In my last blog article, I wrote about my last trip to New York City during the summer of 1999 — over two years before the city (and the rest of the world) witnessed the nightmare that was 9/11, a nightmare that still hasn’t vanished ten years later. This blog article focuses on where I was ten years ago today.
The morning started out normal — not only for me, but for just about everybody else in the world. As I recall (or least, try to), I was getting ready to head down to the local YMCA in my hometown of Winsted, Connecticut for some exercising — while my mother had just gotten up and was about to have her breakfast.
Then, before 9a.m., Eastern time, we were glued to both our TVs and radios, as we saw and heard the unthinkable. In just a few hours, the world was changed forever — and with a measure of horror and grief that went beyond simple description. By late-morning, everybody was still talking about what happened on 9/11 — just like the majority of Americans who were talking about the Pearl Harbor bombing almost sixty years before. I shouldn’t have been surprised — like the Pearl Harbor bombing, the 9/11 attacks altered the course of world history forever. Both attacks also had something else in common: they taught us that the outside world was (and still is) a dangerous place, given the advances in both technology and weaponry that have popped up at a rapid pace for over two hundred years — the kind that can not only endanger and kill countless millions, but also fill our hearts and souls with the dread that arises from our deepest fears. Including the ever-present fear of death striking when we least expect it.
By week’s end, the United States had changed forever — as well as the rest of the world. Nobody would forget those who were killed on 9/11 — just like we’d never forget the real-life heroes who not only saved the lives of those who did survive the 9/11 attacks, but also helped give us the hope and courage needed to face a future that was unpredictable at best. But one that we’d help shape — hopefully, for the better.
Much has changed since 9/11 — but one constant has remained: namely, the fact that the outside world is still a dangerous place, partly because the al-Qaeda terrorist group that was responsible for both the death and heartbreak that happened a decade before is unfortunately still active, their fanatical vision remaining intact. Even if al-Qaeda is crushed for good someday, the nightmare that they created will haunt all people of all religions forever and remind them not to forget. And, with wisdom and compassion on their side, to hopefully encourage the world to prevent history from repeating itself.
Let’s hope so.
John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons and Chameleons To The Rescue, as well as close to three dozen articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet – to learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (http://jlavernoich2008.web.officelive.com/default.aspx), as well as his pages on Windows Live Spaces(http://cid-ef88d131988ab38f.profile.live.com), Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace(http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), and Twitter(http://twitter.com/JLav65). Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube(http://www.youtube.com/user/JLav65?feature=mhsn).
©2011 John Lavernoich.