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I’m Still Mad

September 11, 2011

I was off work that day.

I’d worked Monday.  In fact, I got a speeding ticket on the way in because I took a different route and went through a school zone I didn’t see.  But the parents were in town, and I wanted to get some time off, so I took Tuesday off.  We were thinking of going to Mount Saint Helens, and my wife was taking a bit of time, so I logged onto my work system to check mail quickly.  It was on our corporate home page where I saw the news that we had been attacked and that the towers had fallen.

From there, it was all four of us glued to the TV for a bit, watching the news.  After a few minutes, I realized I was mad.  Really mad.  And frustrated.  I couldn’t do anything other than watch the TV.  Eventually, I put the flag outside, which was the only thing I could do.  It was the first flag out, but nearly every house had a flag within a couple hours.

We eventually went for a drive, since I couldn’t stand to watch the TV anymore, but nobody was in the mood to do anything.

Life changed immediately in many little ways.  My parents had to get home to Ohio, and they didn’t know when the airports would open again, so they rented a car and drove across the nation.  Some of my co-workers were in Atlanta for a conference, and they had to rent a van and start driving back.  I had a trip planned the next week, and I remember arguing with others on a conference call that we HAD to go, we couldn’t let some backwards terrorists win.

I also remember the first time I went to NYC a couple years later.  We were down in the financial district talking to customers.  The local guy took me down to the WTC site, where we could look through the fence.  I looked for about three seconds, and then I got mad again.  I couldn’t look at it without getting mad.  Yesterday on the TV, I saw the site in the background, and I got mad just looking at the pits that they’re turning into parks.

I’m not the first to say it this way, but that was the day I finished becoming a total conservative.  I met too many people (especially here in liberal OR) who were sad about what had happened.  I was mad.  I realized then that I wanted to be mad about this, not sad.  Sad meant that it happened, and I couldn’t do anything.  Mad meant that I had to figure out what I could do, and do it.  Even in the little ways, I could do something that showed that I wasn’t afraid, or at lead not afraid enough to stop doing something.

So now we’ve tapped bin Laden.  It’s hard to think we’re not winning, though we still have a lot of little inconveniences that we have to bear.  That’s okay by me, since I’m still mad.  I’ll keep doing what needs to be done to show we’re not going to lose.

Ronald Reagan said that freedom is just one generation away from disappearing, since every generation has to fight for the freedoms that the former one won for them.  This is why we fight, this is why we work so hard to spread freedom to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.  This is why we’ll win.

But I’m still mad.  And that’s good.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Stormrider permalink
    September 11, 2011 5:19 pm

    I was teaching a Photoshop course at Kodak and didn’t get a class break until Noon.All of us were simply dumbfounded when we saw what had happened I was tempted to cancel the rest of the class, but we pushed through and finished all we needed to do. About 6 months after 9/11 my boss came to me and said we want you to go to NYC and meet with some NYPD detectives. They had recovered thousands of photos and Photo IDs that they wanted to clean up and scan so they could hopefully return them back to the families of the victims. We flew JetBlue into JFK and a police van met us at the airport. Our meeting was on Staten Island at the Freshkills landfill, the first thing we noticed when we entered the area was biological hazard signs everywhere and wash stations for vehicles that were leaving the site. When the van pulled up to the offices ( trailers) we had to put on contamination boots and masks to walk the 50 yards to the trailers. I remember it as vividly as if it happened today.When the van doors opened there was a sickly sweet smell of decomposition and death that just hung in the air. Our job was to restore the thousand of images that everyone has on their desks, of their kids, their wives, plus also to take care of the thousands of wallet photos they had taken from wallets found Ground Zero. We had to clean the images, scan the photos and also scan the backs of the images that had “I love you Daddy” etc. Or Love you wife. on them So be mad, be very mad but also count everyday as a blessing, and look at those photos on your desk, they mean so much, more than you can imagine. JWoods

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