I never planned to blog about 9/11, but I came across this Esquire article this morning and it pulled me in. It's about the quest to find the identity of the man in this heartbreaking photo (credited to Richard Drew, AP). This photo is seared into my mind from September 12, 2001, when I first saw it in the newspaper. I look at it intently, looking for clues of identity myself, even though part of me feels I should look away. Here
is the link to the article, which is very long, but certainly rewarding.
I will never forget the confusion and uncertainty of that day; we had no idea when it would end, the attack on us. I cried as the towers fell, confusing and worrying my nephew who was only 3 at the time, about to turn 4. Thankfully I was on vacation with my family, on the Gulf coast of Florida. The people most important to me were at hand, safe with me. I feared for my brother and sister-in-law as they are both Army and I knew what I was seeing in NY and DC and PA signified the need for us to "do something."
Since that time I have held the horror of that day close. I never have forgotten. I went through an obsessive phase where I collected books and articles covering the event. I own at least twelve books on 9/11 and have access to several more. I still have the Tallahassee newpaper that tried to explain what we knew the very next day. On the one year anniversary of 9/11 I was with my brother again, in New Orleans.
(I'm about to break one of my own rules on this blog and go political so you're being fairly warned, if you take offense easily then turn away now.)
Another thing I choose to remember on this day is that those who perpetrated this attack on us rejoice on September 11. They celebrated scenes like that above, congratulating each other and rejoicing in our sorrow. They hate us with the kind of hate that cannot be mitigated or reasoned with. I remember that this attack was one in a battle against civilization, against a social contract they choose not to be a part of. They choose the side of barbarism, a side where massacring a school full of children is justified for "the cause." They would love nothing more than to drag the world backwards 1000 years.
In their world I would be draped head to toe in black so as not to inflame their desires. They have such poor impulse control that they would cover me to "save" me from their gaze of lust. My father and my brother and my husband would be my absolute rulers. If I stepped out of line and dishonored them they would be fully justified in beating me to death. I cannot understand how feminist organizations in this country like NOW or Codepink can turn a blind eye to their sisters who are being subjugated around the world. We're told we should "respect cultural differences". Well excuse me, but I was born into a world where we believe in an individual being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Because of the accident of the geographic location of their birth these burkha-clad sisters are left to their fate with an exhortation for us to be "tolerant" of their culture. Let me tell you how tolerant we are here, we tolerate a whole class of "citizens" who do nothing but denigrate and find fault with our own culture and our way of life every day. We can be damned tolerant. But hell if I want to tolerate people who relegate all their women to virtual house arrest and slavery. (Whew! Building up a full head of steam here).
Codepink wants to stand vigil outside of military hospitals where recovering soldiers lay. They "support" our troops by saying they want them brought home safely now. Bullshit. I support our troops because they have taken the war for our civilization off of our soil to where the source of trouble lay. 9/11 was when they brought the battle to our shores. Do you remember that? Did you like that? When I say I support our soldiers I mean I support them in their mission
. Spreading democracy and freedom in the Middle East is a start toward undermining the totalitarian aspirations of Islamofascists (as distinct from peace-loving muslims). So far we've seen democratic elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, a long overdue pretense of them in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Libya voluntarily giving up their WMD program, Lebanon ousting the oppressive neighbors from Syria and the students demonstrating and agitating for freedom in Iran. All of these things are happening because the seed of freedom we took to Iraq is taking root in the Middle East. When the Lebanese protested and demonstrated for freedom they held up banners of President Bush and looked to the U.S. to support their bid for freedom. And we supported them. I am proud of my country, I'm proud of our soldiers and while I am able to see our faults and understand that some Americans will always question our motivations, I am proud to be an American. (cue up Lee Greenwood, or on second thought, don't)