Life’s Defining Moments

It was 19 years ago today. I remember it like I was watching the moon landing, or learning about JFK being killed. I was sitting at my desk at the radio station I worked at. The sales manager walked in, and asked for everyone’s attention. He said that there was a situation happening in New York. Apparently a jet had crashed into the World Trade Towers, and there were a lot of casualties. He said that if we needed to go to the break room to watch it on TV, we should.

A little while later, a second plane crashed into the tower. And then we learned that a third plane hit the Pentagon in Washington DC. And a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. I called my wife just to make sure she was ok. I mean, of course she was ok. We were in Toledo, Ohio. Nothing ever happens like that in Toledo. And we were far from the destruction.

As the day wore on, I went and visited with a couple of clients of mine. I remember sitting in one client’s office, and she had her TV on. It was at that moment, the first tower came crashing down. I watched in horror thinking of all of the lives that had just been snuffed out. How could this happen in America?

Well, we know now how it could happen in America. Our lives changed forever on that day 19 years ago. Travel changed. Trust changed. There became more of an anti-Muslim sentiment to everything. Even when there was that explosion under the World Trade Tower in the 1990’s during Bill Clinton’s term, we weren’t that shaken. Nineteen years ago today, some three thousand Americans kissed their spouse and their children goodbye, not knowing it would be for the last time. And since then, countless others of the heroes who ran into those buildings have perished from illnesses caused by that event.

America cannot forgot. America should never forget. I know the media and some on the left want us to believe that we shouldn’t show that footage of the burning towers, or remember the events other than today as we chalk up another year of survival that those involved can’t be a part of.

It was a few years after 9/11 that I was fortunate enough to visit ground zero. I stood in awe as I looked at the memorial that was there. No one of the thousand or two people that were standing around said a word. It was exactly the same feeling I had as I stood on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It’s as if I was listening for the souls of the deceased to talk to me.

And I think about that event often. I think that we always need strong leadership. We always need decisive action in times like that. And I wonder what would have happened if someone like an Al Gore, or a John Kerry, or a Hillary Clinton, or now, a Joe Biden would have been at the helm. I hate to drag politics into something like remembering about today, but you have to. Our safety depends on it.

I ended up not being a big fan of George W. Bush. I felt he caved too quickly in the 2008 banking scandals and collapse. He spent way too much money trying to bail out banks that never should have had to give those sub-prime mortgages to people that couldn’t afford them in the first place. But he was responsible for most of the recession that followed (as was Obama after he bailed out General Motors and Chrysler). But I do credit Bush with the tenacity to not shy away from a fight when you need to go to war. And we needed to back then.

Always remember 9/11. Always keep it in your heart. And always elect strong leaders, regardless of party, that will fight to the death to protect America. It’s what we need to do!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

6 thoughts on “Life’s Defining Moments

  1. Having left NASA and joined a Compaq contractor, I had been laid off during the fifth round of layoffs at Compaq (just before HP bought Compaq). On the morning of 11 September 2001, I was on the computer at my home and was both preparing for an interview that afternoon and looking for other opportunities for technical writers. At about 9 a.m., other members of the Society for Technical Communication sent out a email alert to check the news feeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in my classroom having turned on the TV for students to watch this live event. Most thought it was just a movie and had not the slightest interest but the astonishing thing is that administrators came in and demand I turn off the TV as I “was supposed to be teaching a lesson as indicated in the curriculum and lesson plans.”

    Liked by 1 person

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