I was on my way to work when the first plane hit....... We were gonna get an early start on sealing a parking lot.....try to get some work done before it was too hot.
Surely just a terrible accident...?
Then the second one hit.... and the fires grew...We all watched in terrible fascination on the TV as the towers fell and 3000 or more of our countrymen and women died.
I told the kids watching with me that what they had just witnessed would change the world and our country....and that whether we realized it or not, we were at war....
I was right.
That day changed the way we travel, and gave terrible powers to our government. It took a few months, but the enemies of freedom were waiting, and took advantage of those events to fundamentally change our country.
It showed us the hatred Islam has for the Culture here in the West...in the US in particular. It brought to the forefront that a person cannot be US citizen and a good Muslim.
It gave us the Patriot Act....a lie if ever there was one. It spawned an ever growing Surveillance State...and began conditioning the public to always being watched....and to allowing their freedoms to be temporarily bypassed in the name of "security".
It also made me proud of my countrymen.....we didn't massacre other Arabs...nor chase anyone wearing a hijab or speaking with a Pakistani accent out of town. Yes, life was uncomfortable for those folks for a few days..., but in other places they would have been dead hours after.....Americans held to the American values.....and treated immigrants correctly and with honor.
There are still a lot of questions about who was involved in the attacks....yes, we know about Mohammed Atta and his co-conspirators....but were there more? Were the Saudis involved? (Probably.....at least some in the government were) was it a conspiracy with the Bush administration? Maybe (but I doubt it....)
Either way, this attack opened the door to the fundamental changes that we, as a body, accepted in the behavior of our Government to the it's citizens.....
I may, someday, be able to forgive the Saudis or the Muslims for the attack on my country....and my fellow citizens.
I will never be able to forgive them for the changes they wrought in my country.
I will never forget that Muslims everywhere cheered the damage done by the attack on my country. I will never forget the silence from the Muslim community here in the US, and I will never forget that the mosques in the US where the 9-11 terrorists worshiped had to know that they were planning something....and stayed silent. I will never forget that the Pakistani (Paahkistaahni? (Obamas pronunciation)) government was complicit in helping Osama Bin Laden hide for years. I may only be one person....But I and many of my countrymen share a remembrance of that day.
You should too.