I was driving to a work-related meeting probably a couple of months ago, listening to the Laura Ingraham show. It was the day after the 9/11 tapes were released and she played a little bit of the tapes on her show. It brought back in a rush all the feelings of that day five years ago...
I was working at a large downtown Chicago commercial bank, and it was a day like any other. I rode the train in that morning and was settling in for what was shaping up to be a gorgeous early autumn day.
I first heard that a plane had crashed into the WTC from a co-worker, and called home to see if my bride had heard anything about it. Given heavy traffic, our internet was not responding or taking a very long time to load, which in itself was interesting. She was just getting the day started and would call me when she heard anything.
Most speculation was that it was a small passenger plan that had hit the tower - certainly not a commercial aircraft of any kind. On the phone again with my better half not much later, a second plane hit tower 2. By now it was becoming clear that this was not an accident, and our thoughts immediately centered on nearby landmarks - the Sears Tower being the primary one.
People began leaving the office. On the streets, already late morning, there was an eerie sense of desertion. People had decided to get out of the Loop and there were more leaving by the time I was heading home later that morning.
Union Station was wall-to-wall humanity. Word got to the back of the crowd that they were bringing in trains empty as fast as possible, loading them up with people and sending them off. In about 15 minutes, I was on one, and we were off. No ticket takers on this unscheduled early afternoon milk-run.
Back home, with my bride and Peter Jennings, I started to see the images.
Funny, isn't it, that we don't see these images much any more? The media don't trust us, you see, to stay pacified. And an irate American people is dangerous to the survival of the leftist/media agenda.
Soon, we started to learn the story. 19 psychotic Muslims hijacked commercial jetliners with boxcutters, commandeered the aircraft, flew two of them into the WTC, one into the Pentagon (the Pentagon? I remember thinking, is there any place that's safe?), and one, thankfully, crashed into a remote field in Pennsylvania. They - the heroes of Flight 93 - fought back. The people in the towers never got that chance.
Disbelief and shock were the operative words for the remainder of the day. We heard that our Parish would be opening the doors to the Church that evening for people who wanted to come together. We went. For three days, the networks didn't air a single commercial. I remembered all of this. But I forgot the blinding, white-hot rage that I felt as soon as the shock wore off.
In his book Happiness is a Serious Problem, Dennis Prager talks about the lower nature in each of us, and I'm reminded of this when reflecting on that car ride just a couple of months ago, listening to the release of the 9/11 tapes. The old hate was back, and back with a vengence, surprisingly springing tears from my eyes on the way to my meeting. It's a part of my lower nature that I've always struggled with. I pray that God grants me wisdom and grace, that I can continue to control this part of me, my lower nature.
You see, I had forgotten how deeply hurt I was by the attacks. I didn't lose anyone I knew in the attacks, but that doesn't matter much to me. I'm going to open up a little bit here, and if it's harsh, well, my apologies.
There's something about what those SOBs did on 9/11/01 that revolts me to my core. What a cowardly and gutless bunch of bastards, to take people by surprise on a plane, lie to them, and use the plane as a missle. Not surprisingly, as soon as there was a group of people who knew what the situation was like those heroes of Flight 93, they fought back immediately.
That's the nature of our enemy, and we'd do well to remember it. If we forget, if we lose our resolve, they'll remind us. Maybe it'll be like the Belsan school next time. Or maybe they'll shoot up a big crowd, like the nut in Seattle who did so at the offices of the Jewish Federation, but just on a bigger scale.
Let's all try and remember who started this fight, and vow anew who is going to finish it. Take five minutes today, please, and remember what it felt like after the shock wore off. What it felt like when we found out what they did, and how they did it. If you have kids who are too young to understand, write down everything you can remember about that day five years ago - God knows that when they're in high school reading about American history (right after the 15 pages dedicated to Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and the 20 pages on how Bill Clinton "saved the Constitution") they're going to need to hear the truth.
Footnote: Yesterday at Mass, the elderly priest who served the 8:00 crowd remarkably, unbelieveably, shockingly was alluding to our actions and those of "corrupt corporations" as the cause of 9/11. I sat, jaw on the floor, through the rest of his homily. Just goes to show how even the moral can become morally confused.