Allen Muhammed & Lee Boyd Malvo reminded us the following year. I remember getting a scare on 9/11/2002 of being a victim again, as if I needed a reminder it could happen at any time.

The only people in the DC area who’ve supposedly forgotten are those living in denial. Shame on them, for this should be one of the last places that happens.

But I’m lucky. A close friend was late to a meeting at the Pentagon on 9/11, but witnessed the plane crash into the meeting room she would have been in had she been on time. All 36 co-workers and clients perished.

Miss_Anthrope on September 11, 2007 at 3:23 PM

flutejpl on September 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM

That’s a very interesting perspective.

I’m glad you were able to speak to the manager in such a way that he was able to understand our conflict.

We didn’t start this war. By taking down the buildings, the jihadists declared war on us. By going into Afganistan, we simply acknowledged that fact.

Esthier on September 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Cry havoc…

juanito on September 11, 2007 at 2:34 PM

Indeed and let slip the dogs of war…..

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM

profitsbeard on September 11, 2007 at 10:48 AM

I told a co-worker it was UBL at 9:15am after I saw the streaming video on the Internet.

Miss_Anthrope on September 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM

Brat September 11, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Rescorla is the perfect candidate for a movie. Hello Hollywood? Anyone there want to make a movie about a real hero?

I guess this one wouldn’t interest Brian DePalma!

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Brat September 11, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Rescorla is the perfect candidate for a movie. Hello Hollywood? Anyone there want to make a movie about a real hero?

I guess this one wouldn’t interest Brian DePalma!

dbdiva on September 11, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Yup, long gone are the days when the residents of Hollwierd loved America or were patriotic, now they are to America what AIDS is to individuals.

doriangrey on September 11, 2007 at 3:38 PM

I was woken up just before 6 am by the phone ringing. It was a friend calling to say her mom had called her and said another bomb had gone off at one of the WTC towers. When I got to the TV, I realized it was a plane that had crashed into it. Being naive, I thought that it was an unfortunate accident, and I felt terrible for those people. As I watched, the 2nd plane crashed and I freaked. I KNEW right then and there we were being attacked, and UBL was involved someway, somehow. My husband was away for training, so I was home alone with my 2 kids (3rd grader and KG at the time.) I had to go to work still, and while there fighter jets kept flying over us to go to the Columbia River. Found out later they were keeping an eye out on all of the dams.

StephC on September 11, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of my mom’s death, today is the 6th anniversary of the 9-11 and tomorrow we celebrate my husband’s birthay…. 6 years ago I was 2 months pregnant with my 3rd child. I got my two older ones off to school and my BIL said to watch the news – the first WTC had been hit. At first we weren’t sure if it was deliberate or an accident; after the second plane hit we knew we were under attack. It was unbelievable – we sat and watched the news as the events happened in disbelief. I remember afterwards the lack of planes in the air and how eerie that was – you don’t realize how much you take something for granted until it’s not there.

Shortly after 9-11 my husband joined the army.

Blight on September 11, 2007 at 3:47 PM

Thanks Bryan, and all you guys. I’m glad I’m not alone in my anger and sadness today. I often feel like I am when thinking of 9/11, even here in D.C.

csdeven and Limerick: I have sat at my computer and cried for the last hour looking at pictures of my cousin meeting her children at the airport yesterday. She finally returned from Baghdad and I just can’t get over the flood of relief that she’s home safely and the beauty of her gorgeous children running into her arms with their little American flags. Please know I’ll be thinking of you and your families. Thank you and please thank your boys.

hollygolightly on September 11, 2007 at 3:54 PM

I haven’t read through all of the responses yet, as just reading what Bryan had to say brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness, anger, and frustration…

Six years ago, I was at DLI in Monterey, CA. My barracks-mate recieved a phone call as we were getting ready for muster. I remember rushing to the only room that had cable to watch billowing smoke 3000 miles away. Still, I had class, and my Russian instructors (sadists all) would only let us watch the news through the New York Russian station. Our military instructors warned us to be nice to the Arabic teachers, the Farsi ones were apologizing left and right, and the poor Marines pulled double duty on our then open base. I cried when I called my mom, thinking the next logical place for terrorists to hit would be the military’s language school. I was 18, but I feel that I aged 10 years that day.

My Soviet-born & bred teachers couldn’t have cared less at the time, and I remember distinctly the admonishment that ‘we must continue on’ with our scheduled lessons. At the time, it hurt. Now it hurts that there are people who believe that my friends and former coworkers, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are the terrorists, and would blame our government for the actions of a foreign threat. I didn’t lose anybody on 9/11, but I have known people injured going after those SOBs, and I sincerely hope we hunt them all down before it’s too late.

Thanks for letting me vent.

the goddess anna on September 11, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Sorry, one more comment on Rescorla. Here’s a great piece on Blackfive on him:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/09/first-you-must-.html

And here’s a petition that’s going around to have Pres. Bush award him the Medal of Freedom (although I think it ought to be the CMH … regardless of his active duty status at the time):

http://www.petitiononline.com/pmfrick/petition-sign.html

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 4:33 PM

the goddess anna on September 11, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Small world – I graduated from the Russian program at DLI in June 1991.

I didn’t even know they were still cranking our Russian linguists by 2001 – I was in Edzell, Scotland after 4 months at Goodfellow AFB, and by the the CCCP was already falling apart and boring us all to tears.

Even when I was at DLI, the Arab guys were already getting all the action (I was actually there when Desert Shield/Storm kicked off). I always wondered what it was like for the Arab linguists after 9/11.

I actually went through Monterey with my wife a couple years back, and I was really saddened to find out that I couldn’t get on the base anymore to show her around. When I was there, it was pretty much the main highway for all the locals going up the hill and over to Pacific Grove. I can’t believe it’s now a closed base. I think in 1991 we had exactly zero security; I think they stuck a couple soldiers by the gate when a few hippie protesters showed up in Jan/Feb 1991.

Like I said, small world.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 4:39 PM

They were just starting the close the base in 2001… I was there 2001-2002, and yeah, there were still 2 Russian schools cranking ’em out. They tried to put me in Chinese, but I’m practically tone-deaf. Farsi was my second choice, though. Shoulda gone that route – I got stuck sailing a desk a Ft. Meade.

Small world indeed.

the goddess anna on September 11, 2007 at 4:47 PM

the goddess anna on September 11, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Glad to know that DLI isn’t an open base anymore.

Small world – I graduated from the Russian program at DLI in June 1991.

Indeed it is. (1992 for me.)

baldilocks on September 11, 2007 at 4:53 PM

“It seemed that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.”

I think it was just past two o’clock in London, after lunch. I heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Tower, and I thought of that light aircraft that had crashed into the White House, back when Bill Clinton was President. That thought didn’t last very long.

Silence on the London Underground, on the way home. I still have masses of Teletext screendumps and television captures on my hard drive somewhere.

And then there were anthrax attacks. And a month later it seemed as if it was all happening again.

Apeking on September 11, 2007 at 5:18 PM

I was on my way to a social group meeting in Tel Aviv when it happened. It was only later on in the day that I heard the horrific news, that the towers collapsed.

Avi Green on September 11, 2007 at 6:47 PM

Bryan, thank you for your post. It’s one of your best–the remembrance of the past and the analysis of our present.

Prof B, thank you for the links to Rick Rescorla.

Those of you who mentioned a movie about Rick Rescorla, I have not seen it but I want to catch it tonight. The History Channel is showing the docudrama The Man Who Predicted 9/11 about him this evening at 11:00.

INC on September 11, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Those of you who mentioned a movie about Rick Rescorla, I have not seen it but I want to catch it tonight. The History Channel is showing the docudrama The Man Who Predicted 9/11 about him this evening at 11:00.

INC on September 11, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Thank you so much!

I’m headed for the TIVO right now. Much appreciated.

Professor Blather on September 11, 2007 at 8:59 PM

You’re welcome, Prof B.

INC on September 11, 2007 at 9:29 PM

I remember getting up and my wife telling me to see whats
going on the t.v,when the second plane,I knew there would be war.Because,whoever it was,at the time was an act of war.
I also want to remind my American friends on Hot Air,that in no way America has brought this on.If you want to go the
history route,England,especially France,the Dutch,many other
European countries,were empiring,and sh!t disturbing,long
before the United States were formed or your country I would say was born.

As we remember today,September 11,your President,George Bush
is an honest honourable man,he’s right for job,and he is right for the time.

The left has spent more time,appeasing muslim fanatics
and a campaign of hateing George Bush,then actually
fighting the WOT,but to be fair,left and right are
Americans period.

With all the idiot comments from some Canadians in the media
I would just like to say that Canada is an ally and friend.

So today I salute you, GOD BLESS AMERICA.

canopfor on September 11, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Do you think 9/11 should be a federal holiday, or would it “cheapen” its significance from the inevitable commercialization?

kevcad on September 11, 2007 at 10:42 PM

In addition to watching the towers collapse from the street and later finding out that friends had not made it out, I recall the anthrax deaths and the thought that those of us in Manhattan might not live another month. I remember saying to a friend that we had to kill whoever did this, and I still hope we do.

Six years on, and reading the comments above, it seems like 9/11 has become a Rorschach test where people find profound reinforcement for feelings they already possessed: maybe we are too empirial, maybe we took for granted our isolation, maybe Islam has to be dealt with, maybe we need to go to war, and so on.

Two of the many questions that I’ve had over the past 6 years.
1.)Are we taking too much comfort from our best-in-the-world military engaged with an enemy that is unconventional and only in some aspects itself military?
2.)While Bin Laden was behind 9/11, do we continue to do enough on “defense” in case another attack is not from the Islamic world but from a different small group of well-organized fantatics.

dedalus on September 11, 2007 at 11:00 PM