Many people are posting what they were doing 14 years ago today.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day. I was driving to work at Games Workshop in Glen Burnie, MD, listening to Howard Stern. He was discussing a plane hitting the WTC when Gary (his producer) came in and reported that the second plane had hit. And there was a moment of silence... which on that show was very rare. Stern said we are under attack.
Me, working at GW, date indeterminate
I made it to work, and the place was shocked. Selling toy soldiers seemed so insignificant. I had paramedic training. I should be doing something... people were dying. I tried calling my Wife, but the phone lines were jammed. My boss at the time, a short marine wanna-be, was telling people "get back to work." I decided to take the day off. The radio said that the areas in NY and DC had been sealed off; to stay away. I made it home. I told Wife I was going to give blood. We found a nearby Red Cross center and there was a LONG line, which I got in. Our neighbors had come along as well, but they left when they saw the line. Wife left as well, saying she'd come back to get me.
While I was waiting, a local news crew interviewed some of the people in line. I was one of them, and my interview made it on the air.
I waited in line for 10 hours. Around 8 pm (I think) President Bush addressed the nation. The Red Cross set up a tv so we could all watch. I remember thinking "Ok, you stole the election, but that doesn't matter now. The country needs you: Lead us." And what did he tell us to do? "Go shopping."
When it was finally my turn, the phlebotomist was exhausted. She did her job efficiently. She told me she was going to stay until every last person who came that day was served. There were I think 6 phlebotomists there at that time. They were ALL staying.
I got home at 11 PM. Tired. Emotionally spent. I went to bed, and went to work in a different world the next morning. To sell Toy Soldiers.
After 9/11/01, the GOP commandeered the term "Patriot" to mean "Republicans/ Conservatives who think like the neo-cons and follow orders." And the term was EVERYWHERE. If you DARED disagree with the GOP war-mongering, you were branded a "traitor" or a "liberal" (same thing to them)
That's why so many dems voted FOR the Iraq war. They didn't dare vote against it, lest they lose all support. Of course, the "So-called-liberal media" went along with this, hook line and sinker. They beat the war drums harder than anyone else. France didn't join the coalition, so once again we had "freedom fries." Of course, the French were right not to send their children to be slaughtered.
By the time the Bush junta left office, the word "patriot" was indelibly stained in the blood of our troops and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians who had done nothing, save for the fact that they were in the way of Halliburton's profits.
Oh, and the short Marine "wanna be?" Did he go to war? After all, he was a Navy Medic- a valuable military asset. He was so very gung ho about the war... but refused to serve in it, despite still being in his early 30s. "They don't need me" he would say. I called him on it- called him a hypocrite and a coward.
To this day, thinking people know that the word "Patriot" is a dog whistle meaning "intolerant extreme white wing Republican" who will not listen to anyone save their Fox News masters.
There are those who consider 9/11/01 to be an "inside job." At first, I thought "no American would EVER do this to our own country." But then the crimes of the Bush junta kept piling up. The atrocities. Torture. Illegal war against a sovereign country for no reason. People detained without access to counsel for YEARS. People losing careers for speaking out- including the outing of a top secret CIA operative by the administration.
So, when someone says "it was inside job" I don't dismiss it out of hand. The Bush junta would've stooped to that level to get it's Patriot Act and wars, and subsequent jackpot to Halliburton. So I'm not saying I agree with those theories, but I am willing to entertain the discussion, as I think the Bush junta were capable of such evil.
So. These are my thoughts on this, the 14th anniversary of tragedy. I remember the days after that as being so very hard. Everyone was numb and angry. The next day, we had a minute of silence at the GW sales floor. I asked to announce it. And we were silent. After the time, I quietly started to sing the National Anthem. No one joined me, in fact, some gave me angry looks.
After all, I'm a Liberal.