Sunday, September 11, 2005

A day like any other

Got up. Fed the cats. Put up the flag.

It used to be an ordinary day, September 11. That day in 2001 started beautifully. Crystal-clear sky, the last ragged end of summer. Flowers still blooming in the back-yard garden, when my sister came to pound on my door to tell me a plane had struck the World Trade Center. At first I remembered the bomber that got stuck in the Empire State Building all those years ago and thought it was a tragic accident. Then we heard about the second plane, and we knew. Not an accident. Intentional.

I went to work anyway. Then we heard about the other planes, and the company let it be known you could leave if you wanted to.

As I went home, I saw the first one. A flag. Somebody had put up a "Spirit of '76" early American flag. It made me feel better. I found an ancient 48-star flag, a little one -- the kind they give you to wave in a parade -- in my garage. I put it on my mailbox.

A little girl across the street saw my flag, and asked her mother. Why? A few days later their yard is festooned with little flags. Every holiday after that I saw that little girl be the first one to put the flag up on her house.

Remember how hard it was to buy a flag that year? Manufacturers ran out. Talking heads on TV were puzzled. Europeans to this day think the government told us to do it, because otherwise why would we? (And yet we are the ones who make no effort to understand other cultures ...)

I knew someone who died in the World Trade Center. A pleasant, ordinary joe who told bad jokes and loved his family. The kind of guy who liked everyone; the kind you could drink a beer with. Never oppressed anybody. Dead.

Let me explain this to the willfully obtuse and history-challenged. It takes a lot to get Americans angry. And when we get angry, we stay that way until the source of the problem has been permanently and violently dealt with. When we instinctively raise up a patriotism some had forgotten we had, that is a big clue you've made us very, very angry. Yes, there's a lot of discussion and argument. That's our way too. We hang up all our dirty laundry out in the open air, because we DON'T supress dissent. Just so you know -- we are still angry. And as I told the Frenchman who had the nerve to tell me the US should not "destabilize the world", even as the rubble still smoked ..... "we will do what needs to be done". Remember what we have done before. And if you won't help, get out of the way.


Blogger Barb said...

From ordinary to new world ... never to return. What others forget is we didn't do the destabilizing, we are trying to stabilize.

12:46 PM, September 11, 2005  
Blogger Kat said...

Sometimes you have to tear down the old wall to build a new house.

I was always angry when some one said we shouldn't respond or we deserved it. Made me more determined to do it.

4:19 PM, September 11, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home