16 Years After 9/11 – We Remember

Just about everyone remembers where they were when they found out about the attacks on 9/11/01.

But many of us, especially many of the leaders of the Democratic Party have forgotten the collective national pain, the reasons we were attacked, and have reverted to the appeasement that made the terrorists strong.

We now have a President who believes that terrorism must be defeated, a welcome change from the previous eight years as under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, the U.S. government returned to the pre-9/11 mindset of treating terrorist acts as crimes, and the terrorists as criminals who can be rehabilitated. President Trump believes that terrorists must be defeated.

It was sixteen years ago but the vivid memory of driving into Manhattan at six a.m. that day (as I did every day) is still fresh in my mind.  For some reason as my car made its way over the bridge leading to the midtown tunnel, I gazed downtown at the two towers of the World Trade Center thinking that it was a particularly beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. Little did I know that in just a few hours later,  that view of the towers would be replaced by an impenetrable black cloud, and America —indeed the entire world, would be changed forever.

About three hours after leaving the house sitting in my office at Nickelodeon (I was the publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine), working on the 2002 projections for management, I received an AOL IM from my brother Paul, “Hey Jeff some idiot just flew a plane into one of the trade center towers.”

That was in the days before one could watch TV on a computer. However, an advantage of working for a cable TV network was the television hooked up to Time Warner Cable in my office.

After reading Paul’s IM I quickly grabbed the remote and turned on MSNBC (it was a real news network back then). As soon the picture cleared, the TV showed a plane flying into one of the Trade Center towers. My immediate thought was they were showing an instant replay of what my brother messaged me about, but that assumption was wrong— it was a live broadcast of the second tower being hit. Whether we liked it or not America was under attack. At least most of the people in the towers would be okay. It wasn’t like the towers would fall down or anything like that. Obviously, that was wrong. Less than an hour after being hit by the second airplane the South Tower collapsed. And when the North Tower followed suit a half hour later, the people in my team who were watching in my office initially believed it was a replay. Sadly that was incorrect.

At least most of the people in the towers would be okay. It wasn’t like the towers would fall down or anything like that. Obviously, that was wrong. Less than an hour after being hit by the second airplane the South Tower collapsed. And when the North Tower followed suit a half hour later, the people in my team who were watching in my office initially believed it was a replay. Sadly that was incorrect.

My team crowded into my office and watched in horror as victims jumped off the burning tower to their deaths rather than burn to death in their offices.  They saw the smoldering Pentagon building, and finally each tower collapse. They heard the rumors of a fourth plane that was shot down over Pennsylvania.  And TV anchors started talking about possible anthrax attacks. Everybody watching the horror had the same thought, “This couldn’t happen—didn’t those terrorists know this was the United States of America?”

 

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