Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Recollections and Reflections of September 11th

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

My Dear America:

I was driving back from my Doctor's office early this morning after having blood taken to be tested when I tuned into NPR on my car radio just in time to hear the bagpipes playing from Ground Zero and a moment of silence being initiated.  

Prior to this I had forgotten that this was the 11th Anniversary of one of the most devastating days in your history, America.  It is September 11th, 2012.  The first thing I thought of this morning was that today looks and feels just like it did on September 11th, 2001.  

Like today, September 11th, 2001 was a beautiful day.  There was a bright blue sky with hardly a cloud.  It wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold. It was just right.  I'm sure that nearly everyone going to work at the World Trade Center had a smile on their face and a spring in their step on that historic and beautiful morning.  On a day like that one, who in their right mind would be thinking that somewhere on that bright beautiful horizon were individuals hijacking passenger jets for the purpose of flying them into the World Trade Center and Centers of Government in Washington D.C.

There were terrorists in the skies on that devastating day, though, and death and destruction was coming to New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Although almost no one on the morning of September 11th had ever heard of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, from that day on no one in America would ever forget the bravery of the passengers who died that day in Shanksville after attempting to thwart the hijackers attempts to blow up either the Capitol or the White House in D.C..

I was getting ready to go to work when my wife called out to me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I came in to watch the spectacle which was on television.  My suspicion, like the suspicion of many that day was that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center accidentally.  While I was watching on Television, however, the second plane hit and all hell broke loose.

It seems like a long time ago, and was, in fact, a long time ago.  Our search for Bin Laden took us to Afghanistan and Iraq and resulted in prolonged wars that killed countless middle easterners and took the lives and health of many american soldiers.  

As we stand here in 2012 we should look back at bin laden's threat not to conquer us, but to do what he and others did to the Russians in Afghanistan, to break us financially.

Although Bin Laden and many of his cohorts are either dead or otherwise out of commission, bin laden's legacy of breaking the bank's in America lives on.  After two costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we are financially paying bin laden's costly price.  

Was it worth it to sacrifice so many Americans and middle easterners to kill Saddam Hussein and bin laden.  Only time will tell that.  

As we concentrate today, however, on the American lives lost in New York, Virginia and Shanksville it certainly is at least partially sastisfactory to know that bin laden is not alive to repeat his horrors or gloat on his followers' successful assault of our country on September 11th.

Unfortunately this dead madman lives on in those madmen he has inspired and in the new and sometimes harmful new laws and new types of lives that we must live in America.

We're still going but life in America is much more complicated following the madness of September 11th, 2001 and certainly will never be the same because of the brutal lessons of that awful day.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

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