From September 2001 Blazing Tattles (in press) www.blazingtattles.com
This may be distributed as long as all credits are provided.
I first was led to the news by an email message from TBO.com_On_Demand (TV Channel 8 and The Tampa Tribune) with the title "breaking news." I read: "President Bush has confirmed that two plane crashes at the World Trade Center this morning were a terrorist attack on America. Black smoke is pouring out of two gaping holes, witnesses said. Networks were broadcasting when the second plane struck the tower. There are new reports of another explosion at the Pentagon." Instructions were given to turn on News Channel 8.
By the time I got to it, the two towers had imploded. Reality hits slowly. I remembered when I worked in the Wall St. Area back in the late 70s, there had been a terrorist bombing of historic Fraunces Tavern in which, I believe, three people were killed. I could see the pandemonium in the streets below from the tower in which I worked. Strange as it may sound, I think I felt the agony of the people who were in the Tavern at the time, so my first thought of the World Trade Center tragedy today was of the agony that must be felt all around the area, by victims and by other who were not directly injured but nevertheless exposed.
My second thought was that today I would have been expecting to fly from the John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, California, to Oakland, California, if I hadn't postponed my trip. I am very fortunate, indeed, to not be stranded in Southern California today because all flights have been cancelled. I called a California friend to remark about my good fortune (or innate wisdom?) of postponing my trip, and he went on to describe details of the day including shut-downs in the San Francisco Area of which I hadn't heard. I thought that certainly Florida would be different. But I was wrong. Many, many things have shut down here, including Walt Disney World and the University of South Florida, as well as the Tampa Mall, to name just a few.
As I observed developments today over TV, I thought to myself that as horrible as a sudden attack is in terms of human suffering and death (to say nothing of societal upheaval), what we do with our modern way of life causes as much suffering and death in such subtle ways, that is so removed from ourselves, that we can ignore the misery and agony we cause our fellow here and everywhere. Just the pollution in the U.S. air causes every year as many deaths (64,000 or more) in which the New York City havoc will likely result. Thousands of people in our own Hawaiian Islands have to evacuate their entire island because of sea level rise caused from man-made pollution melting the ice caps through increased "green- house effect."
Additional thoughts are those of an urban sociologist -- what will the loss of all those talented people from the World Trade Center and Wall Street mean in terms of lost abilities to our society? What will the loss of computers and files do to commerce and communication? What will happen to the tens of thousands of widows and perhaps 100,000 orphans?
Finally, should we condemn the people who consider the U.S. enemies for celebrating our tragedy in their streets? Albert Donnay of MCS Resources and Referral, in a post to Gulf War veterans, reminds us of the German blitz bombing of civilians in London, the Allies' fire bombing of civilians in Dresden, and the U.S. atomic bombings of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"To achieve its military goals, the U.S. killed over 350,000 civilians with the first atomic bomb and over 250,000 with the second . . . .Such mass killing of civilians is always a crime against humanity, even in war, yet Americans danced in the streets when they heard the news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and everyone involved -- from the nuclear physicists to the airmen who flew the planes -- were hailed as heroes . . . .Remember all this when you see the TV pictures of Palestinians dancing in the streets today; remember this when the terrorists who flew today's suicide missions are hailed as martyrs by their people; remember this when they thank their God."
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