I remember my first call that morning. It was a little after 6am Pacific time. My girlfriend (now my wife) was on the phone asking me to turn the TV on. I saw the first tower had been hit and the only thought going through my mind was that this couldn’t possibly be real. There had to be some mistake. This was just another one of those disaster movies like the ones where all these asteroids are coming to earth and we’re all going to be killed by them. How could this be? How could a plane just crash into the World Trade Center?! Then the second plane hit and it was clear that this was no accident. This was an act of terror and one that was going to change the world forever.
I stayed home from work that day and of course called back home to NY to be sure that my family and friends and their families were all ok. If you are from NY then I don’t think you can say that you don’t know someone, at least one person who was directly affected by this travesty. So much anger. Who could do something like this? I can understand hating us as a nation. I can understand thinking of Americans as gluttonous pigs. Many of us are. But all that gives anyone the right to do is to leave us alone. Ignore us. Want nothing to do with us. Fine ok! We love our freedom and some of us take that to an extreme. I think, however that the reaction that followed proved us to be ultimately a strong nation of good people who came together to help one another through this.
My wife told me a story of a company who lost 600 employees that day. This could have wiped the company out completely, but instead the surviving employees re-built the company so well that they have taken care of every family of all of those who perished and made sure that their kids school – through college was paid for. There are many stories like this and these are not the actions of a broken nation. They are the actions of a nation that took a cold cock in the face, got up and said “Fuck You” to the less than human, less than animal, lower than low form of life terrorists who proudly took responsibility. They hate us because of what we believe in. Now we could hate them for what they have done to us. Many of us do, but more importantly we stand up today. We are rebuilding that space and we are not letting them break us!