Seething with anger as it’s the season
Approaching another September when the air begins to get a little cooler and Indian summer will be upon us, I anticipate 9/11. The past few years, 9/11 came and went. I didn’t put out the American flag as I have done in the past. Only a few buildings were adorned with an extra flag last year.
On the first 9/11 anniversary, on my way to work, I could see nearly every building in Arlington covered with huge flags and draping of red, white, and blue. It was extra special and for a moment, I had a tear rolling down my cheek.
I was ready to board an airplane on 9/11. I was standing at a news shop at Oakland Airport in California, on my way to a Department of Defense conference in Phoenix. I watched the small television by the cashier at what appeared to be a promotion for a movie. An airplane flew into the World Trade Tower.
Then, ABC news described what had happened. It was a live broadcast. I was shocked. As I watched, a live camera broadcast the second tower being struck by another airliner. At first, I thought about the horror for the passengers and people in the building.
They called my flight. I called Washington, my client at DOD on my cell phone as I walked to board. He said, there has been a terrorist attack and he could not talk.
Boarding appeared to be too normal. They didn’t get the word, or it hadn’t sunk into operations. The door to the cockpit was open and I asked the pilot, “There has been a terrorist attack on airplanes in New York. Have they given you instructions?’
“We’re just getting them now, thank you.”
I called my wife. “I am on the plane; turn on television, there has been a terrorist attack.”
She had not heard the news as it was early in California. I had to hang up.
We sat waiting to take off. Next was the announcement, “All flights are cancelled.”
With all of the tension in the Middle East and with previous terrorist attacks from Arabs, I drew a picture of possible attackers.
People forget, Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy. Sirhan was born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian Christian family. When he was 12, his family emigrated, moving briefly to New York, and then to California. He attended Eliot Junior High School (now known as Charles W. Eliot Middle School) in Altadena, California, John Muir High School and Pasadena City College. He was not a Muslim, he was an Arab from Palestine and a Christian.
What is significant is how my mind could jump to conclusions, and profile people incorrectly. One has to work hard not to generalize about people. One must work equally hard to understand the causes of violence and hatred toward Americans.
There is great suffering among people in the Middle East as there is great wealth in the hands of a few. The wealthy want to hang onto power and both here and in the Middle East, the powerful are engaged in struggle with the masses of poor and suffering who in number can greatly overwhelm the rich.
Terrorists try to exploit this struggle to their advantage in the name of a larger cause, but in the end, it is really about their personal control on a very small scale as they have no means of governance, no commitment to individual freedom and liberty, and no capacity to address the enormous needs of humanity. They are an unworthy and losing cause.
“9/11 Museum at Ground Zero (In-Progress Pics and Video)
The museum seems destined to become one of the most remarkable memorial structures in America.
"In 100 years, there won't be anyone alive that experienced 9/11," says Steven Davis, whose architecture firm, Davis Brody Bond Aedas, is designing the 9/11 Museum. "What will you tell them? And how will you tell them, to make them understand what happened?"”