I remember where I was nine years ago when I found out about 9/11. I was in a car on my way to work. I was driving to my job at the basement of an office building on Lamar & Martin Luther King. I was working for a tiny company that sold and produced on hold messages.
The radio, on my way in, was saying that an airplane had flown into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. I wondered if it was a joke. Although, who in the world would joke about a thing like that? I think it was just the shock of it all.
When I got in to work that morning, none of us was working. We were all huddled around TVs and monitors. We shared office space with a small production company that did primarily advertising work in radio and television. A lot of editing equipment and audio-visual components surrounded us, and there was no shortage of ways to watch the coverage.
I saw “live” coverage of the second plane running into the building. I saw television coverage of the whole event and the aftermath over and over and over again until you were almost, but not quite, desensitized to it all. The smoke, the broken glass, the bodies falling or jumping, the rescue workers in masks, rubble, people, blood. I cried.
And after the shock wore off: anger, rage. And this didn’t even happen to me. I didn’t even live in New York City. I lived in Austin, Texas. Thousands of miles away. But this is America, and what happened in New York City felt like a very personal violation to us all.
In the months following the attack, my government lied to me. They outright lied and told me that Saddam Hussein was behind the bombing. The government of Iraq was undeniably linked to the money trail. Intelligence sources had confirmed. Even Colin Powell looked into a camera and lied to me. And I bought into that lie, hook, line and sinker.
We sent our boys over there to die in order to secure oil, not to prevent terrorism or to exact revenge. It was about money, plain and simple. Cheney’s buddies made a lot of money off of war profiteering. And in the end, much like with the recent financial crisis, the real bad guys will get off scott free. The lesson I learned is that the good guys, the winners, are the ones with money.
We’re still not out of Iraq or Afghanistan, despite the fact that I helped elect a new President to his post based in part on the promise he made me that we would leave. He promised to send our boys home. They’re still being sent there. Osama is still hiding out in a cave somewhere. Our boys are still coming home in body bags. For how much longer are we going to continue to find this acceptable?
Pompous and ignorant windbags in Florida get their fifteen minutes of fame for threatening to burn a Quran. People get up in arms over a proposed “Ground Zero Mosque” that’s really an Islamic Community Center, nowhere near Ground Zero. Our President gets accused of being a Muslim, as if which religion he practices, let alone whether he has a faith at all, can qualify or disqualify him for higher office. We shame those people who died in 9/11. They must turn in their graves.