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rwsaunders
09-11-2011, 12:50 PM
I had a nice quiet ride early this morning, followed by church service with my family afterwards. The message of the sermon was that more good than evil took place that day. How true.

Ray
09-11-2011, 06:43 PM
I had a nice quiet ride early this morning, followed by church service with my family afterwards. The message of the sermon was that more good than evil took place that day. How true.
I'd agree. And for many days afterwards. And yet it clearly would have been better for it never to have happened. And when I see the way we have turned ourselves inside out in response ove the past decade, I can't help but think it did an awful lot of what it was intended to do. And that, like the acts themselves, is beyond tragic.

I didn't really want to spend today rehashing and reflecting as much as I did. But I didn't have a choice - I just unavoidably did, as I've done every 9/11 since. Nonetheless, when I hear the various stories told by those who lost loved ones (I had a couple of friends who were there or very close by but got out, but lost no one), I'm reduced to my own personal rubble. It remains so incredibly heart-wrenching, the choices that people on the upper floors had to make, and those on Flight '93, who at least got a choice in the manner of their own deaths, its very very hard to imagine how any human being could intentionally do that to another, regardless of the perceived justice of their cause.

As with so many atrocities, the only lasting good is that we should never forget. And yet, invariably we do...

-Ray

djg
09-11-2011, 08:39 PM
Early cross practice.

Then I took my two younger kids to the school year's first day of religious school at our synagogue. There were very various orientation and meet-and-greet things for the parents. At one point, there was a short memorial service just for parents. It's me as much as anything, but I often find that they come up short when they try to deal with current events and hard issues. But this was different. Moving. Seemed right.

Ten years ago, I drove past the Pentagon maybe 5 minutes after the plane hit. There was all sorts of babble on the radio and then something just rumored, from an outside caller, just as I was coming down the GW parkway. I saw the column of smoke start to rise and I couldn't really process it. People were fleeing the building as I waited on the ramp to get onto 395 to come into the city. A couple of guys hiked up the embankment looking for a ride into DC -- I was going to let them in, but the car right in front of me took them, so when my turn came I just kept driving. I got to work at Georgetown and it was madness. I parked, started in, and ran into an ordinarily sober and tough-minded former federal prosecutor who said "go home." She started babbling that they'd bombed the Capital and the FBI building. "Go home." I stayed. Went into a sort of lounge where there was a large screen TV. It was packed with people staring at the image of the towers. When each of the buildings came down in turn a new smaller cluster of people just fell apart. I didn't know them -- grief and disbelief enough all around, and they weren't alone, but I could only imagine if these were the kids with a mom, dad, or some other loved one thought to be at work at the trade center.

We all lost something, but to those who lost somebody close, my thoughts are with you.

tiretrax
09-11-2011, 08:59 PM
My family and I greeted troops returning from Afghanistan. It was the least I could do to show my appreciation for them and the many who have sacrificed for us, keeping us safe to enjoy riding our bikes and other pursuits.

My friend Jim Waters died that day in the South Tower. We had a conversation about getting out of the tower three months earlier while at a friend's wedding. While on a hiaitus from Wall Street, he tried to market an umbrella holster so folks commuting on the subway could put their umbrellas in a dry place while on the subway and not get themselves or others wet from the dripping umbrellas. While discussing working in the Trade Center, which was bombed unsuccessfully 8 years earlier, he joked about inventing an office parachute - I wish he had.

Bruce K
09-11-2011, 09:25 PM
I went to a cross race today. Spent some quiet time between 8:26 and about 8:45 then raced to take my mind off of it all for a while.

We lost two freinds on United 93 and watched the dedication of the memorial in Shanksville on TV yesterday. It seemed like every time the camera zoomed in on the wall and again when the VP stopped at the wall it was always on the panel with the name of our freind Linda.

We will never forget her or her boyfreind Joe. We still miss them as much today as we did ten years ago. And we will NEVER forget them, the others who were lost, or what happened that day.

BK

dhoff
09-11-2011, 09:33 PM
he joked about inventing an office parachute - I wish he had.

I have been sad today feeling a lot, waves of sadness coming up seemingly out of the blue today and yesterday, reminding me of that day. I was in the city that day, but uptown. About 15 of my good friends and relatives working in the towers or within a 2 block radius. We tracked most of them down and almost all of our family members within the first 3 hours, kept getting good news, but still some people were missing. 1 hour after the towers came down, my neighbors dad showed up in my building, covered in dust, had run from the falling buildings and had no place to go. He stayed with me until they opened the GW bridge. An hour later I heard that My friend, a mother of 3 had called in sick that day and wasn't in the office that the first plane plowed into, for that reason. At that time they opened the GW bridge but wouldnt let me ride my bike over. I was stopped by a cop and when I said, "what if I ride over anyway" he said, "I will shoot you", and I believed him. So I hitched a ride with my bike in a van full of people who only spoke spanish.

4 hours after the towers came down we heard from a friends wife, she had told the security the second tower, telling her to return to her desk and not to leave the building to F-Off and convinced her entire office to leave with her, thereby saving the lives of 74 people, (every single member) at her investment banking form, 6 hours after the towers came down I got a call, saying someone close had just made it home, a 5 hour walk with no shoes, to Brooklyn. An hour later, I was watching TV, the scenes from the Helicopters that they only showed for a little while. I watched as a friend, not close, but someone I knew, broke out a window; the floor beneath in flames. He looked up to the people in the Helicopter as if asking for help, I felt like he was looking strait into me through the TV. I could see his fear, still can. I can still feel it almost like it was me, the heat from below, intense, the hopelessness, he leaned way out the window, looked down for a moment, and then up one more time, looking strait into the eyes of the camera, he let go, falling from high up in the tower.

I prayed that day for him and for all of us, for those who would yet die as a result of this, the soldiers and the innocents. I expect that there have been more of the latter.

Today, 10 years later I grieve for all of those who have so senselessly lost, not just those who have died but for those who have lost the ones they love. I wonder if anything we have done since has made anyone safer. I have always felt that there is glory in giving everything to a cause, in feeling so driven by one's convictions, one is willing to give up their life. But there is no glory in loosing a father or a daughter, son or a mom. There is only loss. It seems we have all lost so much since that day, people we loved, freedoms we held dear.

Today was a sad day for me. A day I needed to remember from where we came.

Ray
09-11-2011, 10:42 PM
And we will NEVER forget them, the others who were lost, or what happened that day.
Bruce - on the chance that this was in any way a reaction to my comment about how we invariably do forget, please understand I didn't mean we invariably forget about a specific incident or the people lost and otherwise affected (as we all were). I certainly won't and I know nobody who knew people killed ever could. I only meant that we humans collectively invariably forget the larger lessons that lead to atrocities happening again and again through the ages. I will never forget that day or the many people I never even knew who I was touched by at a very basic human level. And I don't think anyone would. But similarly horrible things continue to happen all too often, in some location somewhere in the world as people forget that our humanity toward each other is far more important than any religious or political or material ideal.

-Ray

Bruce K
09-12-2011, 05:33 AM
RAy;

No reaction to your comment at all.

Just my own feeling/reaction to the day and what I had seen on TV over the last few days.

All is good.

BK

johnnymossville
09-12-2011, 09:51 AM
Took the family to church yesterday and the message was forgiveness. Obviously a very difficult thing to do even 10 years later, but then the alternative is probably even more difficult in the end. It was a very thought provoking sermon.

Can't believe it's been 10 years already.

AngryScientist
09-12-2011, 10:06 AM
i rode up the the 9/11 memorial in eagle rock reservation. quiet and somber ride with a new friend from my bike club. it was early morning, but tents were up and ceremonies were to take place.

beautiful red, white and blue flags were created from the names of the men and women who lost their lives that terrible day. it was very emotional and moving to be there with the friends and family of others so obviously affected by the disaster.

i remember the day vividly, as i am sure most of us who are old enough to remember do. i will never forget that day.

dbrown
09-12-2011, 10:20 AM
dhoff- powerfull and heartfelt. My prayers to you, your friends and all who had such losses.


I have been sad today feeling a lot, waves of sadness coming up seemingly out of the blue today and yesterday, reminding me of that day. I was in the city that day, but uptown. About 15 of my good friends and relatives working in the towers or within a 2 block radius. We tracked most of them down and almost all of our family members within the first 3 hours, kept getting good news, but still some people were missing. 1 hour after the towers came down, my neighbors dad showed up in my building, covered in dust, had run from the falling buildings and had no place to go. He stayed with me until they opened the GW bridge. An hour later I heard that My friend, a mother of 3 had called in sick that day and wasn't in the office that the first plane plowed into, for that reason. At that time they opened the GW bridge but wouldnt let me ride my bike over. I was stopped by a cop and when I said, "what if I ride over anyway" he said, "I will shoot you", and I believed him. So I hitched a ride with my bike in a van full of people who only spoke spanish.

4 hours after the towers came down we heard from a friends wife, she had told the security the second tower, telling her to return to her desk and not to leave the building to F-Off and convinced her entire office to leave with her, thereby saving the lives of 74 people, (every single member) at her investment banking form, 6 hours after the towers came down I got a call, saying someone close had just made it home, a 5 hour walk with no shoes, to Brooklyn. An hour later, I was watching TV, the scenes from the Helicopters that they only showed for a little while. I watched as a friend, not close, but someone I knew, broke out a window; the floor beneath in flames. He looked up to the people in the Helicopter as if asking for help, I felt like he was looking strait into me through the TV. I could see his fear, still can. I can still feel it almost like it was me, the heat from below, intense, the hopelessness, he leaned way out the window, looked down for a moment, and then up one more time, looking strait into the eyes of the camera, he let go, falling from high up in the tower.

I prayed that day for him and for all of us, for those who would yet die as a result of this, the soldiers and the innocents. I expect that there have been more of the latter.

Today, 10 years later I grieve for all of those who have so senselessly lost, not just those who have died but for those who have lost the ones they love. I wonder if anything we have done since has made anyone safer. I have always felt that there is glory in giving everything to a cause, in feeling so driven by one's convictions, one is willing to give up their life. But there is no glory in loosing a father or a daughter, son or a mom. There is only loss. It seems we have all lost so much since that day, people we loved, freedoms we held dear.

Today was a sad day for me. A day I needed to remember from where we came.

Aaron O
09-12-2011, 11:08 AM
Bruce - on the chance that this was in any way a reaction to my comment about how we invariably do forget, please understand I didn't mean we invariably forget about a specific incident or the people lost and otherwise affected (as we all were). I certainly won't and I know nobody who knew people killed ever could. I only meant that we humans collectively invariably forget the larger lessons that lead to atrocities happening again and again through the ages. I will never forget that day or the many people I never even knew who I was touched by at a very basic human level. And I don't think anyone would. But similarly horrible things continue to happen all too often, in some location somewhere in the world as people forget that our humanity toward each other is far more important than any religious or political or material ideal.

-Ray

I'm not sure there is a larger lesson here. We're an empire and there are always going to be those looking to challenge or overthrow the status quo. We're a country based on free trade and free trade means some level of open borders and open travel. That means we are always going to be potentially vulnerable unless we want to shut down the borders. If people can smuggle humans and drugs through our borders, do you really think we can stop things like this every time? It only takes "them" getting lucky once to have a disaster, and you're not going to stop everything. Does anyone honestly believe a less interventionist approach to the mid-east would eliminate anger and hatred? If Israel was gone tomorrow, there would be a different issue. We're an empire and there are going to be people who want to promote their own interests, just as we do.

Personally, I'd rather live in a free society and endure the consequences than a closed one. All systems have weaknesses, this is one of our's. I think we owe an unfathomable debt to the passengers who downed the plane...that day could have been so much worse had they struck our government. I'm also extremely thankful that it wasn't me or mine who did have to endure those consequences.

As far as the original post...about there being more good that day than evil, it honestly strikes me as trite, pointless and silly. We suffered a tremendous loss as a nation...and the good did not outweigh the bad. Our markets took a hit, the nation's character changed and we're mired in war that has further limited the economy and thrust us in debt. We have radicalized, polar politics steeped in dogma with little focus on the American principle of compromise and balance of power. Much of that is rooted in 9/11, and people who cynically took advantage of the tragedy to promote their own agendas.

flydhest
09-12-2011, 11:40 AM
Just a friendly reminder from your moderators that civil conversation is a requirement. This issue is an important one to everyone. We ask for respectful dialogue on a subject that is sensitive to all.

Pete Serotta
09-12-2011, 11:43 AM
Just a friendly reminder from your moderators that civil conversation is a requirement. This issue is an important one to everyone. We ask for respectful dialogue on a subject that is sensitive to all.


THanks. Pete

Dave B
09-12-2011, 12:44 PM
Like many I have my own feelings for the families and people lost in the 9-11 attacks and resulting conflict we involve our troops in.

What i am struggling with is how to communicate this to my students. I spoke to them Friday with a factual presentation we were given by the admin...not principals, but top dogs.

It is really difficult to discuss an incredibly emotional and even more so powerful time in our history with numbers.

After the facts I lead them in discussions on judging others by their color, religion, ethnicity, etc.

I suppose it went ok and I did my best to keep my points of view out of things, but how do you talk to children who were 1 or 2 when this happened about the significance of what us adults experienced? I remember when it happened and what I was doing. My principal then would not allow us to tell our students when it happened.

Sometimes being a teacher gets in the way of educating our children.

Thanks for listening.

AngryScientist
09-12-2011, 12:51 PM
Like many I have my own feelings for the families and people lost in the 9-11 attacks and resulting conflict we involve our troops in.

What i am struggling with is how to communicate this to my students. I spoke to them Friday with a factual presentation we were given by the admin...not principals, but top dogs.

It is really difficult to discuss an incredibly emotional and even more so powerful time in our history with numbers.

After the facts I lead them in discussions on judging others by their color, religion, ethnicity, etc.

I suppose it went ok and I did my best to keep my points of view out of things, but how do you talk to children who were 1 or 2 when this happened about the significance of what us adults experienced? I remember when it happened and what I was doing. My principal then would not allow us to tell our students when it happened.

Sometimes being a teacher gets in the way of educating our children.

Thanks for listening.

that is a very interesting perspective!

it would take some work, and you would be working with a diminishing number of people, but it would be interesting if you could find some of the men and women who were educators during the WWII era.

i know things were much different then, but it would be curious to hear the perspectives of those who were in your shoes after pearl harbor, and had to live through somewhat similar loss of human life. i also understand that the circumstances are much different, but some parallels might exist.

fourflys
09-12-2011, 01:44 PM
I had to not watch most of the televised stuff, just too painful... I did go to church and we had a special guest who was Navy Petty Officer at the Pentagon in the Command Center that got hit... he was ordered to go to a meeting in a different area just before the plane hit the command center (he lost 43 friends that day)... needless to say, he has been battling demons most of us can't even imagine for 10 years...

I won't go into it much, but I was about as far away when 9/11 hit as I could be in Kodiak, Alaska... even so, it bothered me quite a bit being active duty military...

I just want to say regardless of what your political affiliation is, just don't forget the brave men and women who are places they'd rather not be, doing a job that they would probably rather not do... most did not ask to go where they are and many will pay the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, whomever's freedom that is...

also, don't forget the brave men and women in our communities that freely give their time and sometimes their life to protect us and our families... I'm talking about the firefighters, EMS, and police officers that put their life on the line every day and I'm pretty sure it's not just for the paycheck...

God Bless all these brave souls and may God have mercy on them when they or their families need it...

Chris

AngryScientist
09-12-2011, 01:51 PM
i would also like to relay a nice story i heard on Q104.3 Sunday morning. Q104 is NYC's classic rock radio.

On the days following 9/11, Q104 had a DJ stationed at one of the relief centers in NYC near ground zero, assisting the rescue operation. when the rescue workers came to the center, needing this or that, the DJ would mention various things on the radio.

to his amazement, if he said "we're low on water", minutes later a truck with pallets of bottled water would just show up, donated by some good soul listening to the radio. the DJ was very emotional recounting his experience there, and amazed at how selfless and giving the New Yorkers and others were in such a time of need.

fourflys
09-12-2011, 02:00 PM
i would also like to relay a nice story i heard on Q104.3 Sunday morning. Q104 is NYC's classic rock radio.

On the days following 9/11, Q104 had a DJ stationed at one of the relief centers in NYC near ground zero, assisting the rescue operation. when the rescue workers came to the center, needing this or that, the DJ would mention various things on the radio.

to his amazement, if he said "we're low on water", minutes later a truck with pallets of bottled water would just show up, donated by some good soul listening to the radio. the DJ was very emotional recounting his experience there, and amazed at how selfless and giving the New Yorkers and others were in such a time of need.

Awesome stuff right there! :D

Dave B
09-12-2011, 02:00 PM
that is a very interesting perspective!

it would take some work, and you would be working with a diminishing number of people, but it would be interesting if you could find some of the men and women who were educators during the WWII era.

i know things were much different then, but it would be curious to hear the perspectives of those who were in your shoes after pearl harbor, and had to live through somewhat similar loss of human life. i also understand that the circumstances are much different, but some parallels might exist.


Interesting you mention this. When I was in HS, we had a student who brought her dad into our English class to talk to us about his experiences during Vietnam as it was a neat experience to add to the literature we were discussing.

You could tell he was terribly affected by his experiences and a few times lost a bit of control of his emotions and began to talk to us much like we were adults. For a 15 year old it was awesome.

However, he became very excited (think caught up) and when the bell wrung for us to rotate he had a flashback and began screaming orders and had us all get under our desks. Looking back my heart goes out to him, but his daughter was mortified. I think she understood, but her proud moment became the worst nightmare.

I often think about this when I have people come and speak. I have never purposefully shied away from having any sort of battle experienced vet visit, but I will never forget that experience.

I think my goal is simply to be able to communicate as much truth with out putting too much agenda in my message. My mom will speak of Vietnam and the Kennedy assassination with such passion as those were her experiences. I hope in my work with my students I gain the "right" words to convey what we as a society really hope our future generations take for this.

Thanks for the suggestion, will be something to look into with my admin.

Cheers

Dave

BillG
09-12-2011, 05:20 PM
I did a ride from 9/9 to 9/11 from Ground Zero to Boston. The ride was organized by Susan Retik, whose husband was killed, and included many who lost loved ones. Characteristic of Susan it was more about what we can do to help others than about mourning.

Dekonick
09-12-2011, 11:43 PM
I remember being at home relaxing after finishing my 24 hour shift. The phone rang and I answered. It was my wife who told me to turn on the TV. There I saw the first tower in flames - and I had a bad feeling. Listening to the newscasters talking about an errant plane hitting the WTC. I was thinking what would I do if I were there? It was obvious (at least it was to me) that the building was doomed. When the second plane hit my stomach turned into a knot. Fear for the subjects trapped, the firefighters headed into the battle probably knowing this was quite possibly the last run they would ever respond to. I called work to see if we were being recalled. We ended up sending units to assist DC run their regular 911 calls so they could focus on the Pentagon. Some of our FEMA members were activated. It was unreal. For me, the hardest part was not going to help. One of my college friends is a Captain in FDNY. He was supposed to work the morning of 9-11, but stayed home because he had a sick kid at home. His entire company was killed, as were many of his close friends and co-workers. I can only imagine the survivor guilt.

I have many more stories that relate to 9-11. Some I just can't talk about. It was the result of a cowardly act from a cowardly man that showed the great bravery of so many people. From the emergency responders, to the steel workers, to the mental health professionals, everywhere you look there are true acts of kindness. In many ways, it brought the country together. I love this country - as imperfect as it is. It is still the place I am proud to call home. I saw a bumper sticker that made me smile on a day that normally makes me sad. It said 'practice random acts of kindness.'

I think I will.

rounder
09-13-2011, 12:28 AM
What it was for me.

I was working at a D.C. agency at the time. We heard that a plane had flown into the world trade center. It must have been an idiot. Then later, heard that another plane had hit the world trade center. Someone there said it must be Osama bin Laden.

We later left the building with co-workers and turned on the news. The news announced that Metro was not working...but it was running along the rails right beside us. They announced that a truck bomb had blown up next to the State House, but it had not. They announced that a fighter jet was in the sky getting ready to shoot down another passenger plane, but they did not. There was so much misinformation on the news channels. Meanwhile, the lines were jammed and it was not possible to make a phone call.

I was taking the train, but the trains were not running. A co-worker and i drove others to their cars. We drove outside for lunch and watched on TV. There was an attack on D.C., but it was nothing compared to NYC. You could see Guilianani walking around covered in dust..they kept showing pictures of the planes flying into the WTC...over and over. My day was scary and bad, but it was nothing like it was for those there in NYC. Best wishes.

fogrider
09-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Took the family to church yesterday and the message was forgiveness. Obviously a very difficult thing to do even 10 years later, but then the alternative is probably even more difficult in the end. It was a very thought provoking sermon.

Can't believe it's been 10 years already.
I too was at church and the message too was forgiveness. truly a tough subject to preach on on that day. First I want to sincerely thank all the men and women in uniform for their service. I also want to thank all those that serve this country at home. To be clear, what happen on that day was pure evil.

the actions of that day was intended to drag this country into a war in afghanistan, which would be drag on our economy. bin laden did not expect this country attack iraq, which would have been good news to bin laden.
this reminds me of what col jessup said when he was asked about the the code red...the truth, you can't handle the truth...who helped hussein stay in power? hussein was put propped to balance iran. who supplied bin laden with arms when he was fighting the soviets? what do you think foreign aid goes for?

the interesting thing that is a sign of hope is the "arab spring". these are countries that the US has propped up. We need to be on the right side of history now. if the next generation in these countries see hope, that's where their energy and efforts will go...not training camps and monkey bars.

again, what this country went through is unspeakable and even though I live on the west coast, my life has been effected by the events on the east coast.

Ray
09-13-2011, 05:53 AM
the actions of that day was intended to drag this country into a war in afghanistan, which would be drag on our economy. bin laden did not expect this country attack iraq, which would have been good news to bin laden.
this reminds me of what col jessup said when he was asked about the the code red...the truth, you can't handle the truth...who helped hussein stay in power? hussein was put propped to balance iran. who supplied bin laden with arms when he was fighting the soviets? what do you think foreign aid goes for?

Yep. The two things I don't think Bin Laden would have wanted to see that have happened are the Arab Spring and how thoroughly and effectively the west has responded specifically to Al Qaeda and crippled it as an organization. The Arab Spring may or may not be a good thing for us (depending on how much Islamic fundamentalists end up coming to power in the various nations - still waaaaay too soon to tell), but is probably a good thing for them. The dismantling of Al Quada is a good thing for everyone but Al Quada. And I'm guessing he'd prefer personally not to be dead, but who knows? If he was really the soldier he claimed to be, he might see that as a very reasonable price to pay.

But in terms of pretty much everything else, I think Bin Laden got pretty much what he was after, particularly in terms of what it did to us in the US and the west generally. We've reacted, so far at least, pretty much as he hoped. As incredibly sad and tragic as the events of that day were, and the terrible fallout on the friends and families of the victims, I think how effective it turned out to be is every bit as sad and tragic as the attacks themselves.

A horrible thing all around, despite the incredible acts of bravery, heroism and selflessness many here showed in the response. As long as I live I don't think I could ever imagine how I'd react if I'd been on Flight 93 - of course I hope I'd have done the same thing those on board actually did, but the situation is so incredibly beyond my ability to imagine, that I hope I never have to know how I'd react and I hope nobody else ever has to find out again either. I guess if you know you're going down either way, it sort of becomes a no-brainer, but I'm not talking about the "brainer" part of it - I just can't even begin to imagine a more horrible situation to find oneself in. And they did an amazing thing.

-Ray

johnnymossville
09-13-2011, 08:19 AM
...The Arab Spring may or may not be a good thing for us (depending on how much Islamic fundamentalists end up coming to power in the various nations - still waaaaay too soon to tell), but is probably a good thing for them.
-Ray

It may be good for them,.. not so good for the women in the area or Israel.

I think what we are seeing is kinda like 1979 all over again.

stephenmarklay
09-13-2011, 08:26 AM
It is one of those things that we will all remember where we were when it happened. I remember like it was yesterday. I remember my shock and emotion to what I was seeing. The helplessness and fear. It was a wake up call to me.

I was in a meeting with high ranking military officials. A big day a big deal. A lot of build up and work for this. I was an technical analyst working on some unrelated DoD programs. Shortly after the meeting started someone came into the room and whispered a few words to one of the management on my team. A screen was brought in and we all watched in awe. The military officials were as helpless as the rest of us. The fear came to me when the attacks were confirmed at the Pentagon.

I was on an air force base and soon after the base was at Defcon 1. Guns and dogs were everywhere. I was not military and this was not normal for me on the base. We were to secure any sensitive material and evacuate the base. It was orderly chaos. Soon I was out of the gate.

I had commuted that day on my bike as I normally had. The ride was a blur. I remember calling my wife home.

Over the next few days I was pretty jumpy. I was pretty much terrified when the military jets flew over our airspace. I was not sure they were ours...

I can only imagine the feeling of the people at ground zero.

Now days 9/11 for me is a good day, no a great day. See, my son was born 9/11 2008. He has supplanted the memories of fear with joy.

I flew on 9/11 this year. I think it was a show of defiance on my part to show I no longer live in fear of that day.

93legendti
09-13-2011, 08:42 AM
It may be good for them,.. not so good for the women in the area or Israel.

I think what we are seeing is kinda like 1979 all over again.
Yes, Egypt committed an act of war against Israel 2 days ago by attacking the Israeli Embassy in Egypt and then refusing Israel's calls for help to evacuate it's Embassy.

Funniest looking Democracy I have ever seen.

The Arab Spring will be good for no one- other than the extremists in power.

sg8357
09-13-2011, 08:42 AM
It may be good for them,.. not so good for the women in the area or Israel.

I think what we are seeing is kinda like 1979 all over again.

Arabia is not Persia, you must look back to 1919 to see what ancient
meddling is finally being unwound.


Prince Feisal: But you know, Lieutenant, in the Arab city of Cordoba were
two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village?
T.E. Lawrence: Yes, you were great.
Prince Feisal: Nine centuries ago.
T.E. Lawrence: Time to be great again, my lord.

Aaron O
09-13-2011, 09:34 AM
Yep. The two things I don't think Bin Laden would have wanted to see that have happened are the Arab Spring and how thoroughly and effectively the west has responded specifically to Al Qaeda and crippled it as an organization. The Arab Spring may or may not be a good thing for us (depending on how much Islamic fundamentalists end up coming to power in the various nations - still waaaaay too soon to tell), but is probably a good thing for them. The dismantling of Al Quada is a good thing for everyone but Al Quada. And I'm guessing he'd prefer personally not to be dead, but who knows? If he was really the soldier he claimed to be, he might see that as a very reasonable price to pay.

But in terms of pretty much everything else, I think Bin Laden got pretty much what he was after, particularly in terms of what it did to us in the US and the west generally. We've reacted, so far at least, pretty much as he hoped. As incredibly sad and tragic as the events of that day were, and the terrible fallout on the friends and families of the victims, I think how effective it turned out to be is every bit as sad and tragic as the attacks themselves.

A horrible thing all around, despite the incredible acts of bravery, heroism and selflessness many here showed in the response. As long as I live I don't think I could ever imagine how I'd react if I'd been on Flight 93 - of course I hope I'd have done the same thing those on board actually did, but the situation is so incredibly beyond my ability to imagine, that I hope I never have to know how I'd react and I hope nobody else ever has to find out again either. I guess if you know you're going down either way, it sort of becomes a no-brainer, but I'm not talking about the "brainer" part of it - I just can't even begin to imagine a more horrible situation to find oneself in. And they did an amazing thing.

-Ray

I disagree completely...the Arab Spring is exactly what he wanted and it's very clear who is taking charge and who has the numbers. I always stood in amazed, dumbfounded horror/amusement when Dubya would speak about promoting democracy in Egypt. Democracy in Egypt equates with radical extremism and anti-American/Israeli fervor. You are dealing with angry, impovershed, uneducated folks who have watched their corrupt, US supported, leaders get rich while being oppressed. They've seen us torture people in news reports...some of whom were innocent. Countries like Syria have been using Israel as a bread and circus act for decades while offering no support to the refugees (about half of whom are refugees from Arab countries). The only question is how much "Democracy" the Egyptian military will permit. They're paying lip service to the populism, but they're also afraid of cutting ties because of the aid, tourism, etc.

Democracies don't just grow over night from an uprising. They take different groups with power coming together and deciding sharing power is better, long run, than what they're doing. They take diversified economies. They take some level of border security because the balance between security and freedom has to fall towards freedom. They take an educated population that can read. They take a skilled labor force to supply the economy. The only country in the mid-east that could apply to is Iran...and I'd wager they'll be a legit democracy long before the Egyptians.

The dismantling of Al Queda is nice and the killing of their leadership is a great short time tactic, but the only strategic win is economic. The only strategic win is making nation states like Syria unwilling to harbor and support these groups. The only strategic win is some form of long term economic development, NOT JUST OIL, that average denizens of these countries will see an advantage from (and there you have to hope they won't go Cuba and nationalize).

I saw a news report recently, the gist of which is that most Muslims don't support extremism. To support their position, they conducted interviews and research...and found that only 8% of Muslims world wide supported Bin Laden and terrorism. I was amazed! That is an unbelieveably high percentage of lunatics. I think all religious extremists are scary and dangerous, whether Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Xtian...but 8% is terrifying. In contrast, look at Muslim communities in the US...where there is minimal extremism. Muslims here have done what every immigrant group has done...they've struggled to balance their identity and customs with American values...and US values typically win over time. They're Americans. What's the difference? Economics. It's much harder to recruit suicide bombers from communities with jobs. It's much easier to promote extremism in people who haven't eaten.

flydhest
09-13-2011, 09:44 AM
Democracies don't just grow over night from an uprising. They take different groups with power coming together and deciding sharing power is better, long run, than what they're doing. They take diversified economies. They take some level of border security because the balance between security and freedom has to fall towards freedom. They take an educated population that can read. They take a skilled labor force to supply the economy. The only country in the mid-east that could apply to is Iran...and I'd wager they'll be a legit democracy long before the Egyptians.


Tunisia.

Aaron O
09-13-2011, 09:54 AM
Tunisia.

Excellent point...and in many ways a model for development.

Ray
09-13-2011, 10:09 AM
I disagree completely...the Arab Spring is exactly what he wanted and it's very clear who is taking charge and who has the numbers.
I don't think we disagree anywhere near completely. I think we're in agreement on just about all of it - the only point of disagreement being my contention that the Arab Spring could be a good thing or a bad thing for us (and perhaps Bin Laden's hopes in that regard). I'm not optimistic. Like you, I don't trust religious extremists with political control ANYWHERE, regardless of the religion (I don't know, maybe I'd be OK with Buddhists - are there Buddhist extremists, and if so, how do they act?). I think the Arab Spring has the potential to be bad or very bad, but I'm not willing to totally write off the potential that it could be a long term good, either. We're always advocating for democracy and all democracies have to start somewhere - they don't just come into the world fully mature and functional. Well, we're gonna get some form of democracy in the Arab world and maybe someday jobs and functional economies will follow, but based on a lot of the same concerns you have about the state of the Arab "street", I'm far from optimistic, particularly in the near term. But 20-30 years down the road I think there's at least a chance we look back and see it as the best thing that could have happened. And maybe not.

-Ray

Aaron O
09-13-2011, 10:24 AM
I don't think we disagree anywhere near completely. I think we're in agreement on just about all of it - the only point of disagreement being my contention that the Arab Spring could be a good thing or a bad thing for us (and perhaps Bin Laden's hopes in that regard). I'm not optimistic. Like you, I don't trust religious extremists with political control ANYWHERE, regardless of the religion (I don't know, maybe I'd be OK with Buddhists - are there Buddhist extremists, and if so, how do they act?). I think the Arab Spring has the potential to be bad or very bad, but I'm not willing to totally write off the potential that it could be a long term good, either. We're always advocating for democracy and all democracies have to start somewhere - they don't just come into the world fully mature and functional. Well, we're gonna get some form of democracy in the Arab world and maybe someday jobs and functional economies will follow, but based on a lot of the same concerns you have about the state of the Arab "street", I'm far from optimistic, particularly in the near term. But 20-30 years down the road I think there's at least a chance we look back and see it as the best thing that could have happened. And maybe not.

-Ray

I wish I had the answers...

I see where you're going, and in the long term...you might be right. The weird thing is that in many ways by fighting and isolating the Irans, we're promoting their governments long term. Some of me wonders what would happen if we just welcomed them into the fold...sure, short term we'd be promoting a dangerous, extremist, scary country...but Iran has the soil a Democracy could grow from. An economically prosperous Iran has a harder time shouting death to the US when they have a stake in the system. I'm thinking China, which I do think...long term...is going to look a lot like Japan.

fogrider
09-15-2011, 02:15 AM
so good points made. I think change will come when the old guard is gone. as in tunisia, it started with the youth. the old guard is still strong in iran, but the youth is the future and change will come. you look at how many people come to the us or other counties to flee oppressive governments. we have many ways to effect societies, for better or worse, much of our influence is through the what we export; music, movies, food, etc. to me, its kind of sad to see mcdonalds, kfc, and coke all over the world, but if it wins hearts and minds, I'm all for it.