Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 09/11/2001

Five years ago today, I was living in Adelphi, Maryland. At the time, I was working at the FEMA National Processing Service Center in Hayattsville, a mere three mile commute. That morning was crystal clear - not a whisp of cloud from horizon to horizon - and a crisp nip of Autumn was in the air. I rode my pride and joy, a BMW K1200LT motorcycle, to work that AM, and it was a pleasant little start to the day.

At the office, I logged in and began my morning by processing cases in the queues, just as I always did when I wasn't deployed to the field. As I was working, I overheard someone say, "An airplane just hit the World Trade Center!" I was thinking in terms of a small private aircraft, and not a comercial jetliner, so while I thought it bizarre, I just kept on processing cases.

A few minutes later, I heard another person say, "Another airplane hit the Trade Center!" And I got a real deep, sick feeling. All of us went downstairs to the lunchroom, where the TV's were tuned to the CNN coverage. I walked in just a few minutes before the first tower came down. Somehow, stunned doesn't quite cover the way I felt.

I couldn't really wrap my brain around what was transpiring, so I numbly walked back upstairs to my desk and sat in silence. Within minutes, the news spread that a third aircraft had hit the Pentagon. I had a south facing window, so all I had to do to confirm that was look over my left shoulder. Sure enough, there it was: A black cloud of smoke streaming up from the Pentagon, which was several miles across town.

I'll never forget that day, nor will I forget the aftermath. For over eighteen months after 09/11, since I was a FEMA employee, I worked cases related to that terror attack. It changed me. Forever.

One of the main reasons I got out of the disaster business and returned to music is because of my work on the 09/11 aftermath. I had no problem dealing with natural disasters, but the unmitigated evil that is terrorist mass murder is another thing entirely. I was totally unprepared for that.

These photos were taken at Ground Zero by a FEMA employee who was one of the first FEMA people allowed on the scene. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the person's name, but I thought they were worth saving when they were forwarded to me.

Never forget who did this, and why: They hate freedom, they hate love, they hate the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and therefore they hate all of us. "Allah" is historically a pre-Islamic diety who was god of the moon, and now "Allah" is simply another mask that Satan hides behind. If you have a problem coming to terms with that truth, then you have a problem. God is love; "Allah" is hate, and that list of opposites goes on forever.

When I lived in NYC, I used to take summer jobs as a bicycle messenger. I went up those towers to make deliveries all the time. If the weather was nice, I'd always stop on the observation deck and enjoy the spectacular view. Another thing I enjoyed was standing between the towers - where they came together edge-to-edge - and I'd tilt my head back and laugh at the incomprehensible vanishing-point effect.

Nobody ever has to worry about me forgetting that day, or the miserable aftermath.


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