Friday, September 11, 2009

Then

I rolled over and hit snooze. Ten minutes later Bob and Tom came back to life on my alarm clock. The wife was at work and I had a conference call in a couple of hours. As I laid there contemplating getting out of bed I started paying attention to the words on the radio. "We're not sure what happened", "these pictures are unreal" "this is surely a tragedy". This was not the inane banter or female genitalia parody songs I usually get from KSHE between 7 and 8 am.

I fell out of bed and stumbled into the living room. My recollection is that I turned on CNN and was watching Geraldo Rivera talking. I watched the second plane hit. I sat there stunned, dumbfounded even. A few minutes later Geraldo or whomever it was that Geraldo has usurped in my memory started freaking out and screaming. A news, police or traffic helicopter was flying in the vicinity of the now burning towers. I thought the guy was a fucknut. A little while later there were photos of the Pentagon on fire, then reports of another plane crashed in a field.

My boss called somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00. He wanted to go over strategy for our call with a client. It was a sales call, we were trying to sell them another project. I suggested that we cancel the call. He called bullshit and said he didn't see a reason to cancel. A while later I am watching people leap hundreds of feet to their death, the towers fall, the Pentagon burning  while my boss is trying to get people to get on a call so we can sell them a project. We never had the call and we never sold the project.

Its no wonder that 18 months later the company was busto.

A lot has changed for me and my family over the last 8 years.  I've had three different jobs, gone from zero to (almost) three kids. In 2001 I had never been to Vegas and now I have been something like 10 times. We moved and had two cars stolen. My wife has had three out four grandparents die. Her father survived a severe industrial accident.

We have had five family members serve in the middle east and thankfully all have come home safe. There has been a lot of hand wringing as two career military and three bright faced kids informed the family that they were being deployed. A lot of panic hearing the phone ring in the middle of the night. A lot of tears, lost nights of sleep and more tears.

All of that seems trivial when you reflect on some other facts. On September 11, 2001 2,993 people died as a result of four hijacked airplanes. As a result of the 4 hijackings the U.S. invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since March of 2003, 7,762 military, contractors and journalists have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The toll on the civilian lives in Iraq and Afghanistan is estimated by some to be well over 1 million.

I am neither a peacenik nor a war hawk. I will not belittle the memories of all the dead by espousing a political or social agenda. I just want you to contemplate all of the deaths today.



2 comments:

Jestocost said...

And yet Bob and Tom were idiots in 2001 and remain idiots today.

Weird.

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