Twelver years ago today ...

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    ... our country, the world, everything, changed forever. Nearly 3,000 people died, thousands more were injured, including some of the bravest men and women ever to put on a uniform to serve their communities as police officers and firefighters. Our national security was tightened immensely, as it was around the world. After all, if the terrorists could get to the United States as effectively as all that, who was safe?

    I'm not going to wallow in nostalgic emotionalism here. I'm not going to recap the history we, each and everyone of us, know all too well.

    What I want to know is this: How did 9/11 change you? Did it impact at all the way you do things, the way you look at the world, the way you interact with your family and your friends?

    I was a single dad until very recently when I married after 20 years divorced. My kids are bright, successful, faithful young adults today, but they grew up solely under my care, their mother being largely absent from their lives for reasons that need not be discussed here.

    They were in school that day, and despite the rules against using cell phones, both called me. My son was a freshman, my daughter a sixth-grader. They were frightened, though my son had a better grasp of what was going on than my daughter. Both were fearful that I, even though ten years detached from the United States Army, might be called to return to duty. To be honest, I wasn't sure myself that wouldn't happen, but I nonetheless assured them they had nothing to fear, I would be there throughout whatever was to come next.

    As I promised I would pick them up later that day and clicked off, it struck me for the first time since I'd seen the second plane fly into the North Tower (WTC 1) on Fox News Channel just a few minutes before, that the world had changed dramatically. Until that day, kids in the United States didn't worry about much except who to go out with Saturday night, or what movie they might go to see with their friends, and if a certain member of the opposite sex might "like" them. Oh, and whether or not that little red spot on their chin or nose might become an ugly flaming zit by the weekend.

    On that morning, they suddenly had far more to worry about, and I realized I would have to stop worrying only about bills and work and the fact I was doing all this alone, and start considering how they might feel about the way the world was turning. I really hadn't thought about their opinions to that point, because they were not expressing opinions that "really mattered" in the greater scheme of things. And they shouldn't have to, for that matter. Those things they "worried about"? Those should be the greatest worries of their young lives until it was time to decide what to do with those lives after school.

    Kids shouldn't have to worry about war, terrorist attacks, corrupt and fanatical governments jealousy of the United States overflowing into the idiocy of sponsoring violence against our citizens. Since that day, twelve years ago, that kind of fear has been added to the repertoire of teen and childish angst and anxiety, and it's real. It's possible. It happens. That knowledge changed the way I raised my kids. I hugged them more, listened to them more, prayed harder for them, and made sure they had the faith background necessary to survive that kind of "new world order," which wasn't exactly what we thought it was going to be just ten years before.

    In reality, it made me a better dad, though one on edge most of the time, not just about the world, but about what my kids really thought. And all in all, it made me -- because of how it changed me -- a better man. Ironic, huh?

    Your turn.
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron
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    One year ago today, Obama and Clinton left four Americans to die in Benghazi.
     
  3. Zaac

    Zaac
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    God bless all those who lost loved ones on that tragic day.

    Nearly 3000 people died that day and it made us all angry. But I think it also gave us a new perspective.

    In 1988, Saddam Hussein gassed about 5000 Kurds.
    In 2013, the Assad regime gassed nearly 1300.

    The tragedy of 9/11 helped me to realize the angst that countries feel when hundreds and thousands of their citizens are killed.

    It's bad enough when it's someone else. But how do you respond when it's your own government?

    9/11 helped me to see the reasons why those who can must sometime run to the defense of those who cannot defend themselves.
     
  4. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Great post, Number.

    I remember being online and checking AOL's homepage and there was a story about a plane flying into the World Trade Tower. I figured it was another one of those stories where some inexperienced pilot flew his Cessna into a skyscraper and kind of shrugged it off. The next time I went to AOL's home page was a little while later and they had pictures of the towers with smoke curling up out of one them and the headline "Second Plane Slams into World Trade Tower". That got my attention and I flicked on the TV news.

    As I watched the story unfold I was struck by the full gamut of emotions--anger, sadness, resolve, sympathy, elation at bravery shown, etc. I have two boys, back then they were four and one years old. When I thought of them I knew the world had changed forever. I thought about how much I love my wife and kids and I didn't want them to have to live in this sort of a world. When I was a kid I grew up with the fear of Russian missiles raining out of the sky and instantly dying or else dying slowly of radiation sickness. That fear was almost eliminated when the USSR collapsed. Now there was a new fear and it was more personal. Thankfully my kids were young enough that I didn't have to explain what had happened that day and burden them with the knowledge.

    Like you, I think I really love my kids more because of what happened 12 years ago. And because of what happened in Sandy Hook school last December. I tell them I love them more often and hug them more (getting a little awkward to pull off at their current ages, though.)

    Besides more love for my family, I guess another long lasting effect of 911 on me is anger. Anger at the terrorists. Anger for ruining air travel. Anger at their act emboldening others to do the same. Anger at needing to always be on the alert. Anger at having that nagging doubt about safety in the back of my mind whenever my kids go to a crowded place, in my neck of the woods that would be the Mall of America, a Twins game, a Vikings game, and wondering if the terrorists will strike there.

    So for me the takeaway is more love for my family and anger at the terrorists.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    12 years ago today, I was a missionary in Mexico. My youngest son turned on the satellite TV to catch the news before starting school and the first plane had just struck the tower.

    How has my life changed? I am much more aware of the need for the Gospel as the only cure for things such as 9/11. The political stuff isn't as important as it used to be. I realize now that Heaven is more important than America, although I do love my country.
     

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