Today is the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. As a tribute to that day, I will record my memories of the events of that day... Details that I remember.
I got up that morning and prepared for work just like any other day. I got in my car and drove to work. As I was heading into work, I turned on the radio and started listening to the news. I then realized that something bad had happened. I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. That the World Trade Center buildings had been hit by aircraft. I quickly called my wife and told her to turn on the radio or turn on the TV and to find out what was going on.
I went into work and everyone was just awestruck. Work was quiet like a morgue. I tried to go to cnn.com and CNN's servers were so busy and overwhelmed, I was unable to get to their news site. After repeated tries, they finally put up a blurb of text up on their site and that was it. Someone pulled in a TV into a meeting room and several people were watching TV trying to figure out what had happened.
One of my co-workers had plans to be at ground zero the day of the attacks. Something happened and he and his girlfriend had to reschedule their trip to NY one week earlier. He was back at work from a trip to the NY/Boston area the previous week. He was pretty shook up about all of it. I mean, he was really shaken up about it. He was from Germany and his girlfriend/fiancee was in Europe and he was in the United States. He went back home shortly (within months) after the attacks. Honestly, I didn't blame him.
I remember thinking about my own mortality. How, in an instant, your life can be snuffed out like that of a bug. And I took an evaluation of my life and I didn't like the direction I was heading, so I made some changes in my life.
My house is 50 or 60 miles south of a major airport. While there isn't a lot of noisy air traffic where I live, there is a fairly regular stream of air traffic over my house. In the days past 9/11, I remember how weird it was to go outside and not have ANY air traffic at all. No airliners. No prop planes. Nothing. I remember how quiet it was outside and how the skies were free of any noise. I also remember how unusual it was to hear airplanes again once commercial service started again.
In the hours and days after 9/11, I remember I had co-workers who worked on people's networks and systems who had been affected by the 9/11 attacks. They were cleaning up the electronic messes made by the terrorists.
In my short life, I have lived or visited many countries of the world. I have met people who don't like Americans, but generally they are few. I remember meeting one guy (he was a German living in Argentina) who hated Americans. I'm sure he was a part of Nazi Germany from WWII. He was probably the person I've met in my life that hated Americans and America the most. I have met people who don't like Americans because we are loud and obnoxious. They don't like our government or our policies. They don't understand us or what we do or why we do it. They think we are ignorant because our news only consists of news from the United States and not the entire world. But as much as I know people have disliked America, little did I know that there were people out there who hated us so much that they wished to destroy us like Osama Bin Laden wanted to destroy us. I just didn't know there was that kind of hatred towards my country until 9/11/01.
To a degree I understand why people dislike Americans. We do have some character flaws. As a nation, we have gone astray. Religion is no longer important. Morality/honesty is losing its value or has been lost. Our elected officials can't/won't work together and compromise. We are hated because we trample the commandments of God. We are viewed as the great Satan. There are good people here in America, but I think there are ever decreasing numbers of good people.
How do we fix it all? First and foremost, we need to return and become a God fearing nation. We need to be humble. I believe we are reaping the fruits of our selfishness both as individuals and collectively as a nation. God will have a hard time blessing us unless we do humble ourselves and change our ways. If we keep doing what we are doing or we become even worse, then it won't get better. The country has had numerous wake up calls. We had 9/11. We had hurricane Katrina. We had the economic crash of 2008. We have a sputtering/stalling economy. What more do we need to wake us up and get us to change? Or are we so blinded/proud that we can't change?
The only solution that I offer is to make a change for the better in my own life. I also need to raise my kids to be good kids and to stay out of trouble. I can't change the whole country, but I can change myself and help those that are around me. That's what we can do.