Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memoriam 9/11



Image from Times Mirror - credited to Rex Features - posted here for fair use only

That Tuesday morning, I was at Naval Air Station Pensacola receiving training as a recently commissioned officer as to a variety of duties and obligations, customs and traditions. One of my fellow officers came rushing back from the break room during our first class break of the morning to say something was going on in New York. The news spread quickly, as things are won't to do on a military base - the Nation was under some sort of attack. Without orders, spellbound, class was abandoned as we gathered at the breakroom television and watched in horror as one and then the other tower collapsed.

I returned to military service at a time of relative peace, in 2000. Certainly there was a possibility of future conflict, but only like distant clouds on the horizon that might or might not portend a squall overhead later in the day.

But on that Tuesday morning in 2001, all of that changed and events were set in motion that would find me in the Middle East 3 times and, one way or another, for the last decade involved in a global war on Al-Qa'ida and its associated movements.

I make no commentary on the unintended consequences to our world and to our nation of the response and counter-response to those events, except to say that we will look back and perhaps identify that time as a moment when the world shifted and a new age dawned on global society, and not particularly with regard to trans-national terrorism, but rather with the social, economic and political order.

But whatever history may show us in retrospect - many lost their lives and others were cast into the fear of the uncertainty of existence on that day. In the years to come, other lives were lost and wrecked in the rippling choices from that evil day.

One cannot but wonder at the souls, above the flames of those burning buildings, as they considered their options. No doubt some helped and comforted others who were scared and hurt; some said prayers; some, to our horror, fell to their deaths, whether to escape a more horrifying manner of death or because of they were blown out only God knows; perhaps some cursed God. Yet all of us, I think, in some secret place, wonder what would be our own actions when faced with such a turn - waiting perhaps in hope of a miracle rescue - or despairing of such and recognizing the awful truth . . . .

For those who suffered, and lost their lives on 9/11 - rest in peace, in a place of verdure, whence no sickness nor sighing comes.

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