Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Memory of 9/11/2001

I live near near San Francisco, California. I woke up about 10 AM Pacific Daylight time, (1 PM EDT). I took my morning medications, brewed coffee and sat down to listen to KSFO Radio. I remember the normal morning banter being hastily interrupted with a live feed from New York. (It was a repeat of an earlier broadcast, but I wasn't sure it wasn't live at the time.)

A passenger plane (first plane) had crashed into the World Trade Center. I sat in total shock, as live, choppy reports flowed in. In the middle of a discussion of the hit on the first tower, the second plane hit the other tower. I remember feeling a little sick to my stomach. Maybe this is the beginning of all out war on the US?

It made sense that one plane could have gone off course and crashed into the towers, but two planes, where was our Air Force and NORAD? (North American Air Defense Command)

I wandered aimlessly in downtown Oakland. I picked up junk food at the Walgreens on 14th Street at Broadway. I remember buying things I usually didn't get, mixed nuts, loads of them. I came out of the store and realized that Broadway was completely deserted. I'd NEVER seen the street completely empty of people and traffic. It was about 2 PM PDT, (5 PM EDT). I returned to my building and heard the replay on the TV of the towers collapsing. Somehow, I had missed that. I watched dumbly with everyone else, as they played and replayed the terrible footage of these two huge buildings coming down like a child's set of building blocks.

I also remember wandering back downtown, to try and secure a copy of that day's New York Times. It was $6. I would have paid $20. I came home with the paper. I sat slowly reading the articles, looking at the pictures and cried.

I have never been patriotic. I don't dislike the US, but I never got all emotional about the flag. I now had to have one somewhere in my apartment I could look at. The New York Times had a full page photo of a flat American flag. I read the articles on the reverse side of this large color photo of a flag. I then taped the flag to my door and cried.

To this day I have trouble understanding why Berny Ward chose to highlight the plight of those in the Middle East. It was 10 PM PDT. He was the first live talk show (KGO, San Francisco). He blamed the United States for the attack on the Twin Towers. It was our foreign policy which caused the attacks across our country. I felt a curious combination of rage and sorrow wash over me, as I listened in stunned disbelief at his show. Even if his assertions were true, this was NOT the time!

Callers protested his actions, but he stuck to his position. I couldn't listen to his program any more. I returned to some other station rehashing the days awful events.

After six years, I am finally able to stomach watching some of the "Conspiracy" footage on the Net about 9/11. Sadly, the people refuting the conspiracy charges lapse into name-calling, just like the conspiracy people. I've lost respect for both sides of that debate at this point.

I stand in mourning remembrance of the tragedy of 9/11/2001

1 comment:

MacPhilly said...

Another one of those places where the truth is complex and sad. In fact, it was caused by our policy. And, it was horribly tragic as well. Though caused due to our own national stupidity and sin, the people (even if you don't care about or support the government) people who acted were heroic - true heroes, not just those on the gridiron or ball field.

It was sad to see it happen. It was amazing to see the people of this country come together in grief and support. It was inspiring to see the real heroes of life - police, firemen, public servants, loved ones pushing on with their lives after tragic losses - rising to the occasion and standing as examples to those around them.

In honor and memorial to those we lost, and those who have survived.