Just to give you a personal reflection about 9/11. I was working at a movie theater and not happy about it and working the nightshift and disliked that even more. Except for the people I worked with and for and met. I believe I closed the night before and slept in that morning knowing I would be closing again on that Tuesday night the night of 9/11. I woke up early that afternoon and turned on the news and saw I believe ABC News breaking in from their afternoon soap operas to cover these explosions that were happening in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. And to paraphrase what Jack Buck said during the 1988 World Series, “I don’t believe what my eyes just saw.” I can’t believe what I just saw on TV. It must have felt like the way people in Hawaii felt during Pearl Harbor in 1941. That the nation was under attack and what’s the next horrible attack that we’ll be doing with. I get ready for work and get there I guess about 4 o’clock that afternoon and find out that the theater is close because of the attacks and I had the night off.
There are only two moments during the George W. Bush presidency where I was proud of President Bush and I don’t say that lightly or proudly. It’s just the way I feel about this President as President. The first one is where President Bush goes to New York City to look at the destruction caused by the attacks and he’s giving a speech there and talking to firefighters there. And some people in the audience yell out essentially how angry they are at the people of these attacks. And President Bush literally breaks in with a megaphone and says, “we hear you, the Americans people hear you and the people responsible for knocking down these buildings will hear from all of us very shortly.” It was the perfect thing to be said at that point and I believe reflected how most Americans were feeling at that very moment regardless of their politics and party affiliation. Those last four months of 2001 starting unfortunately with 9/11, you could argue was the last time America was united as a country. And President Bush deserves credit for that. Regardless of what you think of him.
I don’t live in New York City and I never had. So I can’t give you an eyewitness account of what happened in New York during those horrific attacks. But what I can do as an American is tell you how I feel about people responsible for attacking one of America’s great cities and one of the great cities in the world. America felt under attack during 9/11. Before that we felt invincible as a country and believe no one would attack us period. Even if they could, because we would destroy them if they did and they knew that. 9/11 changed and changed the national makeup of this country. What goes on in the Middle East and South Asia, can now happen here. Not from another country sending in a plane and hitting us with missiles and bombs, because they would get shot down. But from terrorist hijackers so warped out of their mind and hating America and our foreign policy, that they would hijack a private plane and use it as their suicide attack. Even with innocent passengers on board simply flying to New York, with no say in the matter. And America has never gotten back to pre-9/11 and the few months after that when we were one country even for that short period.