Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11: where I was, 10 years ago

Barbara McDowell from the #writecampaign blog circle pointed me to this entry from a blogger who was in the US military in 2011. LadyJai writes a touching and very illuminating post about her personal experience in 9/11, 2001. It's a relief from all the hype and self-serving nattering from the so-called journalists and insane conspiracy theorists.

Jai asked about others' experience on that day, so here is mine:

I had thought September 11, 2001 would be a significant day. At the time, I was working at Canada's central bank, and the Deputy Governor was holding a breakfast meeting that was supposed to launch some significant initiative. How silly that seems now, in comparison!

We came out of the meeting a few minutes before 9:00, and a coordinator in the communications section said "A plane just hit the World Trade Centre." There's a World Trade Building here in Ottawa, and I first thought of it. But no, it was soon obvious that something far more important was happening.

I hoped at first that it was an accident, but when I heard of the second plane hitting the other tower, well, we all knew we were watching the unfolding of a horrendous plan.

"It has to be Arab terrorists," said someone else in the communications section. I tried to argue that we didn't know anything yet. I pointed out that the previous case of US terrorism, the Oklahoma City bombing, was an example of domestic, home-grown terror, but that wasn't convincing anyone.

And I was drowned out: all the news channels and commentators were talking about Arab or Muslim terrorists, US enemies from the Middle East. We heard about a plane hitting the Pentagon, rumours of a fourth crashing in Pennsylvania, a fifth missing. We watched TV news reports of all the aircraft being diverted to the closest airport, about hundreds of US flights landing in Canadian airports.

It was all so hard to believe. All these news reports, all this coverage, and almost no information.

We watched replay after replay of the planes hitting the buildings. Then we watched, live, as the South Tower collapsed. I nearly collapsed, myself. The greatest horror I'd ever imagined, on TV, in front of me, and it was real.

There have been so many events that followed from that day, so much change in the world. There have been hopeful signs, but much (truthers, birthers, ravers from all sides and every shade of the political spectrum) that is discouraging.

Still, I am hopeful. The US has been the home of so much good, and so much pain, as well. Americans have shown the best and the worst qualities of humanity. But I am still hopeful that the best will win out, finally.

To all my US friends, I wish you the best on this most painful anniversary. I think you will, finally, make the right choices and embrace the best of yourselves.

It's time, long past time, to put aside the ridiculous enmity between the "West" and the "Muslim world." We are all brothers and sisters, after all. We all want the same for our children.

My heartfelt best wishes to all. Never again! It's up to each one of us.

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