Another anniversary approaches. The day has become part of most Americans’ internal photo albums. What were you doing when? For some reason, I remember the phone calls. My son, serving in the IDF: “What the f—?” I didn’t know. My sister-in-law, a naval doctor in Washington: she wasn’t in the Pentagon that day.
Personally, I had never liked the WTC, built on the site of the beloved Radio Row where I spent so much time as a kid. But of course afterwards it broke my heart every time I saw the New York skyline without it.
I worked my way through college as a transmitter engineer at a local broadcast station; radio and electronics have been my hobby since I learned Morse code as a boy scout. So I was particularly affected by the death of another transmitter guy and radio ‘ham’, Steve Jacobson. Here he is with the antenna structure on the roof of 1 WTC :
I also remember the President speaking from an undisclosed location, looking like a rabbit in the headlights before he and his people got their tough guy act together, and Mayor Giuliani striding through the rubble looking presidential.
The usual suspects started blaming US support of Israel for the attack, and soon the rumors started that the Jews had stayed home from work that day, that the Mossad and the Bush Administration had cooperated to carry out the attack and blame Arabs (The look on Bush’s face from the undisclosed location was enough to refute that one), and so forth.
Here in Central California, in a remarkable combination of hateful racism and abysmal ignorance, several Sikhs were attacked for wearing turbans, and in Arizona one was shot to death.
Six years after, the controversy about the motives of the 9/11 attackers continues. It is impossible, however, to understand the attackers without taking into consideration their radical Islamism, which sees the West as an enemy which must be crushed or fundamentally changed.
On Tuesday (this year, as in 2001, September 11 is a Tuesday), the local Islamic Cultural Center has organized a “Unity walk” to a local church. There will be speakers and refreshments, and I presume that the point will be made that there is a difference between moderate Islam and the radical Islamism of the terrorists, which of course is correct.
I’ll have details on the rest.
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