I was driving back to my house to pick up something I had forgotten. I had dropped my wife off at her work and the children at school and was listening to NPR when one of the announcers stated that a small commuter plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
I pulled into my driveway and went into the house to retrieve the articles I had forgotten and switched on the television to FOX News hoping to see a photo of what had happened. Just as the television came on I saw the live shot of the second plane smashing into the second tower. At first I thought it was a replay but the announcer started repeating over and over that ANOTHER plane had crashed into the other tower.
I turned off the television and went on to work. The early morning was spent refreshing the MSNBC web site over and over again trying to get more information. Someone yelled over the wall that one of the towers was down. I told him that he had to be mistaken. I ran over to his desk and he managed to get a streaming video of the tower coming down. My only reaction was “My God”. I had no concept that the damage would have been able to bring them down.
Before long the news of the Pentagon and Shanksville started filtering through. We saw images of people fleeing in New York and Washington. I had a sudden fear for the Gateway Arch, the Sears Tower, and the Trans-America building. Those were the first things that came to mind.
After President Bush’s moving speech I thought that we were going to lead a war against terrorism wherever it lurked. I guess I was over the top. The WWII generation would have known what to do, FDR would have known what to do, and they would not have gone begging for permission from the likes of Nelson Mandela, Vladimir Putin, or the Princes in Saudi Arabia. Back in those days the American People knew what “Righteous Might” (in the words of FDR) was.
I shudder to contemplate just what sort of attack is necessary these days for Americans to finally steel themselves to shove the vapid hand-wringers in Europe out of the way and protect the American experiment and their way of life. I suppose we will just have to give appeasement one more chance.