Saturday, September 11, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- 20 Years Ago...

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:

It's Saturday Night again -
Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Today is September 11th, and the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States.  Where were you, what were you doing, and how did it affect you?

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

Here's mine:

I watched it happen on TV. I woke up at about 5:45 AM and turned the radio on to hear that the first tower was hit, jumped up and went into the family room, turned the TV on and watched in horror as the first tower burned, the second tower was hit and burned, the Pentagon was hit, Flight 93 went down, the second tower fell, and finally the first tower fell. My fear was that tens of thousands of people died.

I did go to work, arriving late, and doing a slow burn because I knew who did it. My first comment to someone was "someone will pay - it's either us or them - no mercy, we need to wipe out the terrorists." That may sound like I copied it from what W said soon after - but those were my thoughts and words.

Nobody could get any work done. Everybody was on the Internet and sharing information. We gathered in groups to talk about what happened. Some of our younger engineers were Iranian or Arab, and several came to me wondering what would happen. They asked what they should do now - they feared for their safety. My counsel was that they needed to keep cool, not inflame anybody's anger, gather together for safety, and sit tight until the original anger blows over. I said that there will be retribution against the terrorists, and that the people of this country respect the rights of everyone to assemble, worship, and speak. I asked them their opinion about what happened, and they said they were surprised at the audacity of the acts, and that they enjoyed living and working in America - kind of the best of both worlds.

I came home for lunch and went back to work the next day.  I watched, with Linda, the television the rest of the day and for weeks to come, sad that so many people lost their lives, astonished at the bravery of first responders and the folks on Flight 93, and knowing that this event would change our country and our world.

My company had employees on trips around the world.  The program leaders for my project at the time were in Baltimore, Maryland but they did have a rental car.  The aircraft reservations were canceled of course for a period, but the four of them drove back to San Diego in three days.  I had been going to Baltimore occasionally and was lucky to miss this trip.  

Since then, I have become much more wary of suspicious people and activities in public areas.  My son-in-law was in the Marines Reserve from 2000 to 2010, and served one tour in Iraq dodging bullets and car bombs.  I worried every day he was over there. 

Since then, I have known that "they want to destroy our way of life, and kill or subjugate everyone who doesn't agree with them - and we need to prevent that from happening." I support every politician who has a realistic attitude toward this subject. I don't care if the terrorists are killed by us, by their home countries, or by other terrorists - the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist IMHO. We live in the 21st century, and the terrorists want all of us to live by their 8th century rules.  

The threat just became worse with the recent retreat from Afghanistan.  Many of our politicians, the military leadership, and our intelligence services are corrupted by 9/10 thinking - "they are so poor, why do they hate us, let's try to be friends, give them the benefit of the doubt, most of them are moderate, maybe the moderates will take over their countries," etc. Hmmm, not yet!  After 20 years you would think that we had learned the lessons of 9/11 well.  

My belief is that we, as a nation, have not done enough yet to protect the homeland over the last 20 years.  We haven't secured the borders, secured the ports, or have secure communications, cybersecurity, transportation and infrastructure. There should be nuclear and bomb detection equipment at every port-of-entry. I fully support a tamper-proof ID card for all citizens and non-citizens, including a biometric and fingerprint database for non-citizens, and revised visa and passport laws. The persons without proper identification records need to go back to their home countries voluntarily or by deportation. I support a time-limited probationary visa for undocumented migrants already in the country after IDing them, a guest-worker program with time limits, and a path to citizenship only for those who go through proper application channels.  Laws on the books should be enforced.  The inconvenience to law-abiding citizens will be minimal.  

Several of these ideas were anathema to me before 9/11 - I said "live and let live." We can't do that now - if we are going to prevent terrorist acts we need those tools to prevent them, and the political will to pursue them to protect our country.  I want my grandchildren and their descendants to live in a free America with liberty and justice for all.  I will NEVER FORGET this day and this event.  


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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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Janice M. Sellers said...

My take on things is probably a little unusual.

ByAPearl said...

Here are my recollections

Rand said...

Preach it, brother Randy!

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Here's mine:

Lateboomer said...

I am Canadian, and share the same thoughts as you do Randy about terrorists. Living in Southern Ontario, my family and I are fairly close to the US border with friends and relatives in New York City.

Nine months before I was very badly injured in a car crash, and had been in hospital for a long time. On September 11th I was at home and just before 8:30 AM (Eastern) wheeled myself into my office to read the news online, checked my email first and then the headlines. At this point the first plane had hit the tower and remember thinking how tragic - and within minutes when the second tower was hit realized this was no accident. My husband Jamie had already left for work several hours before, and I called him and told him to go into the lunchroom and turn on the TV. During the day I was watching all the tragedy unfold, tried to get through by telephone to two friends who worked in Manhattan to see if they were all right but couldn't reach them. Many of us here were holding our collective breath wondering how many more terror strikes would occur, and where. Such a helpless feeling. Eventually we were able to reach our loved ones stateside and were reassured that they were safe.

Theda Thunder said...

Hallo Randy,
I wrote something in German, to add a little bit about what it was like witnessing this from Germany.
You can use this on Google Translate or maybe you have a browser extension, so language shouldn't be a boundary here.
Thank you for this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

dmsn48 said...

I agree with Randy ..... I was Working across the river and the towers in Long Island city .Here is My point of view ...while working in middle school 204 .. When the first plane hit .. it was surreal , Our principal had the tv on in his office .. I remember watching it for a couple of minutes ..and with in twenty minutes , Parents started pouring in our school to take their kids home .. 10 minutes after that parents were all over the building looking for their kids .. while on the first floor by the main office ,A teacher friend of mine was on her cell phone talking to her husband when his building shook that was across from the towers . she started screaming and I will not forget her being pushed into the principals office and the door slammed ..The office was a mad house of parents wanting their children ... I decided to Walk the building and help out with parents locating their children . I went into a classroom that was facing the towers ,and at 10:28 am Looking out a third floor classroom window I watched the 2nd tower come down mixed with students screaming is something I will never forget .For the rest of the day everyone looked in shock ,scared and nervous for their loved ones .. , .At the end of the work day went home put the tv on and watched like most .. until I got the call from My hubby .Because he is a city employee he was asked to help out on the pile . That was name after .... I will never forget the smell coming off My husbands clothes when he came home from being on that pile ..Had him take his clothes and boots off before coming in the house ,placing his melted work boots in a bag and leaving them outside .. Him taking a shower and the smell was still on his skin . For days he worked down there and the stories he could tell would make your skin crawl..I know what he endured left a deep wound in his mind and a true love of his country .. He gets so upset seeing what is going on in America ..