Friday, September 11, 2009
September 11th, New York City
The weather turned cold and wet last night. The clouds started to close in at sunset. By early night the sky was overcast and the
New York City/place>/city> was cloaked in fog and light rain. As I walked back to Reboot I saw the white shaft of light from the World/placename> Trade/placename> Center/placetype>/place> site burning thru the clouds and rain.
I was in the executive offices of Fortis when the
World/placename> Trade/placename> Center/placetype>/place> was attacked. For some reason we had a television going so we were aware almost immediately of the attacks. My first concern of course was for my brother who worked in New York City/place>/city>. I was pretty sure that one of his two sons and his wife were safe, but I was not sure where his older son was working at the time. As I found out later in the day they were both safe.
The storm came in with a vengeance overnight. High winds and heavy rain were the agenda for today. I turned the TV on to find that every channel in
New York/state> is covering the memorial service at the World/placename> Trade/placename> Center/placetype>/place> site live. I did not expect to watch the reading of the names of those who died but found myself drawn to listening for more than a minute. The grief of those who had lost a loved one was of course strong. I had forgotten how quickly the North Tower fell after the South Tower. During the reading there was a moment of silence when the South Tower fell, then again at the time of the North Tower.
But I was also struck by how much more had been lost. While the politicians, “community representatives,” architects, and other “interested parties” argue the
World/placename> Trade/placename> Center/placetype>/place> complex is still a hole in the ground. Our politicians are attacking the same intelligence agencies that had been shackled by previous political stupidity. (Do you remember Harry Stimpson’s famous quote about intelligence agencies prior to World War II? “Gentlemen don’t read each other’s mail.” He was one of the folks who brought us Pearl Harbor/place>.) Had the intelligence agencies not been shackled could the attack have been prevented? No one knows. But I do know that there are still a lot of people out there who just don’t get it but would prefer to believe there are not evil people in the world, just those that are misunderstood. I have always taught my children that there are “mistakes” and “fatal mistakes.” There is much I disagree with about the current direction of our government, but most of it, if I am correct that it is destructive of the life I want and the opportunities I want for my sons, can be reversed. But a weak foreign policy that invites attack is a fatal mistake. We may ultimately triumph in war but that does nothing for the men and women who die or are crippled defending our freedom and their families.
To those who have lost family and loved ones to the insane attacks of evil people my heart goes out to you. To my brothers and sisters in arms who risk their lives every day to defend me, my family, and my country know that my thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day.
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