I promise never to do pointless meme’s. Only socially significant ones like: Monday Mission 2.36!
1. Where were you and what was happening in your life the moment when you first became aware of what was happening at the World Trade Center in New York City last September 11th? What was the first thing you did when you heard the news?
I was teaching a class in our office in Maitland, FL. We had representatives of a company from Mass who had just flown down from Boston. Just after the second plane hit, we took a break, and our secretary told me that two planes had just hit the World Trade Center and one had hit the Pentagon. First thought: What a bad joke! Second thought: Our antiquated air traffic control system has finally gone nuts. Planes must be dropping out of the sky left and right.
The rest of the gang had gotten a TV set up with makeshift rabbit ears. I got there just in time to watch both towers fall. We spent the rest of that day bouncing back-and-forth between the TV and the classroom (not much was learned after that, though).
The guys from Mass were stuck without a flight home. They kept their rental car and drove back.
2. When those truly responsible for the attack are apprehended, what do you think would be the most fitting form of justice?
Nothing we can do to them will be horrific enough to them so that they will feel the impact. Anything we do will be (and should be) for our own benefit–to make us feel better and/or safer.
3. This will probably be much like when our parents respond to “Where were you when JFK was shot?”- an event never forgotten by those who were there. But how do you think the history books should present the 9-11 attacks? Should it be included for all future generations? How can we truly convey the shock, the outrage, the emotions and pain of that day to the children of our children?
In spite of what we say now, time will rub the edges off the tragedy. Do you feel the shock, outrage, emotions and pain of December 7? Granted, this was different. It was not a military target. That might make the pain linger a bit longer and go a bit deeper, but each passing year will take away some of the sting. Our children’s children won’t have firsthand knowledge. You can understand it without being there, but you can’t remember how it feels.
4. No one in that building, in the Pentagon, or on the planes (other than the terrorists) knew that 9-11 would be their last day to be alive. For me, it brought home the reality that I could be gone at anytime, without any warning. Now, I really want each day to have some value. Did the events of 9-11 bring about a change in the way you live your life?
Honestly? I doubt it. Maybe a little. I’m a little more forgiving of overt patriotism (though flag waving to cover up reasoned thought still gets under my skin). I’m a little quicker to say “Thank you” and to let my kids be kids. But overall, not much has changed, I’m sorry to say.
5. Several who loved to fly in planes will not step foot in one anymore. Many parents are more protective of their children. A year later, do you find yourself feeling more secure than back then? Or is it just a matter of time before something else happens?
If I change the way I live, then the cliche “the terrorists win” is true. Sure, it may be just a matter of time before it happens, but what am I supposed to do? Crawl under a rock? Build a bomb shelter? I can’t live that way.
6. The best way for me to honor the those impacted by the attack will be to refrain from any media that day. No papers, no radio and especially no television. Others will light candles, and others will attend special services. What, if anything, will you do to personally reflect on the tragedy?
We had a special community service on Saturday, September 7. It combined remembrance of those lost with joyous hope for the future. That’s it. On September 11, I will be flying to a client site. Business as usual.
7. One of the visuals that touched me the most were the walls and walls full of hand made “Missing” posters. What image will you always have in your mind when you recall the events of 9-11?
The billowing clouds of smoke and ash…the destroyed, ash-covered rescue vehicles…those will always be there. But the strongest picture I have in my mind is this: In October, we went back to Maine for a memorial service to bury my father’s ashes. On trips home, we always fly into Boston. For some reason, this trip we flew into LaGuardia. As we left New York, the plane flew right over Ground Zero….it was still smoldering…an ugly scar…
BONUS: Who’s gonna come around when you break?
You can’t go on, thinking nothing’s wrong. Who’s gonna drive you home? (You can’t rely on strangers to pick up your hitchhiking butt every time, ya know.)