The 9/11 attacks ten years later

Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. So we need to observe the occasion. And yet I find myself experiencing grief fatigue, outrage fatigue, war fatigue. I wish we could get beyond 9/11, put it behind us. Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, could we downgrade from threat level orange and keep our shoes on in the airport? I do realize we must remain ever vigilant because the threat remains. And I do agree that we should never forget what happened, honoring those who died, those who helped the victims, and the soldiers that enacted our national retribution. Still, I can’t help my post 9/11 exhaustion.

So where do we stand 10 years after the attacks?

Has “everything changed,” as was widely said at the time?

Does it take an attack like that to give us a sense of national unity? Why didn’t that last longer than it did?

What is the big picture, historical, and cultural impact of those plane crashes?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    We Westerners think in terms of years, maybe decades, but Islamic militants think in terms of centuries. The Australian security agencies have thwarted several terrorist plots in recent years, showing that we are still very much under threat. I imagine it is even more true for the USA. Taking one’s shoes off at the airport seems a small inconvenience in this context.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    We Westerners think in terms of years, maybe decades, but Islamic militants think in terms of centuries. The Australian security agencies have thwarted several terrorist plots in recent years, showing that we are still very much under threat. I imagine it is even more true for the USA. Taking one’s shoes off at the airport seems a small inconvenience in this context.

  • SKPeterson

    Except that taking our shoes off is the terrorist equivalent of fighting the last war. Having locked and barred cockpits and allowing pilots to be armed has probably done far more to prevent repeat events than any intrusive measures employed in the last 10 years.

    But, further, what is this superhuman ability of Islamic militants to think in terms of centuries? I don’t follow. It is extremely difficult for any person to think in terms outside of their own temporal frame of reference. Hence the constant calls to “go back” to some supposedly pristine state of when things were “good,” like the 1950′s. Yet, most of us have had our views of the 50′s colored more by Happy Days than by actual history. As time passes, history begins to take on a few shades of the mythic and becomes incorporated into the social and cultural milieu, but I don’t think of that as thinking in terms of centuries. It is appreciating history.

    Now, if you would say that Islamic militants appreciate their history more than do Westerners, you may very well be correct. But, this is a contention that is, well, contentious.

  • SKPeterson

    Except that taking our shoes off is the terrorist equivalent of fighting the last war. Having locked and barred cockpits and allowing pilots to be armed has probably done far more to prevent repeat events than any intrusive measures employed in the last 10 years.

    But, further, what is this superhuman ability of Islamic militants to think in terms of centuries? I don’t follow. It is extremely difficult for any person to think in terms outside of their own temporal frame of reference. Hence the constant calls to “go back” to some supposedly pristine state of when things were “good,” like the 1950′s. Yet, most of us have had our views of the 50′s colored more by Happy Days than by actual history. As time passes, history begins to take on a few shades of the mythic and becomes incorporated into the social and cultural milieu, but I don’t think of that as thinking in terms of centuries. It is appreciating history.

    Now, if you would say that Islamic militants appreciate their history more than do Westerners, you may very well be correct. But, this is a contention that is, well, contentious.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Personally, I think part of the problem is the attention span of the average American which is slightly more than thirty seconds. I was appalled to hear a commentator say the 9/11 event was the most significant event our country has experienced. As I wiped the furrows from my brow, I asked the television, “Does December 7, 1941 ring any bells in your brain?” How about “A day that will live in infamy.” Then there was that little problem with the British in 1812 when they decided to hold a capital roast in Washington D.C. We should all learn a goodly lesson from the efforts of Dolly Madison and her efforts to preserve our history.

    Seriously, I am not comforted by our nation’s response to this very present threat. We have yet another large, bloated government agency responsible for our protection. If we, as a nation, had choosen to pool our resources, tighten our belts and coordinate the existing military, FBI and CIA agencies our borders (and people) would enjoy greater security at a reduced price. I have not named any of my pillows “homeland security” to increase the comfort ratio of sleep. If we desire a realistic appraisal of “the big picture” we must return to the basics, including our nation’s historical posture and what purpose do we exemplify in our culture.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Personally, I think part of the problem is the attention span of the average American which is slightly more than thirty seconds. I was appalled to hear a commentator say the 9/11 event was the most significant event our country has experienced. As I wiped the furrows from my brow, I asked the television, “Does December 7, 1941 ring any bells in your brain?” How about “A day that will live in infamy.” Then there was that little problem with the British in 1812 when they decided to hold a capital roast in Washington D.C. We should all learn a goodly lesson from the efforts of Dolly Madison and her efforts to preserve our history.

    Seriously, I am not comforted by our nation’s response to this very present threat. We have yet another large, bloated government agency responsible for our protection. If we, as a nation, had choosen to pool our resources, tighten our belts and coordinate the existing military, FBI and CIA agencies our borders (and people) would enjoy greater security at a reduced price. I have not named any of my pillows “homeland security” to increase the comfort ratio of sleep. If we desire a realistic appraisal of “the big picture” we must return to the basics, including our nation’s historical posture and what purpose do we exemplify in our culture.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Do we really need to remember the occasion? It seems to impede the healthy grief process more than it helps. It is time to move on. Needless to say no I do not recognize “patriot” day.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Do we really need to remember the occasion? It seems to impede the healthy grief process more than it helps. It is time to move on. Needless to say no I do not recognize “patriot” day.

  • Tom Hering

    Ten years on, we’re still angry about 9/11, and still looking for revenge. Overthrowing Saddam and killing Osama haven’t satisfied us. We want final victory or “closure.” It’s my guess nothing short of nuking Mecca will provide that.

  • Tom Hering

    Ten years on, we’re still angry about 9/11, and still looking for revenge. Overthrowing Saddam and killing Osama haven’t satisfied us. We want final victory or “closure.” It’s my guess nothing short of nuking Mecca will provide that.

  • helen

    Tom Hering @5

    It’s more likely that removing the Golden Dome on the temple mount
    in Jerusalem is the object of this continued incitement.

  • helen

    Tom Hering @5

    It’s more likely that removing the Golden Dome on the temple mount
    in Jerusalem is the object of this continued incitement.

  • Tom Hering

    We defeated Nazi Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Such that Nazism, Japanese racial superiority, and Communism aren’t threats anymore. But after Iraq, Afghanistan, and killing Osama, Islamic militancy is as vital as ever. It galls us no end that we haven’t defeated the enemy’s “idea” this time.

  • Tom Hering

    We defeated Nazi Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Such that Nazism, Japanese racial superiority, and Communism aren’t threats anymore. But after Iraq, Afghanistan, and killing Osama, Islamic militancy is as vital as ever. It galls us no end that we haven’t defeated the enemy’s “idea” this time.

  • Carl Vehse

    Mr Hering @7, you’re mixing apples and turnips. We defeated the Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japanese enemies by forcing them to surrender in a declared war. The Soviet enemy collapsed on its own, eventually replaced by the Russian enemy. The Chicom enemy we now depend on for access to the Panama Canal, a lot of our electronics, trinkets and, now, the building of a monument in DC.

    Despite our having killed their former leaders (only to be replaced by other spawn) the Mohammedan enemy continues to conduct terrorist activities in the U.S. and other countries, aided by a sycophant fifth-column media. And our North Korea enemy exchanges military assistance and testing capabilities with the Commies and Mohammedans in exchange for their monetary and food support (sometine funneled through the U.N. or duped charity organizations).

    As for ideas – Nazism, fascism, racism, and communism are still around, along with Mohammedism.

  • Carl Vehse

    Mr Hering @7, you’re mixing apples and turnips. We defeated the Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japanese enemies by forcing them to surrender in a declared war. The Soviet enemy collapsed on its own, eventually replaced by the Russian enemy. The Chicom enemy we now depend on for access to the Panama Canal, a lot of our electronics, trinkets and, now, the building of a monument in DC.

    Despite our having killed their former leaders (only to be replaced by other spawn) the Mohammedan enemy continues to conduct terrorist activities in the U.S. and other countries, aided by a sycophant fifth-column media. And our North Korea enemy exchanges military assistance and testing capabilities with the Commies and Mohammedans in exchange for their monetary and food support (sometine funneled through the U.N. or duped charity organizations).

    As for ideas – Nazism, fascism, racism, and communism are still around, along with Mohammedism.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Islamic militancy is as vital as ever.”

    No it’s not. To an increasing degree, it’s returned to being a regional movement rather than a imperial ideology with global intentions (think Al Quaeda vs. the Taliban, the former an internationalist movement, the latter a regional movement). Even the Muslim Brotherhood frames itself as a nationalist group these days. Whether that is because of American military action or not is another question altogether.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Islamic militancy is as vital as ever.”

    No it’s not. To an increasing degree, it’s returned to being a regional movement rather than a imperial ideology with global intentions (think Al Quaeda vs. the Taliban, the former an internationalist movement, the latter a regional movement). Even the Muslim Brotherhood frames itself as a nationalist group these days. Whether that is because of American military action or not is another question altogether.

  • Martin R. Noland

    Dear Dr. Veith,

    First, I enjoy reading your blog, when I have time for blog reading.

    Second, E.B. White in his little book “Here is New York” (New York: Harper & Bros., 1949; reprint, Warner Books, 1988) had a section relevant to your questions:

    “The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New Yor now: in the sound of jets overhead . . . Of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm.” (pp. 52-53).

    52 years later White’s concerns became predictive prophecy.

    It is not unlike the time in European history when fortress walls around cities became susceptible to cannon fire. At that point, fortress cities became obsolete. The technology of warfare changes societies. That is what 9/11 means for us.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  • Martin R. Noland

    Dear Dr. Veith,

    First, I enjoy reading your blog, when I have time for blog reading.

    Second, E.B. White in his little book “Here is New York” (New York: Harper & Bros., 1949; reprint, Warner Books, 1988) had a section relevant to your questions:

    “The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New Yor now: in the sound of jets overhead . . . Of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm.” (pp. 52-53).

    52 years later White’s concerns became predictive prophecy.

    It is not unlike the time in European history when fortress walls around cities became susceptible to cannon fire. At that point, fortress cities became obsolete. The technology of warfare changes societies. That is what 9/11 means for us.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  • Tom Hering

    “No it’s not.”

    So … we have serious threats of car and truck-bomb attacks in the U.S. this Sunday … because Islamic militancy is kind of laid back these days.

    “Hijacking? Too much work. Let’s drive the explosives to the targets instead. We can stop for falafel along the way.”

  • Tom Hering

    “No it’s not.”

    So … we have serious threats of car and truck-bomb attacks in the U.S. this Sunday … because Islamic militancy is kind of laid back these days.

    “Hijacking? Too much work. Let’s drive the explosives to the targets instead. We can stop for falafel along the way.”

  • DonS

    We need to remember that we live in a bubble, in many ways illusory, that can be burst suddenly and horrifyingly at any time. We need to remember that we can be unified in times of national calamity. The families of those who died on that day, and of those who have died since, because of that day, need us to remember their sacrifice. It’s painful, and fatiguing to recall those moments, but it is truly necessary.

    By all means, we should not be taking off our shoes at the airport. That is an exercise in pure silliness — an illusion of security which only applies to yesterday’s threat and which diverts our security forces and massive resources away from protecting against the next one. But it’s a price we pay to be politically correct.

  • DonS

    We need to remember that we live in a bubble, in many ways illusory, that can be burst suddenly and horrifyingly at any time. We need to remember that we can be unified in times of national calamity. The families of those who died on that day, and of those who have died since, because of that day, need us to remember their sacrifice. It’s painful, and fatiguing to recall those moments, but it is truly necessary.

    By all means, we should not be taking off our shoes at the airport. That is an exercise in pure silliness — an illusion of security which only applies to yesterday’s threat and which diverts our security forces and massive resources away from protecting against the next one. But it’s a price we pay to be politically correct.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@11: I didn’t deny that there are any Islamic radicals left who wish to bomb various Western targets, etc., nor do I deny that we need to remain vigilant. But since 9/11, Islamic militancy to a large degree has turned inward. Look at Pakistan. Look at the way the Muslim Brotherhood has shifted its rhetoric. Al Quaeda no longer attracts the flower of Muslim youth. The “Arab Spring” has inspired many Islamic radicals to turn their ambitions toward installing Muslim regimes in their own backyards where formerly secular dictatorships held sway. And of course, due to American military campaigns (which I do not necessarily advocate), being a radical has turned out to be a fairly risky proposition for a young Muslim.

    The supposedly world-historic, generational clash between two civilizations was overstated. Let’s get back to work on ourselves.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@11: I didn’t deny that there are any Islamic radicals left who wish to bomb various Western targets, etc., nor do I deny that we need to remain vigilant. But since 9/11, Islamic militancy to a large degree has turned inward. Look at Pakistan. Look at the way the Muslim Brotherhood has shifted its rhetoric. Al Quaeda no longer attracts the flower of Muslim youth. The “Arab Spring” has inspired many Islamic radicals to turn their ambitions toward installing Muslim regimes in their own backyards where formerly secular dictatorships held sway. And of course, due to American military campaigns (which I do not necessarily advocate), being a radical has turned out to be a fairly risky proposition for a young Muslim.

    The supposedly world-historic, generational clash between two civilizations was overstated. Let’s get back to work on ourselves.

  • Joe

    This bar graph is one of the most depressing reminders of how much freedom we have given up post-9/11 and of how it has been (predictably) abused.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/07/what-cases-have-the-patriot-ac

  • Joe

    This bar graph is one of the most depressing reminders of how much freedom we have given up post-9/11 and of how it has been (predictably) abused.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/07/what-cases-have-the-patriot-ac

  • Anonymous

    I agree. It is time to move on. I was 13 when 9/11 happened. I didn’t think it was real until that evening or the next day. It didn’t affect me. I wasn’t terribly depressed. Being completely detached from it, I was indifferent to it at the time. I still don’t feel any sort of “grief” over it, and I really don’t know how it has affected my life.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. It is time to move on. I was 13 when 9/11 happened. I didn’t think it was real until that evening or the next day. It didn’t affect me. I wasn’t terribly depressed. Being completely detached from it, I was indifferent to it at the time. I still don’t feel any sort of “grief” over it, and I really don’t know how it has affected my life.

  • steve

    Tom,

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like you want to have it both ways. On one hand, you’re saying its all about that Americans are galled at the notion that we can’t defeat the Islamist ideas. On the other you’re saying those ideas are still a threat and, by implication, it must not by just about Americans pouting because they aren’t willing.

  • steve

    Tom,

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like you want to have it both ways. On one hand, you’re saying its all about that Americans are galled at the notion that we can’t defeat the Islamist ideas. On the other you’re saying those ideas are still a threat and, by implication, it must not by just about Americans pouting because they aren’t willing.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Here’s my September Newsletter
    gslcnm.com

    Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that the attack on 9/11 would so drastically change the religious life of people on the other side of the world? If you were a Muslim in Afghanistan or Iraq, and you had a lot of foresight, you may have thought, “Someone has attacked the United States in the name of Islam. The U.S. is going to want revenge, we better prepare for trouble.” However, if you were a Christian in Baghdad, how could you have known that what you were seeing on your TV from New York would result in your own death and the destruction of your church, and of the whole Christian community in your city?

    The strange thing is: The religion harmed the most by the War on Terror is not Islam, but the Christian Church in the Middle East. The Christian Church in Iraq goes back, almost as far as St. Peter, but now it’s in danger of extinction. Those who haven’t been killed are leaving. Here are the opening paragraphs from an article in February’s Christianity Today:

    “A ringing doorbell at the Baghdad home of an elderly Christian couple seemed innocent enough five days after Christmas. But when Fawzi Rahim, 76, and wife Janet Mekha, 78, opened their front door, a bomb exploded and took their lives.

    The suspected militant attack was one of several on December 30, 2010, when 14 other Christians in Baghdad were seriously injured in their homes. The violence followed the October 31 attack on a Baghdad Syriac Catholic cathedral that killed 68 people, and a declaration by the Islamic State of Iraq, a terrorist group, that it was waging war on Christians.”

    This is happening in a country filled with American soldiers and airmen. Where, incidentally, the U.S. army burns Bibles that were sent to servicemen by U.S. citizens so that the soldiers can share their faith with Iraqis. And we’re there to establish a Democracy, to build a country that’s free?

    The freedom that some Iraqis have now, that they didn’t have before, is the freedom to kill Christians and eliminate the Church.

    Why is America unwilling to stop this? I’m sure that many people involved didn’t and don’t want these results. But there is something fundamentally wrong with the way our country is responding to the threat of Islam when the result is the destruction of 2000 year old Christian Churches. It’s as though we invaded Germany, then set up a purer, more deadly form of Nazism in place of what we destroyed.

    Politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, say nice things to Christians in order to get elected. But we must ask them, what will they do about this? When will burning a Bible elicit the same concern as someone burning a Koran? When will the persecution of Christians make the news?

    Pastor Spomer

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Here’s my September Newsletter
    gslcnm.com

    Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that the attack on 9/11 would so drastically change the religious life of people on the other side of the world? If you were a Muslim in Afghanistan or Iraq, and you had a lot of foresight, you may have thought, “Someone has attacked the United States in the name of Islam. The U.S. is going to want revenge, we better prepare for trouble.” However, if you were a Christian in Baghdad, how could you have known that what you were seeing on your TV from New York would result in your own death and the destruction of your church, and of the whole Christian community in your city?

    The strange thing is: The religion harmed the most by the War on Terror is not Islam, but the Christian Church in the Middle East. The Christian Church in Iraq goes back, almost as far as St. Peter, but now it’s in danger of extinction. Those who haven’t been killed are leaving. Here are the opening paragraphs from an article in February’s Christianity Today:

    “A ringing doorbell at the Baghdad home of an elderly Christian couple seemed innocent enough five days after Christmas. But when Fawzi Rahim, 76, and wife Janet Mekha, 78, opened their front door, a bomb exploded and took their lives.

    The suspected militant attack was one of several on December 30, 2010, when 14 other Christians in Baghdad were seriously injured in their homes. The violence followed the October 31 attack on a Baghdad Syriac Catholic cathedral that killed 68 people, and a declaration by the Islamic State of Iraq, a terrorist group, that it was waging war on Christians.”

    This is happening in a country filled with American soldiers and airmen. Where, incidentally, the U.S. army burns Bibles that were sent to servicemen by U.S. citizens so that the soldiers can share their faith with Iraqis. And we’re there to establish a Democracy, to build a country that’s free?

    The freedom that some Iraqis have now, that they didn’t have before, is the freedom to kill Christians and eliminate the Church.

    Why is America unwilling to stop this? I’m sure that many people involved didn’t and don’t want these results. But there is something fundamentally wrong with the way our country is responding to the threat of Islam when the result is the destruction of 2000 year old Christian Churches. It’s as though we invaded Germany, then set up a purer, more deadly form of Nazism in place of what we destroyed.

    Politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, say nice things to Christians in order to get elected. But we must ask them, what will they do about this? When will burning a Bible elicit the same concern as someone burning a Koran? When will the persecution of Christians make the news?

    Pastor Spomer

  • steve

    @16,

    Should have been “On the other you’re saying those ideas are still a threat and, by implication, it must not be just about Americans pouting because they aren’t winning.”

    I must have been half asleep when I wrote that. Sorry for the typos.

  • steve

    @16,

    Should have been “On the other you’re saying those ideas are still a threat and, by implication, it must not be just about Americans pouting because they aren’t winning.”

    I must have been half asleep when I wrote that. Sorry for the typos.

  • JH

    National unity? In a nation with 300 million people of mixed heritage, race, nationality, language, religion. Good luck with that.

    I’d still just like to know what happened to building 7….

  • JH

    National unity? In a nation with 300 million people of mixed heritage, race, nationality, language, religion. Good luck with that.

    I’d still just like to know what happened to building 7….

  • kenneth

    The military question arises with urgency for Christianity world wide. That soldiers, who are shamed for their faith and gagged does not at all bode well for evangelism. That saddens me no end. Such statements seem grossly inadequate for the urgency at hand for the spreading of the faith.

    But one must not take the facts that our soliders in the field must because of coersion and despair of exposing them. America does seem a defeatist nation in regard to western values desperately needing to be defended. But we must not be so.

    Vigilence remains the price of freedom for all. One should recognize that it holds for the military also.

  • kenneth

    The military question arises with urgency for Christianity world wide. That soldiers, who are shamed for their faith and gagged does not at all bode well for evangelism. That saddens me no end. Such statements seem grossly inadequate for the urgency at hand for the spreading of the faith.

    But one must not take the facts that our soliders in the field must because of coersion and despair of exposing them. America does seem a defeatist nation in regard to western values desperately needing to be defended. But we must not be so.

    Vigilence remains the price of freedom for all. One should recognize that it holds for the military also.

  • Susan

    I still get angry when I see photos of the terrorists who hijacked those planes and killed all those people.

    But then I think: They (the terrorists) are presumably all in Hell where they belong, and life *has* moved on. High time we did too, although I have to wonder if Pearl Harbor Day wasn’t talked about too on a yearly basis until people got wearied of hearing about it. In either case, it’s a bit unrealistic and maybe even selfish to expect those not personally affected by these events to manufacture tears and/or feelings of sadness for memory’s sake. Far better to keep our military strong and kick this politically correct BS to the curb that won’t even allow the use of the words ‘jihad’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘Muslim’ to be used separately or together in Government intel documents. These terrorists are not victims, and we aren’t the bad guys.

    As for the Islamists, Tom Jefferson had to deal with them (their defeat at Tripoli being the basis for the USMC hymn), as did the kings of Europe prior to and during the Crusades. Still and all I wouldn’t shed too many tears if someday a US or Israeli president got fed up enough that he decides to turn the whole ME into a parking lot.

  • Susan

    I still get angry when I see photos of the terrorists who hijacked those planes and killed all those people.

    But then I think: They (the terrorists) are presumably all in Hell where they belong, and life *has* moved on. High time we did too, although I have to wonder if Pearl Harbor Day wasn’t talked about too on a yearly basis until people got wearied of hearing about it. In either case, it’s a bit unrealistic and maybe even selfish to expect those not personally affected by these events to manufacture tears and/or feelings of sadness for memory’s sake. Far better to keep our military strong and kick this politically correct BS to the curb that won’t even allow the use of the words ‘jihad’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘Muslim’ to be used separately or together in Government intel documents. These terrorists are not victims, and we aren’t the bad guys.

    As for the Islamists, Tom Jefferson had to deal with them (their defeat at Tripoli being the basis for the USMC hymn), as did the kings of Europe prior to and during the Crusades. Still and all I wouldn’t shed too many tears if someday a US or Israeli president got fed up enough that he decides to turn the whole ME into a parking lot.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Amazing-But-True

    Michael Tuohey was going to work like he had for 37 years, but little did he know that this day would change his life forever. On September 11, 2001, Tuohey, a ticket agent for U.S. Airways, checked in terrorist Mohammed Atta for a flight that started a chain of events that would change history.

    Tuohey was working the U.S. Airways first-class check-in desk when two men, Atta and his companion Abdul Azziz-Alomari, approached his counter. From all outward appearances, the men seemed to be normal businessmen, but Tuohey felt something was wrong.

    “I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap…I thought, ‘My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.’”

    Atta and Alomari, were flying first-class from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts, where they would board the American Airlines flight bound for the Twin Towers.

    Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Amazing-But-True#ixzz1Xb1DQWkQ

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Amazing-But-True

    Michael Tuohey was going to work like he had for 37 years, but little did he know that this day would change his life forever. On September 11, 2001, Tuohey, a ticket agent for U.S. Airways, checked in terrorist Mohammed Atta for a flight that started a chain of events that would change history.

    Tuohey was working the U.S. Airways first-class check-in desk when two men, Atta and his companion Abdul Azziz-Alomari, approached his counter. From all outward appearances, the men seemed to be normal businessmen, but Tuohey felt something was wrong.

    “I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap…I thought, ‘My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.’”

    Atta and Alomari, were flying first-class from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts, where they would board the American Airlines flight bound for the Twin Towers.

    Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Amazing-But-True#ixzz1Xb1DQWkQ

  • John C

    I suppose now is not the time, Susan, to mourn the loss of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

  • John C

    I suppose now is not the time, Susan, to mourn the loss of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    and why aren’t first responders , the military, and CHRISTIAN clergy ‘allowed’ at ground zero Sunday-9-11?
    Where is the (muslim type) “Out Rage”!
    rhetorical question-I know the answer- our Christian leader have no spine!
    Carol-CS-
    Founder/Pres-
    LA-Lutherans for Life

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    and why aren’t first responders , the military, and CHRISTIAN clergy ‘allowed’ at ground zero Sunday-9-11?
    Where is the (muslim type) “Out Rage”!
    rhetorical question-I know the answer- our Christian leader have no spine!
    Carol-CS-
    Founder/Pres-
    LA-Lutherans for Life

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    leaders-
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    leaders-
    C-CS

  • Tom Hering

    “Has ‘everything changed,’ as was widely said at the time?” – Dr. Veith.

    Changes the terrorists made to America:

    • The twin towers of the World Trade Center are gone.

    Changes we made to America:

    • Billions upon trillions of dollars spent.
    • Fighting two wars for a decade, and now a third – plus Pakistan.
    • Private contractors and mercenaries added to our fighting forces.
    • A huge new agency, Homeland Security.
    • Expansion (and then some!) of all intelligence agencies.
    • Increased domestic surveillance.
    • Waterboarding.
    • Guantanomo.
    • Secret CIA prisons.
    • Extraordinary rendition (including torture in foreign prisons).
    • Air travel made miserable (understatement).
    • Orange alert after alert after alert after alert after alert after alert.
    • Constant fear, though the Great Recession has changed the focus of our fears. (A blessing in disguise?)

  • Tom Hering

    “Has ‘everything changed,’ as was widely said at the time?” – Dr. Veith.

    Changes the terrorists made to America:

    • The twin towers of the World Trade Center are gone.

    Changes we made to America:

    • Billions upon trillions of dollars spent.
    • Fighting two wars for a decade, and now a third – plus Pakistan.
    • Private contractors and mercenaries added to our fighting forces.
    • A huge new agency, Homeland Security.
    • Expansion (and then some!) of all intelligence agencies.
    • Increased domestic surveillance.
    • Waterboarding.
    • Guantanomo.
    • Secret CIA prisons.
    • Extraordinary rendition (including torture in foreign prisons).
    • Air travel made miserable (understatement).
    • Orange alert after alert after alert after alert after alert after alert.
    • Constant fear, though the Great Recession has changed the focus of our fears. (A blessing in disguise?)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @26

    I am with you, man.

    It is crazy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @26

    I am with you, man.

    It is crazy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I suppose now is not the time, Susan, to mourn the loss of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.”

    Among them many Christians. Christians in Iraq are less secure than before and many have fled.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I suppose now is not the time, Susan, to mourn the loss of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.”

    Among them many Christians. Christians in Iraq are less secure than before and many have fled.

  • Tom Hering

    The 10th anniversary of Pearl Harbor was not the top story in the news on December 7th, 1951. Many Americans, when asked about the date by man-on-the-street reporters, couldn’t remember its significance. Our country had moved on.

    Listening to a live broadcast of the ceremony in NYC this morning, the tone of the event struck me as overwhelmingly … therapeutic. Our country most definitely has not moved on. Perhaps the difference lies in cultural change. In 1951, America was future-orientated. In 2011, we’re all trying to recover an idealized past (pick your favorite decade or century).

  • Tom Hering

    The 10th anniversary of Pearl Harbor was not the top story in the news on December 7th, 1951. Many Americans, when asked about the date by man-on-the-street reporters, couldn’t remember its significance. Our country had moved on.

    Listening to a live broadcast of the ceremony in NYC this morning, the tone of the event struck me as overwhelmingly … therapeutic. Our country most definitely has not moved on. Perhaps the difference lies in cultural change. In 1951, America was future-orientated. In 2011, we’re all trying to recover an idealized past (pick your favorite decade or century).

  • steve

    It would be hard to argue that the personal toll to the average American 10 years post-9/11 are greater than the personal toll 10 years post-Pearl Harbor. We were, after all, in the second year of our second war that was precipitated by the events in 1941. The first of those wars resulting in the loss of 400,000 American lives, the forced internment of 100,000 Japanese-Americans, the first ever (and fortunately, to date, only) use of nuclear weapons that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in an instant.

    But it is fair to say that national commemorations of the fallen are much different 10 years in. One reason for this difference is the attacks themselves were in the biggest American city, targeted civilians, and were televised nearly every step of the way. We heard about Pearl Harbor but we experienced 9/11. There was, for many, a daily news cycle in 1941 and the years following that consisted of the newspaper and daily radio broadcasts. In 2001 there was not one but several cable news channels all clamoring for stories to fill their round-the-clock coverage. So not only did we hear about the events themselves but the personal back-stories of nearly everyone involved. This makes 9/11, ironically, much more personal than the events at Pearl Harbor itself. I say ironically because, as I said before, the events that Pearl Harbor precipitated clearly had a much greater direct toll on many more American lives.

    Compounding this difference is our lack of a clear and decisive victory such as we had at V-J Day. Ten years in, Americans were still basking in the afterglow of being the liberators of the world in a most spectacular manner. Today, we are basking in recession and a decade of war that’s ending in a lackluster declaration of “troop withdrawal” for no other reason than political expediency. Perhaps in the absence of something more positive to commemorate, we’re stuck in the mourning phase.

  • steve

    It would be hard to argue that the personal toll to the average American 10 years post-9/11 are greater than the personal toll 10 years post-Pearl Harbor. We were, after all, in the second year of our second war that was precipitated by the events in 1941. The first of those wars resulting in the loss of 400,000 American lives, the forced internment of 100,000 Japanese-Americans, the first ever (and fortunately, to date, only) use of nuclear weapons that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in an instant.

    But it is fair to say that national commemorations of the fallen are much different 10 years in. One reason for this difference is the attacks themselves were in the biggest American city, targeted civilians, and were televised nearly every step of the way. We heard about Pearl Harbor but we experienced 9/11. There was, for many, a daily news cycle in 1941 and the years following that consisted of the newspaper and daily radio broadcasts. In 2001 there was not one but several cable news channels all clamoring for stories to fill their round-the-clock coverage. So not only did we hear about the events themselves but the personal back-stories of nearly everyone involved. This makes 9/11, ironically, much more personal than the events at Pearl Harbor itself. I say ironically because, as I said before, the events that Pearl Harbor precipitated clearly had a much greater direct toll on many more American lives.

    Compounding this difference is our lack of a clear and decisive victory such as we had at V-J Day. Ten years in, Americans were still basking in the afterglow of being the liberators of the world in a most spectacular manner. Today, we are basking in recession and a decade of war that’s ending in a lackluster declaration of “troop withdrawal” for no other reason than political expediency. Perhaps in the absence of something more positive to commemorate, we’re stuck in the mourning phase.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve, I disagree that we all experienced 9/11. What most Americans outside of NYC experienced was the cable-news reporting of 9/11. And that’s all.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve, I disagree that we all experienced 9/11. What most Americans outside of NYC experienced was the cable-news reporting of 9/11. And that’s all.

  • Tom Hering

    Look at it another way. What people in NYC experienced was two planes crashing into the twin towers – once each. Reality. What those of us outside of NYC experienced was two planes crashing into the twin towers – over and over and over again. An extreme distortion of reality. This, and only this, is what most of us are remembering today.

  • Tom Hering

    Look at it another way. What people in NYC experienced was two planes crashing into the twin towers – once each. Reality. What those of us outside of NYC experienced was two planes crashing into the twin towers – over and over and over again. An extreme distortion of reality. This, and only this, is what most of us are remembering today.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I can’t say I ever felt much emotion over 9-11. I mean, in an objective way, I feel sorry for the families, but in a very abstract way. I didn’t know any of them. I wasn’t even really surprised. I kinda figured that tragedy, violence and would erupt again as in the past. Of course, I never thought of the specific case of planes flying into buildings, but more generally, I figured bad things would happen again, etc. Maybe, I felt less emotion than others because I didn’t watch much coverage because I had a three year old at the time and didn’t think it would be good for him to see that. I think I feel more anger, confusion and frustration with the overreaction to 9-11. I think we did more damage to ourselves with our over reaction than the terrorists did with their attack.

    As for the Pearl Harbor comparison, I mean, we got revenge. We fought back and won. We nuked them and brought them to their knees. Pearl Harbor reminds us basically that we were patient and tried not to get into a shooting war until we had no other choices left. Is 9-11 really analogous? Meh, only very tenuously because the enemy is so vague, a bunch of crazed fringe religious nuts. It is hard to achieve a decisive victory.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I can’t say I ever felt much emotion over 9-11. I mean, in an objective way, I feel sorry for the families, but in a very abstract way. I didn’t know any of them. I wasn’t even really surprised. I kinda figured that tragedy, violence and would erupt again as in the past. Of course, I never thought of the specific case of planes flying into buildings, but more generally, I figured bad things would happen again, etc. Maybe, I felt less emotion than others because I didn’t watch much coverage because I had a three year old at the time and didn’t think it would be good for him to see that. I think I feel more anger, confusion and frustration with the overreaction to 9-11. I think we did more damage to ourselves with our over reaction than the terrorists did with their attack.

    As for the Pearl Harbor comparison, I mean, we got revenge. We fought back and won. We nuked them and brought them to their knees. Pearl Harbor reminds us basically that we were patient and tried not to get into a shooting war until we had no other choices left. Is 9-11 really analogous? Meh, only very tenuously because the enemy is so vague, a bunch of crazed fringe religious nuts. It is hard to achieve a decisive victory.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In 1951, America was future-orientated. In 2011, we’re all trying to recover an idealized past (pick your favorite decade or century).”

    Interesting idea. Can you elaborate?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In 1951, America was future-orientated. In 2011, we’re all trying to recover an idealized past (pick your favorite decade or century).”

    Interesting idea. Can you elaborate?

  • kerner

    Tom:

    I think steve has a point. In 1951, the war Pearl Harbor drew us into was over, and we were fighting a whole new enemy (ironically, we were fighting a cold war against our former allies, as well as a shooting war against North Korea), and our former enemy, Japan, was our new ally.

    In 2011 we are still fighting and trying to figure out how to win/end, the wars that 9/11 drew us into. It is no wonder that we are still obsessing about 9/11 in 2011, while fewer people were obsessing about Pearl Harbor in 1951.

  • kerner

    Tom:

    I think steve has a point. In 1951, the war Pearl Harbor drew us into was over, and we were fighting a whole new enemy (ironically, we were fighting a cold war against our former allies, as well as a shooting war against North Korea), and our former enemy, Japan, was our new ally.

    In 2011 we are still fighting and trying to figure out how to win/end, the wars that 9/11 drew us into. It is no wonder that we are still obsessing about 9/11 in 2011, while fewer people were obsessing about Pearl Harbor in 1951.

  • steve

    Tom, #31, I agree that the news coverage presented a two-dimensional version of the events and I agree that the way most Americans experienced it was very different than how most New Yorkers experienced it. But we all witnessed it. We may not have seen the impacts when they happened but most of us recall seeing the collapse live, as they were happening. If the majority of the country was watching the bombing of Pearl Harbor as it was happening, I’d venture to say that the national reaction–including the subsequent memorials–would have been very different.

  • steve

    Tom, #31, I agree that the news coverage presented a two-dimensional version of the events and I agree that the way most Americans experienced it was very different than how most New Yorkers experienced it. But we all witnessed it. We may not have seen the impacts when they happened but most of us recall seeing the collapse live, as they were happening. If the majority of the country was watching the bombing of Pearl Harbor as it was happening, I’d venture to say that the national reaction–including the subsequent memorials–would have been very different.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 34, it’s just this sense I have that we’re not a forward-looking nation anymore. Which might be my own way of looking back to an idealized time – the period (1950s-60s) I grew up in. :-)

    I think the point I was trying to make with my reality/distortion comparison is that the media distortion of reality was what most of us experienced on 9/11. I’m willing to bet it’s what most of our leaders (deciders) experienced on that day too. Which may account for the “crazy” in our reaction (overreaction) to 9/11.

    Hey, it’s a theory.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 34, it’s just this sense I have that we’re not a forward-looking nation anymore. Which might be my own way of looking back to an idealized time – the period (1950s-60s) I grew up in. :-)

    I think the point I was trying to make with my reality/distortion comparison is that the media distortion of reality was what most of us experienced on 9/11. I’m willing to bet it’s what most of our leaders (deciders) experienced on that day too. Which may account for the “crazy” in our reaction (overreaction) to 9/11.

    Hey, it’s a theory.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese military not ordinary Japanese people.

    9-11 was committed by ordinary Muslim men unattached to any nation. 9-11 was one of many strikes against America in the jihad that goes back to the 1970′s and continues today. We can count dozens of terrorist activities against innocent civilian Americans since the Muslims began their jihad.

    Our war is not with a nation but with a sect of Islam. That’s why we’ll never be able to declare mission accomplished. Not until that sect of Islam is extinct.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese military not ordinary Japanese people.

    9-11 was committed by ordinary Muslim men unattached to any nation. 9-11 was one of many strikes against America in the jihad that goes back to the 1970′s and continues today. We can count dozens of terrorist activities against innocent civilian Americans since the Muslims began their jihad.

    Our war is not with a nation but with a sect of Islam. That’s why we’ll never be able to declare mission accomplished. Not until that sect of Islam is extinct.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Given that our war is with a sect of Islam and not a particular nation, I think that calls for us assassinating members of that sect of Islam when they organize to attack us. It also calls on us to identify members of that sect within Islam in America and track their movements and behavior for potential terrorism.

    We should also limit or end Muslim immigration into America until this sect of Islam is less dangerous.

    Afghanistan/Iraq were mistakes. National invasions couldn’t end the jihad because the jihad stretches across half the world. It’s better to simply identify our terrorist enemies and destroy them before they have the chance to attack us. If any nation gets in the way, their sovereignty will be ignored no apologies, no excuses.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Given that our war is with a sect of Islam and not a particular nation, I think that calls for us assassinating members of that sect of Islam when they organize to attack us. It also calls on us to identify members of that sect within Islam in America and track their movements and behavior for potential terrorism.

    We should also limit or end Muslim immigration into America until this sect of Islam is less dangerous.

    Afghanistan/Iraq were mistakes. National invasions couldn’t end the jihad because the jihad stretches across half the world. It’s better to simply identify our terrorist enemies and destroy them before they have the chance to attack us. If any nation gets in the way, their sovereignty will be ignored no apologies, no excuses.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We should also limit or end Muslim immigration into America until this sect of Islam is less dangerous.”

    Our terrorism problem is essentially an immigration problem. If instead of doing all the stupid and expensive things Tom listed @26, we had just closed the door to certain folks and expelled some of the same that were not actually citizens, we would have saved billions, been safer, killed no one, and could have ended the policy at any time. Surely the list @26 is worse than discriminating against a certain group of people for a few years.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We should also limit or end Muslim immigration into America until this sect of Islam is less dangerous.”

    Our terrorism problem is essentially an immigration problem. If instead of doing all the stupid and expensive things Tom listed @26, we had just closed the door to certain folks and expelled some of the same that were not actually citizens, we would have saved billions, been safer, killed no one, and could have ended the policy at any time. Surely the list @26 is worse than discriminating against a certain group of people for a few years.

  • David R

    In 1941, the foe was quantifiable because of the war. In 2001-2011 the war has given us a real enemy, “terror” bu it is an ongoing enemy that has no national boundaries. It came to our very shores. And, into context, we are placed. I posted the following on my Facebook page as to how e Christians react, remember, and assist during this time. Our Lord works through us for those who suffer loss. “It’s a great day to honor those who lost their lives ten years ago. We Christians do this in witnessing to our Lord’s triumph over death. Memorials and graves are great tributes but they don’t have to be the end. Christ is risen. God gives us people with whom to mourn as His witness to them. He uses us to show them mercy amid sorrow, that they may rejoice with us in the Church’s life together now and in eternity.”

  • David R

    In 1941, the foe was quantifiable because of the war. In 2001-2011 the war has given us a real enemy, “terror” bu it is an ongoing enemy that has no national boundaries. It came to our very shores. And, into context, we are placed. I posted the following on my Facebook page as to how e Christians react, remember, and assist during this time. Our Lord works through us for those who suffer loss. “It’s a great day to honor those who lost their lives ten years ago. We Christians do this in witnessing to our Lord’s triumph over death. Memorials and graves are great tributes but they don’t have to be the end. Christ is risen. God gives us people with whom to mourn as His witness to them. He uses us to show them mercy amid sorrow, that they may rejoice with us in the Church’s life together now and in eternity.”

  • Tom Hering

    sg, we did begin expelling Muslims immediately after 9/11. The CIA flew them out. Champagne and horderves were served on board.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, we did begin expelling Muslims immediately after 9/11. The CIA flew them out. Champagne and horderves were served on board.

  • CRB

    Tom,
    Can you give evidence that this was how they were expelled from our country?

  • CRB

    Tom,
    Can you give evidence that this was how they were expelled from our country?

  • CRB

    Military historian, Victor Davis Hanson has an interesting article and correctly concludes that is was, “a strange decade”

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson090911.html

  • CRB

    Military historian, Victor Davis Hanson has an interesting article and correctly concludes that is was, “a strange decade”

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson090911.html

  • Elefant

    The year 2001 should not be repeated

  • Elefant

    The year 2001 should not be repeated


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