Do you remember what you were doing the day you found out the towers had been struck? That was my first semester back from the mission and I had a job as a janitor in the JKHB from 6-9 AM every morning. When I was done with my shifts I would come home and sleep for a few hours and then go to class in the afternoons. One of my roommates disrupted my slumber, calling me on my cell phone, asking if I had heard that the one of the towers had been struck. I was groggy and wasn't sure if I heard him right. At that point, nobody really knew if it was a terrorist attack yet either. I ended up going to class, but while walking through the Wilk all the TVs were broadcasting the days events and there were dozens of people just standing and watching all of them in rapt attention. I stood for about 20 minutes by the TV near the entrance from the Wilk into the bookstore. It was so surreal. Nobody knew what was really going on, but everyone knew that it would have huge implications. It's a singular feeling to have.
Anyway, my brother put together an email with a number of videos and links to various tributes and commentaries around the web about the day, and I've come across a number of different items. Here are a bunch of articles:
- Steven Salinsky writes about all the posturing made by radical Islamists in the days leading up to 9/11 and how that language still persists. Although they're not always valid, they are an indication of the persistent ideology that underlies fundamentalist Islam committed to the destruction of our way of life.
- Victor Davis Hanson writes about the seeming schizophrenia that pervades our mentality today. He mentions:
For the last two years, polls in the Middle East have shown a radical drop in support for both bin Laden and the tactic of suicide bombing. We in response have apologized to the Muslim world and magnified its glories at the precise moment when, of its own accord, it has turned on its radicals, who have brought death, destruction — and defeat — to all in their midst.
Few Americans now support our continued presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yet even fewer ever thought that the Taliban and Saddam would be quickly dispatched, and two constitutional governments would still be surviving in their absence.
In short, we are reaching a critical moment of clarity. We continue practices that we say are either futile or wrong, and we demonize their architects in speech even as we ratify them through action. At some date, the Democrats and Obama may well close Guantanamo, try our own CIA interrogators, cease tribunals and renditions, ground the Predators, pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, reach out to Iran and Syria, and distance the United States from Israel.
- Ralphs Peters from the NY Post writes a somewhat inflammatory piece about how America has betrayed the dead of 9/11. Some of his points might be a little extreme, but I think he's right through much of the article.
- This is a story from StoryCorps. John Vigiano talks about his sons, a firefighter and policeman, who both died at the WTC.
This one is footage from a nearby building. A man who lived nearby setup his video camera after the first building was hit, and gets footage of the second tower being struck. I haven't seen any footage of the towers being struck since the events occurred, so I thought it was pretty jarring to see it again.
This one will make you cry - a tribute video to those who died, includes some disturbing images of people jumping from buildings.
And then this one is pretty cool. It's produced by the church and is actually about a man who was working in the North (?) tower when the South one was struck, and he left the building, only to see the North one get hit also. He suffers from survivor's guilt, but then finds peace through Jesus Christ.
This one is a timeline of the events of that day.
Hopefully we can all take at least a few minutes out of our day to remember what happened, those who passed away, those who still fight for us, and also acknowledge to ourselves that as individuals and as a nation that we still must be ever vigilant for our own interests before acquiescing to those who undoubtedly still harbor all of their anger and resentment towards our way of life.