On 9/11 I was at my job. I was an inspector in a machine shop at the time near downtown Houston. I was on the day shift (6am-4pm) and around 8:40am or so, possibly as late as 9am, my supervisor came up to me and said, “Hey, you hear about the Trade Center in NYC?” I replied, “No, what happened?”. He proceeded to tell me that a plane had just hit one of the towers. I didn’t really know what to say as accidents do happen and nobody knew what was going on right at that time. I know I thought of a story I read about a B25 hitting the Empire State Building back in 1944 and how it was probably just an accident.
I went back to work and we went to break at 9am. One of the bosses had put the training television in our break room so we could see the WTC and just as I had opened a soda and a bag of chips was when the 2nd plane hit the other tower. Frankly, I thought I was seeing some kind of bad movie at first. It seemed so unreal to see a plane hit that tower just as we were going to break. I was shocked at how the media zoomed in on all those poor people jumping to their deaths to escape the fires. We must have sat in that breakroom looking at the TV for about 45 mins. until the boss came up and asked us to go back to work and that he would keep us informed of what was going on.
When I left work at 4pm or so I stopped at the local gas station and bought the Houston Chronicle for Sept. 11, ’01, just in case this became an ‘historic occasion’. Little did I know that it would be the defining moment of the year! First thing in the morning of the 12th I bought a special edition of the Chronicle which was solely about the attacks on the WTC. I have put aside several newspapers concerning the declaration of war in Iraq, and the outcome of the WTC attacks. I can see why so many people think of 9/11 as our version of Pearl Harbor and that is why I have kept these items. I hope my nephews ask me about 9/11 one day and I will show them the articles and hope that they, and we, never forget how we were cowardly attacked by radical religious extremists.
In closing, I have to admit that since this war began I have had little sympathy for the nations of Iraq and Iran. I understand that we went into the war with the naive hope that we would liberate Iraq and establish democracy there but all I have seen and heard (both from the media and servicemen that I have spoken to that have served there) is how the Iraqis want us out of their miserable little sandpit of a country. They should be grateful that our men and women are over there trying to free them from insane dictators like Saddam Hussein. Instead, they burn our flag, abduct and torture anyone that isn’t Iraqi or doesn’t fit into their religious beliefs. How can they want democracy and a better life if they aren’t willing to fight for it themselves? The only export of any consequence there is oil. If we didn’t buy oil from them they would collapse like a house of cards during an earthquake. The majority of them are illterate and the only books that are really published there are religious in nature. If all they hear is the hardline religious leaders’ opinion on the evil infidels of America then is it any wonder they hate us with such passion? We should pull out and let them sink into a morass of their own making. Thank you for reading.