I imagine that many here in the blogosphere are sitting down today, trying to compose some sort of meaningful message looking back on how our world has changed in the last 5 years.
I don't think you'll find that here.
I'm the guy who remarked as the second tower crumbled to the ground, "Looks like the John Hancock building just moved up two spots in the 'Worlds Tallest Building' category."
What else could be said?
Hindsight is 20/20.
At that moment, we had no idea who was behind the attacks and we had no idea when planes would stop crashing. My home is 30 miles due east of a large nuclear plant. I was trying to coordinate an "escape plan" with my wife just in case we had to snatch my daughter out of school and head north (or south) to a safer place. I was trying to track down a good friend of mine who worked near the WTC; and the husband of another good friend was stuck in the Pentagon and I was trying to hold her hand long distance as she waited for terrible news (Thankfully, everyone was safe).
I cope by being a smart-ass. That's why you are here.
I'm also known for being an optimistic realist.
I marvel at how the buildings were evacuated so that only a fraction of the intended victims were killed that day. Over 300 NY Firefighters died during the evacuation. Many others are now facing a terrible pulmonary illnesses as the price for their heroism.
I think of the passengers of United 93.
Our country has become very divided in the last 3 years, and this is sad. When you think about what it means to be an American, we should remember United 93. That is what being an American is all about. That is the spirit that our enemies hate in us.
I think it is right that we are divided. That sounds odd, yet it is uniquely American that we are able to argue both sides of an issue. We all want the same thing: Peace. The question we face is how do we want to achieve it and what is the price we are willing to pay.
The people on United 93 knew what it was going to cost. A split-second decision was required, and there was no looking back.
Our initial response to 9-11 was good. But then, politics got in the way.
Lets remember the passengers on United 93. Lets remember the courage and sense of duty of the FDNY. Their valor doesn't mean we need to stay in Iraq. It just means we need to focus on what exactly it is we want, and then move forward. Changing goals and objectives just gets in the way.
Maybe it's time to isolate. Maybe it's time to let someone else shoulder the load. We know that we are a powerful nation. There's no need to to prove it to anyone else. We know it.
Blah blah blah.