Last night I was talking to my wife, and we both found it hard to believe it’s been ten years since September 11, 2001. It’s cliche, but it “seems like only yesterday.”
That day changed many of us in our own ways. For me, 9/11 was the reason I switched from writing about more generic topics throughout the 1990′s (“doesn’t it suck losing your hair,” “people who take way too long to fill out their check in the grocery store line,” etc) and started focusing on politics as well as other national and world events — but with the intent of adding some humor to otherwise somewhat serious topics. I believe my first politically-oriented column was in early October of 2001 (it’s here, but be warned that I wasn’t into proofreading much back then — in other words, not much has changed in a decade).
That day we saw human tragedy caused by the attack on the United States, but what I remember most is the subsequent unity. Gone were liberals and conservatives, “Native Americans,” “Hispanic Americans,” “African Americans” etc., and for a brief moment in time we were simply Americans. Maybe it didn’t last long, but if there was a splinter of hope gleaned from the rubble of that day, it was that Americans, in time of crisis, will find common purpose and come together to defeat those who seek to do her harm.
Sure, the conspiracy theorists, “fire can’t melt steel” Hollywood moonbats and the “blame America first” crowd wondering what the US did to make somebody so angry crawled from the knotted woodwork almost immediately, but — select elected officials and assorted wackos aside — Americans in general were, and are, unified to defeat a common enemy.
In late 2001, the world saw that America had strength, resolve, and a president who threw a strike when we needed it most:
On the subject of finding light during our darkest hours, give a read to Zilla’s 9/11 post.
This brings back memories because I happened to be online at the time of the attacks: What the front pages of the web looked like the morning of 9/11/01.
As I said before, most of America understood the implications of 9/11, but there were those who just didn’t get it and don’t to this day. Here’s Paul Krugman from January of 2002:
I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.
Continued thoughts and prayers for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, as well as those in our military who have given their lives and those who risk their lives to make sure 9/11/01 is never repeated.