A Declaration of War
A day that I will never forget, as long as I will live.
I arrived at my office on Wall Street at about 8:15 am in preparation for the launch of a new product. Sitting at my desk, starting my day, I felt the second plane hit the building. At that time I split. I went downstairs with a couple of people from work and we all did was stare in silence at the horror happening above us.
As I watched, I saw debris falling and I even saw a couple of people fall to their deaths. I can't imagine being on the ledge of the 80th floor, fire licking at your heals. What do you do? Burn up or fall to your death? Imagine what must go through your mind? Can you? Knowing you're dead no mater what...
I now know what people mean when they say that they have sights that they'll never forget. I have known people that have been to war and have seen some pretty bad things that forever changed them. As far as I'm concerned, the WTC was an act of war. What I saw, standing there 3 blocks from the scene, I will never forget. The top 1/3 of the trade center engulfed in smoke and flame. Knowing that people were up there and would never get out. Knowing that many escape plans call for heading to the roof. Knowing that this was no accident.
After about 20 minutes, I left my friends for the Statin Island ferry. There was no way I was getting out of the city any of the normal routes. So it seemed that the ferry was my only option, especially if the buildings fell. In 1970, the WTC was designed to withstand a hit from a 727, however planes have gotten bigger. I walked down to the ferry terminal and was getting ready to board the boat when the first tower collapsed. As I heard people scream, I turned around to watch as it fell. Even now, as I close my eyes, I can still see that site. After that, my self-preservation took over. I got on the boat and we all left. There was so much dust that it took the boat 10 minutes to get out of it. The entire ferry was shrouded in dust.
I arrived on Statin Island, a place I have been to maybe once. I was on my out anr ran into some people from work. One of the women called her uncle who let us stay the afternoon. We all hung out and talked about the tragedy unfolding before us on television until about 6pm when I got a ride to the edge of Statin Island. They weren't letting cars go across, but they were letting people walk. I got out and started walking. The sight I saw walking across the bridge to Bayonne will never leave my eyes. The image of Manhattan, smoking. From a couple of miles away it looked like bombs had been dropped on Manhattan. It looked like something out of a movie. As I walked, I was looking for my digital camera. I didn't have it with me. As I write this, I'm glad I didn't have it. I don't need a physical image to remember what has been engrained on my brain.
I finally got home and touched base with everyone. After I settled in a bit, knowing I was home and safe, the anger came up. And the question: What do we do now?
Our first and most major problem our own government. They were supposed to prevent this from happening. And I don't mean planes hitting the trade center, I mean they shouldn't have been hijacked in the first place. I know people that get blades through all the time. Those terrorists, from what I've heard, had box-cutters and knives as weapons. Don't we have metal detectors? Are we using those detectors to their fullest abilities? No. From what I've been told by people in the airline industry, the metal detectors we currently use in our airports aren't on 10. They might be set on 2 or 3. If they were used correctly, they'd detect the foil on a pack of smokes. Why aren't they? Well, simple, if you detect every bit of metal on a person, imagine how long the lines would be? But what price do we pay for our safety? Some time?
We need to go after the countries that helped pull this off. Terrorists need a place to live. You can guarantee that countries knew that these terrorists were making their lands home. And I know I've made a lot of fun of Dubya, but I agree with him 100%. There is no difference between the country and the terrorist.
These attacks were setup for probably a year or so. They could have put sleepers in the airports to assist the terrorists. Terrorism is something that we need to stomp out, right now. American can no longer be a paper tiger. American's can no longer happily chat on their cell phones about nothing. We've watched the pictures on TV but never had to feel the cold bite of terrorism. Americans have known terrorism as "something that happens over there". For decades, terrorists have said they'll bring their wars to us. On September 11, 2001, they did. Our world is forever changed. Americans can no longer see a Palestinian child on television and not feel that pain.
Is this what terrorism does? Yes. Do I know any scared Americans? Haven't met any yet. This disaster did nothing but bring every American together. The petty childish differences we used to have seem unimportant now. In this case, terrorism didn't work. The problem is, these feelings have always been inside of us. We've always known that just because someone is a different color, believes in a different God that deep down inside we're all free men. Our freedom makes us brothers. However, there are those in this country that are here not to be free but to do whatever they can to undermine our way of life our of jealousy. Those people need to leave now before you're helped by the citizens of this great nation to get on a boat.
What's most important to remember is that this attack was probably a long time coming. We don't know what is in store for us. Our nation is on lockdown right now, the chance of another attack is slim. But I'm a realist. The fact of the matter is that they could have car bombs planted. They could have any number of things setup. As a nation, we've been caught with our pants down. Because we have such incredible freedom, we're vulnerable. It's something that we have to live with. We can't change though. They took the war to our soil, we can't allow it to ever touch our soil again. We have to put the war on their land, and I hope we will. Because that's what this is, isn't it?
Could this be World War III unfolding before our eyes? According to a quote I once read from Nostradomus, it might be. I'll post the quote when I can find it. NATO is in the process of drafting a document giving the United States full support. Whatever we want, we have. We can see the sides forming now. Don't make any mistake about what's going on here. Countries across the world now know that they can be targeted as well. They will be on full alert. The current global atmosphere could change very quickly.
EAD - September 12, 2001