Image via WikipediaI was not sure whether or not I was going to post anything today in commemoration of the horrific events that took place 10 years ago today in New York, Pennsylvania, and just down the road at the Pentagon. There will be so many others that will post regarding what happened that day. I did not know what more that I could add.
Ten years ago, I was sitting in my office working on some reports when my wife called to tell me that an airplane had crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Shortly thereafter, a second plane crashed into the other tower. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA thanks to passengers storming the cockpit and overcoming the hijackers.
I remember sitting in my office stunned. I had a boombox in my office that I used to listen to CDs, but on this day, I turned on the radio to try to follow the events of the day. I was really in a state of shock, and unable to concentrate enough to do any work. My son and nephew were both attending a school in Baltimore a couple blocks from Baltimore's World Trade Center building. Concerned that another attack could occur there, my brother in law went to pick up both boys from school
One of the public affairs managers came down to see if we had enough water in the warehouse to provide a truckload of water for those rescuers and workers at the Pentagon crash site. That was the good of my company. Most of our upper management was in California for a meeting. Later in the day, one of our VPs sent a voice mail encouraging us to capitalize on the event by making sure we had enough of emergency items like bottle water in the stores because there might be a run on those things. I thought it a rather callous and inhumane thing to do.
A lot of things have changed in the 10 years since the attacks. I remember being able to have my wife and son sit with me at the gate while waiting for my flight to take off, or being able to greet me at the gate when I returned. Now, you can't get through without a ticket. Security is such that we have to take off shoes, belts, and coats to get through. We are subjected to pat downs usually reserved for criminals and we are subjected to various scanner devices.
After the events, the country stood resolute and united in wanting to track down those responsible for the attacks. There was near unanimous support from both sides of the political spectrum for the war that would soon follow. Ten years later, we still have our military forces in the Middle East fighting the war on terror. Our political leaders are severely divided on nearly every issue that comes before them.
It saddens me that as a country we can now stand so bitterly divided when a relatively short time ago, we stood united and strong. Now, both sides are looking for every political advantage that they can garner to maintain and achieve more power. It is no longer about what is best for the country. I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln, who quoted Jesus, when he said "a house divided against itself can not stand."