Two years later and I still get a nauseous feeling when I think of Sept. 11, and remember the morning I woke up to the solemn voice of a radio announcer informing me that the World Trade Center towers were gone.
I bounded out of bed that and turned on the television. CNN. Sure enough, I heard right I watched one tower fall, and then the other.
There were reports of another plane striking the Pentagon, and another plane that was missing. Early reports estimated that tens of thousands could have been killed.
Ive never experienced a moment like that before, a rip in the fabric of everyday life that would change the world for forever. Ive never lived through a Pearl Harbour, the assassination of a Kennedy, or a fall of Saigon.
There have been wars of course, so many its hard to remember them all. There have been genocides, mass murders, famines, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and tragedy upon tragedy beyond my comprehension. But an event like Sept. 11 is different. It was a horror that came out of the blue, and shook the foundations of everything we may have believed about the world. It was a wake up call, and a call to arms. Another age of innocence and naïvity came to an end.
Two years later I found myself standing in the rain with Whistlers firefighters and police officers as they performed a short, but dignified remembrance of Sept. 11, and the sacrifice made by so many of their brothers and sisters in uniform on that fateful day.
It was the first time in a long while that Id focused on the real victims of this tragedy. Like many, Ive been too caught up in the so-called War on Terror, the lies and the damned lies used to justify everything from the use of cluster bombs to the shredding of environmental laws, to stand and remember the people in those buildings and on those planes, and the sorrow of the day.
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, I just didnt buy the U.S. administrations claims that the terrorists attacked America because they hate freedom and liberty.
I bit my lip when President Bush announced "a new kind of war" on terror, one that could cover the globe and that might never end.
I rolled my eyes when Mr. Bush created a new Department of Homeland Security to spy on Americans, and which always seems to issue orange high-risk alerts whenever the President is having a tough time in Congress or public opinion.
I cringed when Henry Kissinger, a man who many believe should be hanged for his crimes against humanity, was named albeit briefly to head up a Congressional investigation into the many security failures in the years and months leading up to 9/11.