What I did on September 11th, 2001
I remember the day pretty clearly, as I’m sure most other Americans do. I will attempt to describe my day here.
I was awoken by my girlfriend (I live on the West Coast). She said that someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center in New York. I remember very clearly what I said. “Wow, that’s crazy,” and then I rolled over and went back to sleep.
After I got up, I went out into the living room and she was still watching the TV. Our son, only 6 months old at the time, was on the floor playing. I asked her, “hey what was it you said to me earlier?” She said “shh, watch the TV.” So for the next few hours we did. I was by turns amazed, shocked, distraught, angry, and sad. I remember digging out an American flag and putting it up in the flagpole holder on the house. I remember briefly considering enlisting. I remember an intense urge to support our newly elected president.
Of course, life must go on. I can say with all honesty that a few days later, as details emerged, I went from wanting to support our president to blaming if not him, at least our government. I did not approve of his grandstanding, his machismo, and his urging of Americans to “go shopping”. I thought he was ridiculous and way out of his league.
I’m not arrogant enough to say I know exactly what we should have done, but I do know that his administration’s bullying of our allies and the rest of the world over the next few years did real harm to the world’s diplomatic environment. I know that the stupid phrasing of “war on terror” was ludicrous, as ludicrous as “war on drugs”. I knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it, the guy was on a virtual island thanks to our sanctions and the results of the Gulf War of 1991. I knew that Bush and his administration would try to exploit Americans’ fears, but I had hope that most Americans would see through it. I was wrong, apparently. I never supported the PATRIOT Act. I never supported the invasion of Iraq. I never voted for Bush. To this day I lament what happened to the world and the country of my birth as a result of 9/11.