Saturday, September 24, 2011

Some Thoughts on 9/11

I write this on September 11, 2011.  While I cannot post it today, I will as soon as I can. 

Watching a documentary about 9/11, which contains actual footage from the attacks, is a surreal experience.  I don’t remember watching it on the news ten years ago.  If watching footage from the attacks is surreal, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to actually experience it.  It looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.  I have had nightmares in which I am in a state of confusion, and I don’t know what is going on, and I am afraid.  I have those nightmares I think, because that feeling is what I am truly afraid of; being in that situation.  It sounds strange, but I can sort of remember what it feels like to be in that nightmare.  That is the closest feeling I know to what it would feel like to be in hell.  And of course, that is nothing close to what they would be feeling.  I have always thought of being in such a situation as purely abstract.  This film gives me a better idea of what it’s like, and it is surreal to watch.  In those nightmares, I am usually wondering if I am in a dream.  And, of course, I am.  In the film, one firefighter wonders if what he is experiencing is real.  Going through such a profoundly surreal experience, I’m sure I would wonder the same.  In fact, even watching the events on television, I’m sure I would have wondered the same thing had I been old enough to understand the magnitude of the occurrence.

I have always understood what happened ten years ago today, but only in somewhat abstract terms.  I have seen footage of the planes crashing into the buildings, and of the buildings collapsing.  While surreal, that doesn’t even give you an idea of what really happened.  After watching this film, it is not so abstract anymore.  This film hit me, and, even though it happened ten years ago, I have a new understanding of what happened.  But, for me, it remains still beyond comprehension. 

Whatever I could say wouldn’t do the magnitude of that catastrophe or its victims justice.  Nor the heroic first responders.  While 9/11 demonstrates that pure evil exists, it has also reminded me that, within humanity, there exists good.  The pinnacle of humanity’s good is within the heroes that protect us from the abyss of humanity’s evil.  For police, firefighters, members of the military, and other such heroes, I have nothing but immense respect and admiration.  They remind me of the good that there is, and they inspire me to try to be as good a person as I can, even if my best will never be as good as theirs.  In fact, it will never even be close. 

The spirit of the founding fathers of the United States of America is a noble one.  And what America has done in the face of 9/11 shows that that spirit lives on.  I wish my country was as noble as its neighbor to the south.  What ideals encapsulate the spirit of Canada?  Compassion?  That’s probably right.  The very ideal that is anathema to my worldview.  It’s almost enough to make me want to move, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.  The spirit of America is one that I admire.  Independence, resolve, freedom, and the belief that anyone is capable of what they put their mind to.  Those are ideals that I can respect.  When America is attacked, it fights back.  It doesn’t try to understand what adversity caused its attackers to attack.  It doesn’t care, because it is facing evil, and evil doesn’t care.  I don’t care for what doesn’t care for me.  Maybe that’s a bit too mathematical for some people, but I could care less about the well-being of evil bastards, and I will revel in their demise.  It is evil to inflict harm for no reason.  It is evil to allow harm to be inflicted for no reason.  And America often seems like the only nation that understands that.  In the face of evil, America shows its resolve.  Thank you, America, and thank you, heroes, for giving me faith.  Thank you for fighting the good fight, and thank you for saving lives and for protecting us.  

NOTE: I apologize for posting this so late.  


  1. Excellent - but dial back the voyeurism a bit.

    If you don't know what I mean, you're welcome to ask, but I'm sure you'll be quite satisfied with your own speculations as most puppies are.

    In fact, being a pro at it, I applaud your self-satisfied smugness. You can't blog without it - which is why I gave that up.

  2. No, I don't know what you mean. What do you mean?

    I apologize if I come off as self-satisfied and smug. But I guess I have the tendency to do that. When I wrote this, I really was pretty emotionally strucken by what I was watching. It was as if I didn't realize the magnitude of the event until then.

    I let the emotion of the moment dictate my tone, and I guess that is why I come off as smug. I just tend to overreact to what I perceive as stupidity.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. To clarify my previous comment, the third paragraph refers to nothing in particular.

  4. Make that the second sentence of the third paragraph.

    Please, Aardvark, tell me what you mean. I see no voyeurism in what I wrote. And I am quite unsatisfied with my own speculations, in this instance anyway. I really don't know what exactly you are referring to.


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