I recall a morning like this one 9 years ago. It was a beautiful, early-autumn day with a clear blue sky. Like today, it started off bright and quiet. As of this moment on September 11, 2001 it was just another day for me. I got ready for work, kissed my wife and month-old daughter goodbye and headed in to monitor and maintain our piece of the Internet backbone. Others did the same, showing up at their offices in the tallest buildings in America, at the heart of the US military command, and at major metropolitan airports, ready for another day’s routine.
Little did we know.
It’s been 9 years and much has happened. As predicted, there are people out there who have blamed America for what happened and – lately – said that we’ve overreacted. Whenever I hear that, I am reminded of James Lilek’s post on 9/11/2003 when he, too, was confronted by people who were dismissive of what really happened. He wrote:
I’ve no doubt that if Seattle or Boston or Manhattan goes up in a bright white flash there will be those who blame it all on Bush. We squandered the world’s good will. We threw away the opportunity to atone, and lashed out. Really? You want to see lashing out? Imagine Kabul and Mecca and Baghdad and Tehran on 9/14 crowned with mushroom clouds: that’s lashing out. Imagine the President in the National Cathedral castigating Islam instead of sitting next to an Imam who’s giving a homily. Mosques burned, oil fields occupied, smart bombs slamming into Syrian palaces. We could have gone full Roman on anyone we wanted, but we didn’t. And we won’t.
Indeed. But just because we won’t doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten. And so, on this 9/11 in 2010, with so much else going on and so many other issues that need addressing in the here and now, I pause to call to mind that sunny morning 9 years ago…
I remember. And I will not forget.