Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years since

For reasons I can't put into words, I spent some time on YouTube yesterday, looking up footage and sound clips from that awful, awful day 10 years ago.

I felt truly compelled to do so. Compelled because I'd talked with my sister about a story on the news, featuring the recording of a flight attendant calling from one of those doomed flights. The people first receiving the message couldn't quite believe what they were hearing. Attack? Not a test? And then, when it was confirmed, they were all business.

I listened to some heartbreaking stuff on that website. Last recordings from many, calls to emergency operators who began as hopeful lifelines and became instead a last contact, a companion for death. There were a few clips that, after reading the comments below them, I chose not to hear. There are some voices that I don't want to have in my head permanently.

But I have a choice; I can simply click elsewhere. Those people who died had very little choices remaining for them. Burn, choke, or jump? Sit in fear or attack your attackers? Get yourself out or go back for others and risk your own neck?

I will never forget what evil people did that day. I will never become complacent. I don't want to—that's what compels me to listen to the recordings and watch those towers crumple into the ground over and over. I believe that not all Muslims are killers, just like I believe that I'm not represented by the extreme Christian factions who bomb abortion clinics. But I also know that my savior is a proponent of love, and forgiveness. And whomever those people worship doesn't condone that sort of thing for anyone who doesn't share the same beliefs.

They're out there, right now, plotting. Planning. They might even be in your town. Don't become complacent. Don't think that things are different now. Hang a flag, and shamelessly put your hand on your heart when you speak the anthem or sing a song about our country. Pray. Try sincerely to be good and forgive. But do not rest easily. We're not dealing with mere people here; I believe we are dealing with Satan's soldiers.

Vladimir Putin: "We are as dust to them."

Mel: Yes, that about captures it. I'm willing to be dust to God, but not to those bastards.

NOTE: At least Google kindly decided to acknowledge the event, in its own small way, for the first time. FINALLY.


Facie said...

Mel: I thought about you when I saw Google's tiny, tiny tribute. It still irked me because it was a small footnote, not the flashy/large treatment many obscure things get.

I watched many programs, and I wondered as I watched one about a few of the "regular joe" heroes if I would be the one holding the door for many and waiting for someone who could barely walk, or would I just run in fear. I hope the former, but I am not going to lie; if I was thinking only of my kid, I may pull a George Costanza.

I am pretty sure I won't ever forget. I was pretty scarred by the whole thing, and I am fairly certain it was you who told me at Kaya the Friday or two after that I needed to get a grip/stop being so sad/something like that. I was pretty obsessed.

Mel said...

Yes, Google kept it small. Although a flashy, moving image in the shape of the logo would probably not have been appropriate... I wonder, too, how I would have reacted. I think, like you, I would be thinking of my child most. I hope I would be noble, but I just will not know unless it is me. Which I pray it never is. Just as those people probably prayed that, too.

It probably was me telling you those things (I remember, Kaya, sitting outside), but I hope I said it more nicely than that! I must have been awfully callous. I'm sorry. I do remember telling you to stop watching TV b/c it was upsetting you so much.

Facie said...

Mel: I don't remember your being callous at all. My comments (and posts) tend to be so long-winded, that I actually cut out that part that said I appreciated your saying it/that I needed it, etc. I cried a lot those first few weeks, and came into work late just so I could keep up with what was going on. I needed to stop obsessing (though I am pretty sure I did not).

Athelas63 said...

I agree with you that perhaps all Muslims aren't killers. HOWEVER, a very large number seem to be either in favor of killing, even if they don't do it themselves (overseas in Arab countries) or choose to remain silent about their supposed abhorrence (spelling?) of such acts. Which, in my opinion, makes them almost as guilty.

As I've said before, I can find something worthy and admirable in nearly every religion. But NOT Islam. It appears to me at least to be a religion of hatred, violence (especially to women), death and destruction. I find nothing to admire in it, and by extension, am rapidly finding less and less to like in those who practice it. In any way.

I, also, watch the videos and listen to the audio each year. I feel it is my duty as an American. I show the pictures, horrible as they are, to my students, who have no memory of the event. It is my responsibility to make sure it is never forgotten.