...busting up my brains for the words

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 fourth anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the day America realized it was at war, under attack from a foreign enemy. Here is my account of that day and what it meant to me.
I worked then, as I do now, downtown Minneapolis, though at a different address than I do now. When I walked into my workplace just a few minutes after 8 a.m., my co-workers told me about two jets having just crashed into the World Trade Center towers. I was stunned that such a thing could happen. I used to live for a brief time in Hoboken, New Jersey, directly across the Hudson River from the WTC, in 1984. The radio was on in my workplace and we listened to the account. It was thought that this must be some kind of attack.
I recall one of my co-workers passing the news to me that it was thought that the Sears Tower in Chicago was also attacked by a dive-bombing jet. Soon jets had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and an open field in Pennsylvania. We had the radio on, tuned to reports of what was happening and speculations as to what it all meant. Our online computers were useless, they were so slow.
The workplace was virtually paralyzed, our ears were glued to the radio reports. I remember the radio station had opened it's broadcast to the telephone lines as people called in to tell what their thoughts were about war. I'll never forget one woman who'd called in tearfully pleading that we should not go to war over this. War is not the answer. We should open our hearts with compassion and listen to what these people who did this wanted, she said, so we can for once stop the bloodshed before it balloons out of control.

I remember the over-riding question of the day was, Why do they hate us? And a very strange and fuzzy spot was exposed in my mind. I realized that this question would be asked again and again. I knew that there would be different answers to the question. And I knew that some people would never be satisfied with the answer or the inevitable response that would arise from these vicious attacks. It was my feeling the tearful woman on the radio was wrong, that she was naive. I felt in my gut that if we followed her advice it would mean our doom. But I also felt a need to expose that fuzzy spot to an intense and harsh light. We must know why they hate us and we must know why we reject that hatred.

I still believe that Americans had one of two responses to the attacks. They were:

1) Oh My God, There are people who want to kill us and we must defend ourselves. 2) Oh My God, The terrible things my country has been doing to the world have finally come back to destroy us for what we've done.

Sadly, I do not see that we've adequately exposed the fuzzy spot to answer its questions. There are too many Americans who believe that America is wrong, is greedy, is deserving of the attacks of 9/11 and more, if any, to come. I've argued with those people and there is no persuading them. I've come to learn that you either get the gut feeling that America is good and is worth defending or you don't. The brain seems to have very little to do with changing hearts.

On 9/10/01 I had very little interest in politics. I didn't care who was president. I didn't care who our Congresspeople were. Politicians were petty and incompetents who were only interested in their own selfish ends and their distorted partisanship. But I was beginning to change my mind about President George W. Bush. I hadn't voted for him. I had no reason to like him.
I'll never forget my amazement when I heard him on the radio shortly after we knew we were under attack by al Qaeda. He made a call for America's response and he named it a "Crusade"! That word rang like a very, very loud and harsh bell in my brain. Crusade? Is that what this will be?

I hadn't made any negative judgments of W's use of that word. But I noted that he never used it again. And I've come to admire this president's leadership. As I say, I hadn't been interested much in politics. So I hadn't really been able to appreciate how the country became unified in the aftermath of 9/11. It merely seemed natural to me.
But I now knew that America was indeed at war. And I knew that it was a very strange war. It was a war that many people refused to recognize. One could not openly speak of this war in the workplace for fear of offending someone who thought it was really George W. Bush's war and not America's war at all. One never knew if the person in the workplace was #1 or #2 in my above identification of responses.

But this seems wrong to me. I don't think I should be intimidated by what others may be offended by. I have a right to be proud of my country and to make my stand with this president and my country's answer of war. So I proudly display an 8 x 10" glossy picture of W at my desk. I get different responses from co-workers. I don't see that it's my place to go picking for a fight with co-workers over our president and this war in Iraq and the Global War on Terror. But I have a right to quietly make my allegiances known on my desk.

And I've come to believe that in light of the shameful leftist bias in the msm, my ability to express my ideas and feelings in this blog are really, in a small way, my way of fighting the war against those who would destroy America. This blog is a tool for me to learn all the better what I believe and also to disseminate information through the blogosphere that the msm would quash or ignore.

War is a purifier. It pushes the boundaries of what were to new positions. This is much more than a war of bullets and bombs and jumbo jets. It is a war of ideas.

You'll find mine right here at pinkmonkeybird.


  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger Sandy said…

    Good on you pmb for making your views known. I am always amazed to discover that half of this nation thinks the other half truly wants to starve kids and old people. The more they have to encounter conservatives, the better chance the stereotype may die.

  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    Good point, Sandy.
    And as I keep trying to remind myself and others, if a former Independent/Democrat like myself can objectively turn into a devoted Republican Conservative, more can do the same.


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