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The Ugly American
Thursday, September 11, 2008
  Some days, it seems like only yesterday...



Has it really been seven years? It seems like it happened only yesterday. I know I think about it often. It’s kind of hard not to when you see memories of it on TV all the time. Plus, I have that counter and it reminds me all the time.

I’ve actually read comments that said that we, I guess the “we” is the U.S., need to get over it. Can you believe that shit? Get over it? I think the only response to that is, Get over this! I won’t tell you what I’m grabbing as I say that, you can figure it out.

You see, it’s like this. I can actually get over the attack on the Pentagon, no offense to those that were in that building on 9/11, but it is, in all reality, a military target, fair game in war, so to speak. But the Towers were not a military target. Those buildings were full of civilians. Men, women and children that had no beef with al Qaeda, died that day.

If you’ve never been to the Twin Towers, World Trade Center, Ron Zoni Boxes (they looked like two boxes of spaghetti stood on end), whatever you want to call them, then you just can’t comprehend what was there. I grew up watching those towers being built.

Every other week, we drove to the city from the Jersey shore to visit family. When you drive north on the Jersey Turnpike and take the exit for the Holland Tunnel you get as close to the New York City skyline as you can without being in the water. They just kept getting taller and taller, kinda like me at the time. I remember thinking that they weren’t all that good looking, but damn they were big!

I’ve stood at the bottom and looked up. You could actually see a little sway on a windy day. I’ve stood at the top and seen the Jersey shore and the rest of the city skyline on a clear day. It really was an awesome view. The elevators ran so fast that your ears would pop on the way up or down. Think about it, each floor was an acre. An ACRE! I don’t even own that much property and there were 110 floors in each building!

I lived in Surprise, AZ on September 11, 2001. Surprise is right outside Phoenix. At the time and I think still today, the tallest building in downtown Phoenix is or was the Bank One Building. It stands forty stories tall and takes up a quarter of a city block. You could fit 12 Bank One buildings inside one of the Twin Towers. Many of my neighbors back there in Surprise had never been outside AZ. They really had no concept of how big these buildings really were!

I’ve been back to the city since September 11, 2001. A few times in fact. It hurts deep inside every time I go back. It’s getting better though. The first time I went back was the day before they pulled down the last big piece of wall. The PATH wasn’t running yet. They were still cleaning up the mess. The next time I went back the hole had been cleaned out, the PATH was running again and we rode it from Newark, NJ to its first stop in NYC. The stop used to be called WTC. I believe it still is.

It was incredible. The train comes up out of the hole that used to be the basement for the WTC. You really don’t get a sense for the size of it until you step outside and see one of those trains running down there. That gives you some perspective of how monstrous the buildings were and the hole actually is.

I honestly don’t care what the reason was for the attacks of 9/11. There is no justification for such an atrocity. I hear, we don’t understand them. This is true. Is there ever a reason to even try to understand the motives of madmen other than to use those motives to catch the madmen? What’s to understand about a people that want to stay in the Stone Age and bring the rest of the world back there with them?

According to the top of my blog it happened 2556 days ago. It seems that these days there are many in our country and abroad that forget that we were attacked on September 11, 2001. They like to say that our current president has done nothing for our country. I say, we haven’t been attacked in two thousand five hundred and fifty six days. So, to say he’s done nothing isn’t really fair, is it? He’s kept us safe at least.

I get a little misty, as I heard Mel Gibson say in a movie once, on this anniversary. I feel it deep in my bones.

this article was originally published on BlogCritics.

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Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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