September 11, 2001…..what where YOU doing? Redux 9/11/19

towers1

Wow. I remember it so clearly, like it happened yesterday.  Probably because it was during one of the worst times of my life.

My husband had up and left me for another woman without any warning right beforehand.  So every year I get to remember, revisit, redream.  It sucks.  But at least I will never forget.

On Sept. 11th I was at work, crying in my office, as I had done for the past few weeks.  My internet alerted a flashing news story, and I watched the pictures of the first plane’s aftermath online.  I had a real bad feeling.  So bad that I stopped crying.

When the second plane hit, I knew it for what it was.  Everybody crowded around in front of computers, watching the story unfold.  One of the girls brought in a small TV to watch it on.  I was starting to get scared, and wondering if I should talk to the bosses about sending people home.  It seemed like everyone in Chicago had gone home.  But the big boss came out of his office, and told us to shut off the TV and for everybody to get back to work.  What a patriot, huh?  Asshole.

I went home alone, to an empty house, scared.  I was so scared I didn’t want to watch it on TV anymore.  I went and sat in the back yard with the dogs, and rocked back and forth in my chair.  I saw my ex drive by down the road with his new girlfriend in the car, and I had the uncharitable thought that I wished it was him in the WTC instead of some other decent person.  Then the Catholic school girl guilt kicked in and I felt bad.  So instead I wished it was me.  That’s what the Catholic school did to me.  Ha.

Anyway, I got through it.  We all did.  We all bucked up and became stronger for it.  I got divorced a couple of weeks later, and got used to taking off my shoes in an airport.  It was a sad time for us all.

By the time the one year anniversary rolled around, I was no longer sad, but mad.  Mad about both things.  So I wrote a poem about it.  I published it on the one year anniversary, and have posted it in some form or fashion every year since.  It helps remind me of where I was in that heartbreaking moment.  Here it is again:

The anniversary of 9/11

Twin Towers
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Twas Sept. 11th, a beautiful day,
Tho I did not know it. I couldn’t find my way.
My mind was clouded, my heart was shattered.
My husband had left me ….. I felt battered.
My life was over, my heart was aching,
I could almost feel my spirit breaking.
I selfishly thought nothing was worse than this pain,
Little did I know what was to happen, again.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Evil had come to visit us that day.
Evil was here, and here to stay.
Evil reared back and rose its ugly head,
Evil wouldn’t be happy unless we were dead.
Evil looked around, and Evil was jealous.
Evil licked his lips, Evil was zealous.
Evil wanted to bring the U.S. down,
Evil picked New York as his target town.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Our planes would become weapons of destruction,
Evil thought nothing would become an obstruction.
But there was something that Evil didn’t know…
How Americans loved their country so.
We rallied around, we held our heads high.
Even as we mourned and our eyes did cry.
Our heroes were everywhere, even in the sky.
We shook our heads, and we asked WHY?
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Something inside of me sparked that day,
And a guiding light was showing me the way.
My personal troubles were bad, that was true.
But nothing compared to the Red, White and Blue.
So I dried off my tears,
I shrugged off my fears.
I stood tall, I stood proud.
Courage took over, it shouted out loud.
Everyone knows that Evil lurks within,
But we will not falter and let Evil win.
We will guard our land, we will guard our skies,
Until once again, peace resides.
Two twin towers went crashing down.
Two twin towers collapsed into the ground.
towers2
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Where was our 40?

france

40 heads of state gathered in France after the Charlie Hebdo attack.  Obama and the U.S. took a lot of heat for not attending, even tho it was later pointed out that the “photo op” took place on a heavily guarded empty street.  The world leaders were NOT leading the rally by any stretch of the imagination.

France2

It was pointed out that many of the rally “leaders” did not have stellar records when it came to journalists.  Many had detained/imprisoned/assaulted and dare I say…killed….journalists.  But they showed up in force to rally round Paris.  Free press.  Good press.  Je Suis Hypocrite (I am hypocrite) indeed!

Obama was slammed from many quarters for not going, or sending a delegate or delegation.  So it got me to thinking……did other countries come to a rally in the U.S. after 9/11?  Or after the Boston Marathon Massacre?  Which is more comparable, I think.  I don’t recall a world wide rally of leaders coming.  I could be wrong, I know that many world leaders paid their respects to us after 9/11 and condemned terrorism, and that France was first.  In retrospect, I’m sure that Obama wishes he had gone, or sent a delegation.  A Texas politician actually compared Obama to Hitler….to which he subsequently apologized for, of course.

Meanwhile, this was Charlie Hebdo’s new cover 2 days after the killings, which included 4 cartoonists.

France3This picture features the Prophet Mohammed, with a caption “All is forgiven”.

The cartoonist who drew the image, Luz, explained his work in an interview translated by Slate:

With this cover, we wanted to show that at any given moment, we have the right to do anything, to redo anything, and to use our characters the way we want to. Mohammed has become a character, in spite of himself, a character in the news, because there are people who speak on his behalf. This is a cover aimed at intelligent people, who are much more numerous than you think, whether they’re atheists, Catholics, Muslims…

 

A Charlie Hebdo columnist, Zineb El Rhazoui, told the BBC that the staff didn’t want to show hatred towards the terrorists responsible for the massacre. She urged Muslims to accept the humor.

 

Well.  I am not sure how I feel about all this.  This was indeed a terrible tragedy.  Many people compare it to our 9/11.  I don’t think it is measurable in that way.  I do think it shows that terrorism is everywhere.  I do think it makes me afraid.  Very afraid.

 

And while some may say that the magazine is very brave to continue their style of satire, I would think it’s like poking a bear.

.

What if

interview

What if Sony releases the movie The Interview, and theatres are bombed?

What if people are killed, maimed, injured?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Boston Marathon?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Colorado theatre?

What if we knew in advance that planes were going to take down the Twin Towers?

What if we knew ISIS was going to behead journalists?

What if we negotiated with terrorists?

What if the Rules of Engagement were changed and Lone Survivor could have been Multiple Survivors?

A lot of “what ifs”.  In the business world, what if scenarios are used all the time, to see the end result of changing certain parameters.  It gives management a tool to choose what path they want to go.

The United States has a very strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

“In a speech today (sic Nov 17, 2014) defending the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that paying ransoms could endanger more Americans.

“And as for kidnapping, the United States has set a heart-rending but absolutely necessary example by refusing to pay ransom for captured Americans. Last year the U.N. Security Council and the G8 firmly endorsed an identical policy, and all of the evidence shows that where and if a country is paid a ransom, there are many more people who are taken hostage,” Kerry said.”

I was surprised today to hear that George Clooney has taken a hard stand against North Korea, and all that it foretells.  He attempted to have high level executive sign a petition to stand behind Sony and release the picture.  Not one person would sign it.  Clooney was upset by that, and stated “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal,” Clooney said. “A huge deal. And people are still talking about dumb emails.  Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”  The actor added, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f—king people.”

I have to say that personally, when I saw the trailers for The Interview, and watched Rogen and Franco on the talk shows, my first thought was “wow, that’s really going to piss off North Korea.”  But I never thought they would take it this far.

So.  What would YOU do, if you knew in advance a set of circumstances?  Would you change the policies of the country?  Would you just hide in your homes?  Would you try to effect change?

Or would you watch Homeland on Showtime and wonder if all this kind of shit happens EVERY STINKING DAY in this world.  And be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  This is a big deal, in my book.

September 11, 2001…..what where YOU doing? Redux 9/11/15

Wow. I remember it so clearly, like it happened yesterday.  Probably because it was during one of the worst times of my life.

My husband had up and left me for another woman without any warning right beforehand.  So every year I get to remember, revisit, redream.  It sucks.  But at least I will never forget.

On Sept. 11th I was at work, crying in my office, as I had done for the past few weeks.  My internet alerted a flashing news story, and I watched the pictures of the first plane’s aftermath online.  I had a real bad feeling.  So bad that I stopped crying.

When the second plane hit, I knew it for what it was.  Everybody crowded around in front of computers, watching the story unfold.  One of the girls brought in a small TV to watch it on.  I was starting to get scared, and wondering if I should talk to the bosses about sending people home.  It seemed like everyone in Chicago had gone home.  But the big boss came out of his office, and told us to shut off the TV and for everybody to get back to work.  What a patriot, huh?  Asshole.

I went home alone, to an empty house, scared.  I was so scared I didn’t want to watch it on TV anymore.  I went and sat in the back yard with the dogs, and rocked back and forth in my chair.  I saw my ex drive by down the road with his new girlfriend in the car, and I had the uncharitable thought that I wished it was him in the WTC instead of some other decent person.  Then the Catholic school girl guilt kicked in and I felt bad.  So instead I wished it was me.  That’s what the Catholic school did to me.  Ha.

Anyway, I got through it.  We all did.  We all bucked up and became stronger for it.  I got divorced a couple of weeks later, and got used to taking off my shoes in an airport.  It was a sad time for us all.

By the time the one year anniversary rolled around, I was no longer sad, but mad.  Mad about both things.  So I wrote a poem about it.  I published it on the one year anniversary, and have posted it in some form or fashion every year since.  It helps remind me of where I was in that heartbreaking moment.  Here it is again:

The anniversary of 9/11

Twin Towers
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Twas Sept. 11th, a beautiful day,
Tho I did not know it. I couldn’t find my way.
My mind was clouded, my heart was shattered.
My husband had left me ….. I felt battered.
My life was over, my heart was aching,
I could almost feel my spirit breaking.
I selfishly thought nothing was worse than this pain,
Little did I know what was to happen, again.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Evil had come to visit us that day.
Evil was here, and here to stay.
Evil reared back and rose its ugly head,
Evil wouldn’t be happy unless we were dead.
Evil looked around, and Evil was jealous.
Evil licked his lips, Evil was zealous.
Evil wanted to bring the U.S. down,
Evil picked New York as his target town.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Our planes would become weapons of destruction,
Evil thought nothing would become an obstruction.
But there was something that Evil didn’t know…
How Americans loved their country so.
We rallied around, we held our heads high.
Even as we mourned and our eyes did cry.
Our heroes were everywhere, even in the sky.
We shook our heads, and we asked WHY?
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Something inside of me sparked that day,
And a guiding light was showing me the way.
My personal troubles were bad, that was true.
But nothing compared to the Red, White and Blue.
So I dried off my tears,
I shrugged off my fears.
I stood tall, I stood proud.
Courage took over, it shouted out loud.
Everyone knows that Evil lurks within,
But we will not falter and let Evil win.
We will guard our land, we will guard our skies,
Until once again, peace resides.
Two twin towers went crashing down.
Two twin towers collapsed into the ground.