posted 09-13-2001 08:16 PM PT (US)
Every Time I Sleep My Attitude Changes
I find myself waking up, every day, with a new and sobered view of what's happened.
I think that, to some degree, some people are interpreting the events of last Tuesday as being mere plane crashes, as opposed to our city having been bombed in a calculated and military fashion. Planes were only used because they were what the attackers had available - nevertheless, the planes themselves were used not merely as the vehicles to deliver a payload, but as the payload themselves. Our city was bombed.
And the "Pearl Harbor" episode in history is on far too small of a scale to deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the bombing of New York. Pearl Harbor killed a relative few compared to the New York bombing. Pearl Harbor was against a military installation - the bombing of New York was against civilians.
And still, as of now, buildings continue to fall. Some of us are still thinking of this as a bombing of the two World Trade Center towers. Hardly. This bombing has destroyed not just those two towers, but many buildings - some of which have fallen, some which are soon to fall on their own, and others which are of unsound structure and which will have to be taken down if they do not fall on their own.
And, people are still dying.
People are still in that rubble - tap, tap, tapping on the steel and concrete hoping that they'll be found.
However, they're dehydrated, and they're subject to harsh temperature changes while they wait under the rubble, their legs, arms, and/or other bones broken, bleeding, hoping for someone to reach them before they die. And, of course, they just might have a neighboring building which hasn't yet fallen, crumble down on top of them.
They are still there.
And the entire country has been disrupted. At least one airline has gone out of business. Three business days have been lost not just for all passenger airlines, but also for every person who has been stranded in city from which they intended to leave by air - and thus they've not been able to return home to work. Who pays for this? These people just lose a few days pay? If an employer pays them anyway - then the employer loses. A couple of days can't be of much importance, can it? When multiplied by the number of people affected, it's a major hit to our economy. UPS, Federal Express, the US mail, and other overnight delivery services that use planes - all brought to a halt; business that relies upon those services have been hamstringed for three days.
And flying as a passenger has been dramatically changed. Be prepared to not be allowed on board until you've had a dog sniff your crotch to ensure that you're not carrying a bomb. Instead of getting to the airport 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour in advance - expect 3 hours, 5 hours, 8 hours in advance (no? well - that's what they're reporting on the news).
All because we were bombed.
There has never been a time in history - certainly not Pearl Harbor - in which the interests of the United States have more dramatically called for war.
As I type this, a woman is being interviewed live, on camera, holding up a photo of her family - at least one of which was probably killed in the bombing.
The United States was founded on the principles embedded within the following sentiment, recited from memory (so it might not be an exact quote):
"Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Allmighty God! For I do not know what others may take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death!"
Were it not for people of that attitude, this great nation would never have existed. Without the endurance of that attitude throughout the last two and a quarter centuries, the existence of this nation would not have been great.
Sure, there have always been people in this nation who have been willing to sacrifice freedom for peace - nevertheless, those with the enduring American attitude which exists within Patrick Henry's statement have endured, and the people of the United States have gone to war on many occasions to protect our freedoms. Sometimes freedoms are taken away ever so slowly, almost unnoticeably (you might remember when Clinton first took office and many American freedoms were nearly lost in exchange for free dentures). At other times our freedoms come under attack in much more dramatic fashion - as we are experiencing now.
And, still, some people are willing to passively pretend that nothing of much importance is really happening.
But Pearl Harbor, which angered the United States 60 years ago, and immediately martialed the American population into definitive action and into war doesn't hold a candle to what has happened this week.
And I've not even mentioned the bombing of the Pentagon and the lives lost there.
The events of September 11, 2001 are the most significant acts of war that have ever touched the United States. Repeat: The events of September 11, 2001 are THE MOST SIGNIFICANT acts of war which have EVER touched the United States.