Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9-10-01

Today marks the tenth anniversary of September 10, 2001. Even though that day is fast receding into the distant past, it deserves to be remembered. Here are just a few of the things that made 9/10/01 so unique:

  • There were no armed fighter jets patrolling the skies of the United States, nor was it necessary to dispatch them whenever an airline passenger got drunk.

  • We were able to get on an airplane without eying the other passengers suspiciously. And once the plane took off, all we had to worry about was the quality of the food--or lack thereof.

  • The purpose of flight attendants was to hand out little bags of peanuts and fluff our pillows, not to serve as the last line of defense for the nation.

  • Department of Homeland Security? Never heard of it. What's it do?

  • Terrorism was something that always happened some place else.

  • We weren't afraid of our mail, Anthrax was just a loud band, and if we saw white powder somewhere, we automatically assumed someone had spilled coffe creamer.

  • People would look at you funny if you took your shoes off in the security line at the airport, and hair gel wasn't treated as a lethal weapon.

  • Afghanistan? Never heard of it. Where is it? And what's a Taliban?

  • No one had ever heard of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And certainly no one in Shanksville had any reason to suspect that anyone ever would.

  • The big story in the news was the disappearance of a government intern Chandra Levy whose boyfriend happened to be a married congressman. Undoubtedly, this sordid tale would continue to dominate headlines for the foreseeable future.

  • The second biggest story of early September was the series of shark attacks along the east coast of the U.S. Two people were dead in what was considered a frightening death toll.

  • If we went downtown, the only thing we worried about was getting mugged.

  • The Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 was the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, and April 19 would always be associated with that unimaginable horror.

  • If a plane had crashed on September 10, our first thought would have been, "Gee, what a horrible accident."

  • The only emotion we felt when we had to pull over for a firetruck was annoyance.

  • We didn't think twice about getting on the subway, we paid no attention to who else might be on the train with us, nor did we run for our lives if we spotted a lost backpack.

  • Several thousand tourists enjoyed the spectacular view from the observation deck of the World Trade Center today. Assuming it doesn't rain, several thousand more will enjoy it tomorrow.

  • You could look at a crisp blue sky and marvel at its simple beauty.

  • Most of all, it was a day to feel good about the future and our place in the world. After all, this was the United States of America, and everyone loved us.

Yes, September 10, 2001 was quite a day.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day...?