9/11 still seared into our memory

Many millions of Americans are recalling a terrible day that dawned 18 years ago today. It didn’t start out that way, but it got dark in a major hurry.

They’re remembering where they were when they heard the news. Me? I was at work at the Amarillo Globe-News.

My colleague walked into the office and stuck his head in the door: “Did you hear the news. Someone flew an airplane into the World Trade Center.”

I asked two questions: How big was the airplane? How was the weather? I don’t recall my colleague knowing it was a jetliner. He did say the weather in New York City was beautiful.

“What kind of moron would fly into a building?” I asked with all the appropriate derision.

I turned on a small TV I had in my office. I watched one of the towers burning. Then — in real and horrifying time — the world watched the second jet liner crash into the other tower.

In that moment, we knew what we had: an act of war!

The Pentagon was hit by a third jetliner. Then we heard about the Shanksville, Pa., crash involving a fourth hijacked airplane.

We would go to war in Afghanistan. We would toss the Taliban out of power in that remote land and then launch the hunt for al-Qaida terrorist leaders who masterminded the hideous attack.

I will admit to being frightened in the moment. Anger? Absolutely!

I wanted the nation to fill with resolve to defeat the bastards who committed this horrific deed. Sadly, I fear our nation has lost some of its collective resolve. We’ve been torn asunder by a war that President Bush launched against Iraq, telling us that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had “something” to do with the terrorist attack … when he didn’t.

To be honest, I remain puzzled on how we “declare victory” in this war. Or if we can ever actually make that victory declaration.

However, the fight goes on. It must go on.

2 thoughts on “9/11 still seared into our memory”

  1. I was in Lubbock for a meeting. After breakfast I returned to my room to make a call. I was talking to a fund manager in New York when the phone went dead. I tried calling back, but got a trouble on the line signal. I returned to the lobby to go to my meeting, every one was watching as the first tower burned. I was told a plane had crashed into the tower. I thought back to reading about the planes that had crashed into the Empire State Building years ago. But weather was the problem. This time the skies were clear…… and then the second plane struck and I knew it was no accident. The meeting was cancelled. And then the Pentagon was struck………. I headed back to Amarillo listening to the news all the way.

    The man I was talking with. He was in the first tower. The plane crashed into the floor he was on. He was one of the first victims

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