The drive to work this morning was more than a little creepy. I live and work on opposite sides of the busiest airport in the nation, my daily drive takes my across airport property, my office and home are both in flight takeoff and landing patterns. But as I looked out the window of my car during my drive to work I saw absolutely no airplanes at all in the sky. That was a visible reminder of the magnitude of of the attacks on our nation yesterday, that could be seen as far away as Dallas.
Several of my neighbors (including my family) had raised American flags outside their doors as a symbol of respect and mourning. Unfortunately our flags cannot be lowered to half staff, but flying them at full staff is better than not flying them at all, I think. Someone had also made a sign that was placed at the exit from my neighborhood that said:
- "WE ARE AMERICA."
It's amazing to me how much this event, thousands of miles away, has touched every american life. My first impulse was "Where is Joel?" Fortunately Joel is fine... if scared... and then I remembered that Colin, one of my best HS buddies, is at the Merchant Marine Academy on Kings Point, less than 15 miles from south Manhattan. He's the only one I haven't heard from yet; however, I'm not terribly concerned because #1 he's at a military academy; #2 if something had happened to a US military academy we would have heard; and #3 he's Colin... Colin is not easily defeated. So I'm sure he's still fine.
I don't believe that there is a person in the US whose life has not been touched by this tragedy in some way. Those who lost their lives either on board the ill-fated aircraft, inside the twin towers or pentagon, or attempting to rescue those who were, had an effect on everyone they ever met, and everyone their acquaintances knew... I doubt that there is anyone in the country who did not know someone who has been deeply impacted by this tragedy. I am thankful that the impact upon me personally has been substantially less than devastating. I am stunned, amazed, stupefied, and shocked at what happened, but everyone I know is alive, and that is all I can ask for.
What happened yesterday is not a "second Pearl Harbor." Its scale and target bear no resemblance to ships full of military personnel. That was an attack of war, an attack on people of war. Civilian casualties in that attack were very, very small. The area of devastation was a small part of Hawaii full of military ships and planes, not the busiest center of the largest city in the most powerful nation on Earth. That was an attack on the American military. Yesterday there was an attack on America itself, not a limited portion thereof.
Oh, and for those quoting Nostradamus: The guy made millions of predictions. The fact that three or four have come true is merely an act of statistics and probability. And, this is NOT the apocalypse... there's no need to repent and prepare for the end of the world. This is the action of a couple of nutjobs who think they can justify what they've done with the Quran. It is, in my opinion, on par with (although on a much grander scale) the so-called "Christians" who beat up gays and bomb abortion clinics. Condemning the entire Muslim population would be akin to condemning every Christian because a few of them kill in the name of God. And, let me just say that if there is a god/ess, he/she/it/them will be able to tell the difference between acting like a Muslim or a Christian and acting like a "Muslim" or a "Chrsitian." If there were Islamic fundamentalists behind yesterday's tragedies, then remember that the majority of Islamic people view these people as good Christians should view those who kill in the name of Jesus.