Monday, September 11, 2006

My 9/11 Story

9/11 is like the Kennedy Assassination in that everyone who was alive and conscious at that time will never forget how they first heard the news. Here is my story. I thought I had blogged about it before but I couldn't find the post so maybe I just thought I blogged about it.

It was an ordinary Tuesday morning. FH was in Florida that week and I was getting a few extra Z's with Sonshine in the big bed. Princess was a preschooler so we had no particular agenda, we could sleep as long as we liked.

As usual, I had the radio on and tuned to Utah Public Radio. They play classical music all night and it helps me sleep, and in the morning they have news. As I drifted in and out of sleep, bits of news seeped into my consciousness.

A plane crashed. Yawn. There's always a plane crash.

A really bad plane crash. Yawn. They always breathlessly report on these plane crashes.

A really bad plane crash in New York City. Unh? Now that's worth some breathless reporting; there's bound to be some casualties on the ground. That roused me a bit.

A second really bad plane crash, also in New York City.

I sat bolt upright in bed.

One plane crash in New York City is bad. Two plane crashes in the same area of New York City is beyond bad; it's deliberate. Probability may not have been my strong suit as an undergrad, but I know enough of it to know that the odds of that happening randomly are absolutely astronomical. When I heard the news reporters wondering if it was deliberate or not, to them I thought "DUH!!!" It was obvious to anyone with two neurons and a synapse that it had to be deliberate, and that there was only one known group of people who had a history of using planes in any kind of a similar way. I was willing to entertain the possibility that it was a different group of people, but anyone who really thought it might all have been just a freak accident after the second plane hit was just a moron.

I turned on the TV and I saw the first tower go down, live. And then I looked at Princess, and I turned off the TV. I understood then that the second tower would go down too. I listened to the radio that morning, but when I understood that Princess was processing everything she was hearing, I turned off the radio and got my news on the Internet after she had gone down for a nap. Since then I get my news on the Internet.

I heard the stories about the firefighters and my first thought was, "What idiots. Why would they keep going into the second tower after the first one had already crashed and it became clear what was going to happen next?" And then I slapped myself. I knew that was not right. It was cowardly and it was not in accord with the way I'd been raised. I knew it was motivated by selfishness and that whatever else a time like this might call for, selfishness was definitely not on the agenda.

So it pains me to see certain people turned Monday morning quarterbacks compete with each other for the title of Who Can Be First At Second-Guessing. I got over my initial selfish reaction pretty quickly, and I'm not exactly the 100 watt bulb in the pack. After five years, you'd think they'd be smart enough to come around.