Monday, September 11, 2006

OUTRAGE - - - Five Years Later

I couldn't let today pass without typing out some of my thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001. I have been too busy to blog lately, but when days like this come, and I say nothing, I wonder why I have this public listing of my thoughts.

Where was I on Sept 11?
Well I was awakened by a phone call on Sept 11, 2001. I worked a shifted schedule at the time, and didn't usually get up until about 9:00. My girlfriend (Later Mrs.Jiggity) called some time earlier than that to tell me that some planes had crashed into the WTC in New York. She knew I was interested in politics, and expected this to be something I would probably want to see. I initially thought the pilot had been drunk and would really be in trouble --- trouble? Hell the guy was dead now. It didn't take long before I turned on the TV and radio, and learned that there was a lot more happening on that day.

I don't really remember whether both towers had been hit when I started absorbing information, but between the time when I started watching and the time when they collapsed, I was weakened, and stunned. The death count was told, and they kept climbing. I remember thinking that each number I heard would eventually be wrong again. "People will be dying from this event for days, or maybe even weeks, " I thought.

The big question in my mind was simple, "What if one of those things falls down?" I wondered how many people were trapped inside. Listening to commentators, I heard a number of 50,000.

Who tried to kill 50,000 people in one blow?
Who thought their movement would be helped by this?
Who didn't understand that the USA is the wrong beehive to poke a stick into?

I was convinced that whoever it was had sealed their own fate, and the fate of their ideology. At the time, I knew very little about the subjects we all pretend to be experts on today; bin Ladin, Islamic Fundamentalism, the Taliban, and the term "weapons of mass distruction." How could this great nation respond in any way other than rigid defiant outrage? Somebody's gettin' nuked. Fast!

Then the thing happened for which I could find no words.

One of those skyscrapers dropped.

I couldn't catch my breath. I could only exhale. My face contorted, and my chest caved in. My lips flexed into a cramp, and I wanted it to stop.

One of those skyscrapers dropped. It didn't make sense. and five years later it still doesn't make sense. Of course all things end, but I never expected to see the death of a 100+ story building. Hailing from Chicago, I have always hoped the skyscrapers would last as long as the pyramids of Egypt. Combining this inconceivable spectacle with the death of up to 50,000 (eventually reduced by mercy from God) melted me to spontaneous tears for days.

I also remember the sight of people who jumped to their death. Imagine that choice. "How will I create my own death?" Maybe I run to the stairwell filled with smoke, and crowds of people. Maybe I look for a letter opener, and stab my throat. Maybe I jump and feel the euphoric rush of "flight." Death is here today. I retain my free will and still have some say in how I go. Even if I exercise nothing, I still chose. Waiting in a corner where no phone lines connect me to the rescue crews is a choice as well. What fate is this?

Only evil could do this on purpose. Insanity. The word "fanaticism" seem too romantic for these demons.

That was exactly what I thought on the day of the 11th. I was outraged. Appropriately, the next day, the Chicago Sun-Times ran that single word as its headline.

By now, it seems like that day should be history. Today it's ripples still wash over us. It is not yet history. It is still a current event. It still stabs.

Today, again, we cry.

Update 9/14: Check out this string of e-mails from 9/11, from PARLANCHEQ. Nothing spectacular, just very interesting to see what people did on that day.


At Sun Sep 17, 11:47:00 AM CDT, Blogger PARLANCHEQ said...

Hey BeeJiggity, thanks so much for the shout out. As for the towers falling, I never ever in a million years would have imagined that. I guess I just assumed that terrible as the crashes were, the fires would be put out and the damaged floors later repaired. When someone in my office went around saying that one of the towers just fell, I seriously thought he must just have the story wrong. I wish that he had been wrong. :(

At Mon Sep 18, 11:50:00 PM CDT, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

We sure can agree on that!


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