Today will be filled with news stories on important topics, and perhaps none less than the war on terror, which has taken over the headlines again with the rise of ISIS. Last night’s speech by Barack Obama marked the end, in a way, of an attempt by American policymakers to return to the comfort of 9/10 thinking in a 9/11 world. Over the last few years, we have tried to tell ourselves that the war is over simply because we chose to withdraw from it — that we had al-Qaeda and other Islamist terror networks “on the run,” and that we could return to treating terrorism as a cross-border crime rather than acts of war from non-state organizations. Ironically, this administration’s wake-up call came last night on 9/10, the day before the 13th anniversary of the onslaught that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
Ron Fournier asked the question this morning:
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) September 11, 2014
Most Hot Air readers know my story, as I’ve written about it occasionally here, and it’s nothing remarkable. (Allahpundit’s story is much more interesting.) Thirteen years ago, I went to work at the call center I ran here in suburban Minneapolis, early in the day as usual; I liked to eat breakfast in my office back then, and I do now too, only my office is at home. We had retail customers in the World Trade Center, but as it turned out, none of them had employees in the buildings yet, as the shops opened well after the business offices. We heard about the first plane hitting the towers in New York City almost right away, but like most Americans, we assumed it had been a terrible accident until the second one hit shortly afterward.
At that moment, I knew that we were at war with someone, and I knew that the world had changed — for everyone.
In a measure of how normal that Tuesday morning started, here’s the feed from the CBS affiliate in Washington DC that got interrupted with news of the attacks. It starts out with interviews and promos from Everyone Loves Raymond and a look at the clear skies over the nation’s capital. Twenty-one minutes into the video, Bryant Gumbel breaks into the programming with the special report on the first suicide attack:
CNN’s feed started off with Wall Street reporting, but shortly afterward shifts to the attacks:
Not long after the tenth anniversary, I had an opportunity to visit the memorial at the World Trade Center plaza in New York City. I put together a short video and took a few pictures:
Where were you on 9/11? Where are we now?