Monday, May 2, 2011

Where were you that day?

Millions of us are remembering where we were that day - 911 - how we heard the news - what we felt in those dreadful hours and days that followed.
Like millions of others, I was at work and got a call. Then another in our department got a call and another. As the company videographer, soon I was asked if there was still a cable TV connection in the auditorium and could I get it up and running. Just a few of us gathered to try to understand why a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers and were stunned to watch a second plane hit the other - live - right before our eyes. Within minutes the auditorium was packed. And the tragedy continued to unfold.
I live only a few blocks from work and decided to walk home at noon. It was a perfectly beautiful fall day - now cloaked in an ominous silence. Across the river there was no traffic on Route 322 - NONE. There was no sound of traffic on nearby streets. There were no dogs barking. There were no people anywhere. Silence! Until I neared my home. Then I began to hear the sound of the television broadcast from my neighbor's house. She was hard of hearing - had her windows open - and the broadcast was blaring.
We all grieved for the senseless killing. We all feared for the evil that may be yet to come. It changed our world into one of greater suspicion. Our nation was unified in a need for justice. We went to war.
Yesterday the man responsible for the 911 attacks was killed - 10 years later. Thousands of men and women lost their lives in this struggle. He created fear that has cost the world great freedom of movement. He was an evil man.
I cannot celebrate the killing of this man though I have shared the need for justice to be served. I do not wish to see the blood filled room in which he died. I do not share the need to decide who was right or wrong or should take credit. I grieve.
I grieve that these are the conditions of our world. I grieve that a religious cause created such a man and his followers. I fear that other religious people could create similar men and similar followers. I grieve that in the face of evil, any of us can be driven to want blood. I grieve that evil can inspire any of us to celebrate the spilling of blood.
I long for peace. I long for the safe return of all our troops who bravely serve believing they are preserving our freedom. I long for freedom in the world that can only come from peace. "When will we ever learn."


  1. One of humanities greatest tragedies is that we take beautiful,gentle religions and use them as excuses for war. 'Twas always thus.

    I yearn for when we can celebrate our differences instead of reacting in fear and suspicion.

  2. "I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. All I can say is Amen. - S Shimko

  4. Working in the airport & for the ailines, we won't forget that day any time soon. We are constantly reminded of 9/11. I am reminded of it everytime I pass through security, and hear the colorful announcements of what the security level is today. (We humously want to change the security level descriptions from Yellow, Orange and Red to Lemon, Peach and Strawberry, but "security is not a joking matter"). I am reminded the "religious" aspect when I hear the "Lord's name" as we pass through the security check point (forgetting that a cell phone or work radio was left attached to your waist. I am reminded when I see that I have another notice in my email daily that some security directive has been updated or implemented..., I don't think I'll forget any time soon. The sad part is, I can't say that I feel any safer, either.