Yes. I got up, brushed my teeth, started some coffee, and sat down at my computer that morning. My home screen has been CNN for a long time. Up came the CNN main screen with the headline in huge type which said America Under Attack. I snickered!

You see, around that time there had been a lot of website hijackings, so I assumed it had happened to CNN. A few seconds later, I realized it wasn't a joke and turned on the TV to find the combined attacks being covered on every channel.

That's my 9/11 story. I'm sure some of you have more interesting ones, be they happy or sad or tragic. How did you hear about it? How did it affect you? How is it continuing to affect you?

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RE: "I snickered the morning of 9/11"

And that differs from every other day, how?

I was lightly dozing with the radio on when the first plane struck, but there were no details. In my mind's eye, I envisioned this little, off course Piper Cub, fatal for the pilot, of course, but very unlikely to harm anyone else, except possibly by flying glass, or in the event one was seated with their backs to a window and hadn't seen it coming, so I went back to sleep. Shortly the second plane hit, followed by the details that the planes were jetliners, and that brought me fully awake.

i was looking for music on the radio on the way to school, annoyed by all the talking then when i got out of the car at school, a lot of people were crying. then they made an annoucement in homeroom. i remember thinking it was weird, know it was sad but i was 13, i had no idea what was really happening or what would result from what was happpening, if i had, i would have been scared shitless.

Why, after eleven years, is the United States obsessed with reliving this tragedy? How long do we continue to reflect on this despicable, gut wrenching act? The dead have been commemorated, honored, and laid to rest. Our obsession with keeping 9/11 in our minds only serves to foment fear and uncertainty. As a nation we need to move on and look to a future that is not controlled by islamophobia and groping TSA agents. In essence on 9/11 we lost a part of our freedom and I fear we are unsure how to regain it. 

Countries can't be obsessed, but people can.

I don't regard it as an obsession. I suppose we could replace a fear of Islam with the more deserved revulsion and hatred for a religion that is even more medieval, brutal, misogynistic, idiotic, insular, and tribal than most.

Let's not forget, 9/11 is the biggest attack to happen to the U.S. since WWII, so expecting us to be all ho-hum about it isn't realistic. Unlike Pearl Harbor, it's the biggest attack to take place on American soil. (Remember, Hawaii didn't become a state until 1959.)

Theoretically, the way you neutralize terror is to make sure no one hears about it. However that's not practical. Even a highly-censored U.S. couldn't really hide the fact that the twin towers were no longer there or that the Pentagon had a gaping hole in one side. China tries this sort of shit, but it doesn't work.

In the meantime, what's happening is happening because that's the way people are. You may remember that in 2008 India experienced a major terror attack in Mumbai. You'd better believe that they relive it every year, too. I know because of an Indian friend. It's a very big deal there.

Eventually, we'll relegate 9/11 to the past, the way we have Pearl Harbor, but it'll probably take more than one generation. And of course what makes 9/11 harder to forget than Pearl Harbor is that there are very good videos of the event, not grainy black and white film. Those make it very easy to re-experience over and over again. And all the conspiracy theories about 9/11 don't help, either.

Anyway, your complaint is against Americans, not America. And Americans are no different in this regard than Indians or other people anywhere. If you don't like people, I suppose you could go live in a cabin out near Mt. McKinley.

Yesterday, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others were killed in a rocket attack on our embassy there. Apparently, he was beloved of bot the leaders and people of the new state who knew him. It's unclear whether the attack was in response to a surge of anti-Americanism in Islam due to a poorly-made movie painting Mohammed in a bad light.

Should Pres. Obama just say, "Well, shit happens" and leave it at that (leaving aside the political heat he'd take) or is there now a blood debt?

A Jewish idiot makes a film, a Christian idiot promotes it, Muslim idiots kill over it, and Republican idiots condemn Obama. So many idiots, so little time --

I'm originally from New York - born and raised on Staten Island. We moved to Florida in mid-1993.

On 9/11 I was in History class. Second period American History, my junior year of high school. It was early in the year, and we were just finishing up Colonial America. End of class, the teacher's closing the lecture as we're stuffing things into our bags.

"...and tomorrow we'll talk about 'The Shot Heard 'Round the World'."

*BANG!* The door slams open and the teacher from the class next door rushes in. "Turn on  your television NOW, a plane just hit the Twin Towers!"

I froze, staring at this woman I had never really noticed before, but not seeing her at all. I had a flash back to third grade, when we were told that we would no longer be going on tomorrow's field trip to the Towers, because someone had bombed one of the buildings. Then I remembered the last time I saw them in person - hanging out the sunroof of my grandmother's car as my daddy was driving. I tried so hard to see the tops of the buildings from the street.

Somehow I made it to English class, and spent the rest of the school day staring at one glowing box or another. At the moment the towers fell down I remembered one of my cousins worked in an office in one of them. And my best friend was visiting the City with her family that week. And last I heard my dad still works in Manhattan with the NYPD... where is he today?

I later found out that though Dea was close enough to feel the ground rumble, she was fine. My cousin happened to be in Florida on business. And the one and only letter my father ever sent us after my parents split up let us know that he was directing traffic away from the area, and was out of harm's way.

My story ended so much better than most people I knew from childhood. I don't personally know anyone who died (though one day in either direction and my cousin may have been among them). I was in culture shock for quite some time. I still can't watch repeats of the footage - it makes me physically ill. I didn't watch the movie about it. And I turned my back on the Republican party when I saw them use 9/11 as leverage to get people to agree to everything from wire taps to Iraq to getting sexually assaulted in order to board an airplane. I know if I ever see one of the Bush family in person I will spit in their faces and happily serve the jail sentence. We were attacked, and they used that attack as an excuse to attack us even further.

/me exits soapbox





@Alyson - we've lost more Americans in Little George W's faux-war in Iraq, than we did in the Twin Towers. In that sense, bin Laden won - he got us to unnecessarily throw our young in front of bullets and to withdraw some of our citizens' liberties.

Thinking about whether or not Bin Laden 'won' would require knowing what the hell Bin Laden was trying to accomplish.  Do you really think his goal was to tie the U.S. up in a Middle East occupation?  Do you really think he 'hated freedom'?  He's dead.  He died hiding in a compound in Pakistan.  That's his outcome.  The rest has more to do with our ambitions than it did with his.

Okey-dokey --

I think he succeeded in doing something that gave encouragement to the elements who hate America in the sense that he showed them that relatively few people could do unimaginable damage. He succeeded in stirring things up in the Middle East, which is always in the interest of the Islamic fundamentalists. He may have got a bonus from some of the subsequent actions of the Bush Administration, but since we can't roll back time and give Bush a "do over," that's just speculation.

RE: "since we can't roll back time and give Bush a 'do over,'" - if we could, I would hope that somebody would do something to make sure those damned chads didn't hang the next time!


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