Saturday, September 12, 2009

Where were you?

I remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot, so do you. I remember where I was when Bobby Kennedy was shot, so do you. I remember where I was when Dr. King was shot. I will always remember the day I watched Neil Armstrong take that first step on the lunar landscape. You have to be a mature American to recall all those events.

You can be a child as young as 12 and remember the most significant event since the shot heard around the world that was fired at Ft. Sumter, South Carolina somewhere around 1861. That event was September 11, 2001. The Ft. Sumter event was the impetus that led to the most blood ever spilled here in America since the Revolutionary war.

When those planes flew into the World Trade Center and our Pentagon approximately 3,000 innocent Americans shed their blood, innocent, collateral damage in a cowardly act of terrorism. Since then one of the most evil dictators in history was captured, tried and hanged. Our soldiers still are taking it to the terrorists and those who have harbored terror. Many additional lives have been lost in an effort to make you and I feel safe once again.

I was in Baton Rouge, La. with DuPont. I had flown in on 9/10. Myself and 2 colleagues were doing software training for 2 cardiology groups assembled at the Baton Rouge Hilton. I had been to breakfast and had read a little article in USA Today about the establishment of 911 as the emergency number for the nation. Some sort of commemoration was scheduled somewhere on 9/11 to apply a little numerology. When I left my room to go down to the meeting room my colleague, Roger, came out of his room with a funny look on his face and announced that an airliner had just flown into the World trade center. I thought back about the article I had read and I said " No that is just some sort of gimmick to promote the establishment of 911 as the nationwide emergency number." Boy was I ever wrong.

We went to the meeting room checked in with our management and called off the training and went to pack. I was fortunate enough to think about getting a rental car. I had National Car Rental on speed dial. After I speed dialed it about 10 times I was able to successfully reserve a car. By the time my colleague from Birmingham, who had driven down, got us to the airport all airports across the country had been closed. Air Force One was heading to Louisiana, where I was. I had a guy at the rental car desk offer me $1000.00 for my rental car. He was trying to get home to Los Angeles. My other colleague and I drove the 8 hours back to Tallahassee and then he went on to Sarasota. We were scared. I just wanted to be home with my family.

I remember my daughter stood in line in Gainesville at the University of Florida, along with her room mates, to donate blood. People went to church in droves. Retailers sold out of flags. The mood of the country was anger towards the terrorists.

Where are we now? Blood donations have become a way to buy dinner for some. People stopped going to church in droves. Republicans hate the Democrats. Democrats hate the Republicans. Everyone hates the war. Tea parties abound. GM's principal owner is the U.S. Government. Financial institutions are owned by the government. The government wants to own health care.

What scared us to death back on 9/11/01 is now just a bare memory. If you fly into New York City there are new structures going up to replace those twin towers. It is hard to remember what they looked like in our mind's eye.

The same resolute planning that effected 9/11/01 is still going on in some Al Queda camp somewhere. Death to America still motivates people to strap bombs on thier children and send them into a crowd.

I wonder when and what the next 9/11 will be. Sure makes you pause and reflect doesn't it.

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