How Did Sept. 11 Change Your Life?

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has taken many steps to reorganize government. These steps include increases in aviation security, emergency prepardness and border protection. How has Sept. 11 changed your life?

By washingtonpost.com editors |  April 4, 2008; 4:45 PM ET  | Category:  Share
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I left the huge microchip manufacturer I was employed by in Massachussetts and became a Federal law enforcement officer working in Northern Virginia. Just doing my part to ensure nothing like 9/11 ever happens again.

Posted by: SanfordJay | April 30, 2008 11:08 AM

9/11 changed my life in terms of how I view those running our government. Instead of rallying the people together our government saw it as an opportunity to manipulate people's fears to achieve an agenda that had absolutely nothing to do with protecting the American citizens.

Or great president to advantage of the tragedy to further divide our great nation into the with us and against us faction. And for those people who disagree the republicans saw it fit to call them cowards and traitors.

For the first time in history a sitting draft dodging president and his draft dodging cabinet besmirch veterans of foreign war as being cowards and traitors just because the veterans disagreed with the administration's rationale for going to war.

I will never again simply "believe" my president and his merry men of war.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | September 6, 2008 11:44 PM

It changed all our lives. It was a shock. And it provided an excuse for the Bush administration to invade Iraq, although that took a little twisting of facts, since Iraq had far less to do with 9/11 than our "friends" in Saudia Arabia (remember bin Laden is Saudi) who directly funded that attack. Now, another 4K+ Americans have died, many more have been wounded and disabled, millions of Iraqis have died or been wounded, we owe $10 Trillion, much of it to China, unemployment is at its highest in years, gasoline is over $3/gallon, real wages are down. We will need a great deal of discipline to get back on track. We must not only slash spending, but stop borrowing to pay for what we do spend. 9/11 put us all to sleep, and we need to wake up soon.

Posted by: EJDubya | September 6, 2008 11:46 PM

9/11 was a message the American people from Islamist militants. In effect, they said as long as the US takes actions that the militants perceive as oppressing Muslims, the American people are vulnerable attack from Islamists. While I find 9/11 attacks, and indeed any terrorist attack, horrific and represehensible, I'm afraid there is a disconnect on our side. By maintainig such a high profile in the Middle East, we ensure contiued Islamist rage. Plenty of people have grown tired of the war on terror but they don't want to change the policies that feed Muslim grievance.

While I don't say Israel is always wrong it clearly isn't always right and by blindly backing that country, we make its enemies our enemies. Also, even if a cheap and stable supply of oil was worth American lives, and it isn't, I don't think an American military presence accomplishes such a goal. In short, if we want to avoid another 9/11 we should continue to pursue those who were involved in that attack (and not use it as an excuse to justify other activities, such as invading countries we simply don't like) but lessen our involvement in Middle East conflicts.

Posted by: RealChoices | September 7, 2008 12:10 AM

How has 9/11 changed my life? Let me count the ways. Here are just a few:
1. On my way to my new position as a visiting professor at George Washington University, I was routed past the Pentagon minutes after the plane hit and on to 14th street, NW. I soon found myself stuck in traffic a couple of blocks from the White House with the radio announcing that the 4th plane was heading for Washington. I could have turned around and easily escaped out of the city, but my daughter was in a dorm at GWU and would need a ride home. I resolved then and there that the best way to fight terrorism was to not be afraid of it. The best thing we could do was to continue our daily lives as much as possible and thereby denying the terrorists any sense of accomplishment.
2. Shortly thereafter, I saw a video of my president read a story to schoolchildren when he should have been directing the Federal response to assist the local first responders in NY and DC. I am now more active in politics to help make sure that we find competent people to lead the public sector.
3. I read all 428 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report and parts of the appendix. I read that the only confirmed connection between the 9/11 terrorists and Iraq was that one of the terrorists on the planes had visited his aunt in Iraq about six months before. I now am more apt to fact check the claims of my leaders.
4. I saw my oldest daughter join the National Guard. I stood by her as she was activated during her senior year in college and sent to Al Anbar Province, “voluntold” that she would serve in a second MO as a helicopter door gunner, watched her graduate during her two week leave, and came home every evening in anxious anticipation of her emails. I thank God that she came home to us with two legs, two hands, a fully functioning brain and about 70% of her hearing.
5. I now work for a Federal agency as a contract researcher at Walter Reed Army Hospital. I do the behind the scenes technical work needed to find ways to best treat our wounded warriors. I see dozens of young men and women without legs, hands, a fully functioning brain and/or all of their hearing every working day. I have never worked so hard in my life (he says as he takes a break from writing a medical journal article late on a Saturday evening). I find that I have a new purpose in my life; not one that I ever dreamed of or expected, but one that is worthy of my 20+ years of post high school training. When my old friends act surprised of what I am now doing professionally, I just smile and kindly say, “after every war, someone has to have the courage and the leadership to clean up the mess.”

Posted by: Brain Scientist | September 7, 2008 12:30 AM

"Actually I am tired of hearing about 9/11. Yes this was a tragic event but death is a part of life. I don't think that the American Taxpayers should have to bear the burden of paying money to anyone because of this. I lost a parent in a tragic way and I understand tragedies but enough is enough, life has to go on.

Posted by: Librarian"

*******************************************

With you being a librarian, I wonder if you would feel the same way if a plane had crashed into a place where rare books are stored. If you are so tired of hearing about 9/11, why would you bother reading this article? People lost lives. People lost loved ones. People's lives were changed forever. It was a great cause of destruction and devastation to America.

If you are tired of hearing and reading about it, then read anything about it or watch any television discussions/movies concerning 9/11.

Posted by: luvmynaturalself | September 7, 2008 12:36 AM

Sometimes I'm wondering why all the countries can't get along well with each other.Why some leaders like use military to solve the problems.The earth is one.We live together on this only planet.Why can't we love each other and help each other.Why can't we to be a family in this world.

Posted by: a peace--lover | September 7, 2008 12:38 AM

I remember our offices being closed down and all of us being sent home. I remember going home and getting under the covers of my bed because I felt so incredibly vulnerable. I felt like an imaginary glass covering protecting America had been shattered. Then, this song came to me and as I sung and hummed it, I began to feel calmer and more at peace: "He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands ..." And I prayed for the victims and their families.

Posted by: luvmynaturalself | September 7, 2008 12:39 AM

As a chinese man I can feel the misfortune for Americans,though some chinese people hate your country.But I wish it will not hapen again.

Posted by: east | September 7, 2008 12:47 AM

I live in NY where it seems everyone I know lost someone or knows someone who did. Several of my child's classmates lost a parent; they are probably too young to have authentic memories of the fathers they lost. How very sad, but their families seem -- at least on the outside -- very strong.

My husband was at work and witnessed the second plane crashing and both towers coming down. (I still have his emails from the moments it was happening -- before anyone realized it was terrorism).
His boss was in a meeting in WTC and made it back to their offices by late afternoon. Until then, no one knew whether he had survived, including his family.
My husband's task that day, was to call employees' families to see whether they made it home all right.

There are people here who are also tired of 9/11, and to be frank, there are those who exploit it for their own gain. There is resentment against some people who are still arguing over the windfall from insurance claims and about those who spent their insurance money recklessly.

Even years later, I'm still surprised when friends and acquaintances tell me details of their experiences that I never knew. Most people don't really enjoy discussing it. It was collectively too tragic.

Posted by: Kate | September 7, 2008 12:56 AM

9-11 made me realize there has been no greater evil than Bush/Cheney "leading" America, and that they should be shot for treason. They let 9-11 happen through purposeful ommission, and with forethought and purpose used 9-11 to undermine our Constitution.
It also made me realize that America is no longer the Home of the Brave. Americans are as easily moved by fear and pride as were the Germans under Hitler. Never before has America shown so much cowardice as to make legend a day that should live in infamy, and allow it to define itself.
9-11, worse than the civil war, has created a corruption in this country, in the oil and the privatized defense industry that has practically broken America economically, although other policies drive by greed and power have contributed to the debilitation of America.
9-11 has meant over a million innocent Iraqis dead, an Orwellian "endless war on terror" that promises to go after Iran, yet another country that had nothing to do with 9-11, and will further bring America ruin.
9-11 is a sickness part and parcel of a disease called neocon that is rotting America.

Posted by: Carl Lee | September 7, 2008 1:39 AM

I was working on an Army base in Germany when a colleague came down the hallway yelling, "Turn on the TV, a plane hit the Twin Towers." That night military helicopters flew back and forth over my house flying from on military command to another. Over the subsequent years, I watched American soldiers and their families bend under the weight of deployments, deaths, divorcies,etc. It is hard for me to visit the States; I do not think Americans understand what the military and their families have sacrificed. As a anti-Viet Nam era college student, I have learned to love and respect the men and women of the armed forces, in particular, the US Army

Posted by: Ellen | September 7, 2008 3:22 AM

9/11 made me realize that evil in the world is real and is always waiting for another chance to expose itself. Reading most of these comments made me realize that there are many more stupid people (liberals) than I originally thought.

Posted by: Logical | September 7, 2008 4:59 AM

I am vinod from INDIA and my best openion is dont think about the past you just think about Islamist militants. how can win the militants. I think the new president do somthing defirent.

Posted by: vinod kumar srivastava | September 7, 2008 6:16 AM

9-11 changed my thinking about how to deal with Middle East jihadists, and how to exact some kind of geo-political change in that part of the world. We as a country apparently learned nothing after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. Maybe, "We," isn't correct. How about the men and women elected to protect us. Perhaps they learned nothing. So we get 9-11. And I voted for George Bush in 2004. That was a vote intended to elect the Administration that would most aggressively pursue the Islamo-fascists who perpetrated the attacks.
I used to have an axe to grind with the anti-war/anti-Bush/Cheney voices. I'm past that. Argument rarely soothes hate.
Just ask any Persian terrorist.

Posted by: KevinFitz | September 7, 2008 6:38 AM

We were attacked, we lost and they won. We have done nothing positive to prevent it from happening again. The greatest tradegy is that since then we have allowed the government to shred the constitution and are headed towards the ugly worlds depicted in Brave New World and 1984.
It seems like a lot for us to give up for a small group of fanatics.

Posted by: Enough | September 7, 2008 6:59 AM

9/11 caused my beloved son to be deployed into a war zone two times.

Posted by: socrates3333 | September 7, 2008 7:08 AM

My life was changed by 9/11/2001 much the same way as it was earlier by 12/7/1941 when I was a boy. The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor was the only other time -- in my lifetime, at least -- when our soil was "dastardly attacked," as Franklin Roosevelt put it, by forces from foreign origination. Almost the same number of human lives were lost in each tragedy. Let's not differentiate between military and civilian lives. They are both human and loved by someone. My father died not long after Pearl Harbor, himself a casualty of World War II. My next door neighbor, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, died at the Pentagon on that awful day seven years ago -- ironically, just two months shy of the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The two events are like barbed parenthesis on my life.

Posted by: Tom Simonton | September 7, 2008 7:13 AM

WHY IS 9/11 TAKING MORE IMPORTANCE THAN PEARL HARBOUR? during the anniversary of pearl harbour you don't hear much about patroticism.ALSO,MORE SLAVES DIED THAN ON 9/11.DON'T TELL ME ONE LIVE IS VALUABLE THAN ANOTHER.JUST AS I DON'T HOLD WHITE PEOPLE IN THIS GENERATION RESPONSIBLE FOR SLAVERY,YOU WILL BE A FOOL TO PAINT ALL MUSLIMS AS RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11.OF THE 3000 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN THE U.S, PROVE HOW MANY HAVE BEEN FOUND GUILTY.YOU NEED THE VERY PEOPLE ARRESTED TO WORK WITH YOU TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS.LIVE MORES ON.THANKS.

Posted by: winston sallem | September 7, 2008 7:20 AM

I learned that there are people in Israel and the United States willing to kill thousands of Americans in false flag attacks to drag the US into an unnecessary war of choice for Israel in Iraq, and a never ending phony war on terror that will further enrich the NeoCons.

Posted by: William | September 7, 2008 7:26 AM

I share a different feeling of 9/11. It was the happiest day of my life - the birth of my first child in a hospital on the west coast. We did watch the coverage on tv, we had lived many years in Fairfax and had gone to the WTC many times. So we really knew the areas affected. It was surreal. I think eventually we turned off the tv and the whole day, the real horror of that day didn't sink in until several weeks later when I watched an excellent documentary by some (I think) french brothers. That show really cut through to me and I cried and cried. 9/11 continues to be a bittersweet day for us. We celebrate our wonderful son, but ache for all those who were lost. Most importantly, we never, ever forget.

Posted by: Bird in Willow | September 7, 2008 7:28 AM

5. I now work for a Federal agency as a contract researcher at Walter Reed Army Hospital. I do the behind the scenes technical work needed to find ways to best treat our wounded warriors. I see dozens of young men and women without legs, hands, a fully functioning brain and/or all of their hearing every working day. I have never worked so hard in my life (he says as he takes a break from writing a medical journal article late on a Saturday evening). I find that I have a new purpose in my life; not one that I ever dreamed of or expected, but one that is worthy of my 20+ years of post high school training. When my old friends act surprised of what I am now doing professionally, I just smile and kindly say, “after every war, someone has to have the courage and the leadership to clean up the mess.”

Posted by: Brain Scientist | September 7, 2008 12:30 AM
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I, too, work at WRAMC as an Active Duty Physician. While I applaud your work, I found your words very selfish. There are many, many, many good people who work very hard that you failed to collectively credit for helping the Wounded Warriors. Had you collectively credited the many other who help the Wounded Warriors, I would be more impressed with your words. Your failure to do so and your suggestion that the Wounded Warriors would not be in such a good position without your "hard work, courage and the leadership to clean up the mess" bothers me. Based upon your post, it's pretty clear you are far, far removed from those of us who really get our hands bloodied and watch wonderful people die while while we work night and day to save them, doing the work I and my colleagues do both at WRAMC and in the war zone when we are deployed, not one of us would EVER say we are "cleaning up the mess." I just had to state how I feel about that part of your post.

Posted by: socrates3333 | September 7, 2008 7:28 AM

Unfortunately, there are too many angry America-haters posting here for me to share my story of September 11th. My apologies to all the other honest people.

Posted by: jfn | September 7, 2008 7:34 AM

SOMETIMES IN OTHER TO BE A BETTER PERSON OR COUNTRY YOU HAVE TO BE SELF CRITICAL IN OTHER TO BE BETTER.I DONT THINK THAT IS AMERICA-HATING.

Posted by: GTR | September 7, 2008 7:37 AM

Unfortunately, there are too many angry America-haters posting here for me to share my story of September 11th. My apologies to all the other honest people.

Posted by: jfn | September 7, 2008 7:34 AM
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I am in agreement with you that there are too many haters, ingrates, and people without empathy that have posted here. I don't blame you for not wanting to post your personal story here.

Posted by: socrates3333 | September 7, 2008 7:37 AM

I learned there are many more liars and criminals involved in our Government than I had ever imagined. There is no justice with decreasing liberties in the former land of the free. I learned not to believe one word coming from the White House.

Posted by: Notabeliever | September 7, 2008 8:18 AM

As a Morrocan, 9/11 changed something in my life so. it was days before i began my function as a journalist. i was obliged to write articls about the catastroph and believe me it was so hard. i realised from that time that it's time for America to wake up and to see the hall world who sympathized with, with an aother vision so far from army and policies like what Mr Bush have done... my true sympathie with peaple who lost someone in that tragedy.

Posted by: AhmedMorroco | September 7, 2008 8:32 AM

The moral fiber of this country has slipped into an horrible pit. Lying has become the standard in business and political dealings. Greed, rather than altruism, is the goal. The country has split into hundreds of fragments as we shout at each other having stopped listening. We revel in character assignation and becoming the alpha person by the better put down. We have raised the adulation of "me" and dengration of the recognition intelligence in others.

We insist on the old order of more of the same (drill for more oil) that isn't working and refusing innovation like the Vikings in 14th century Greenland. They went extinct in a sea of plenty.

What happened to "We the People...domestic Tranquility, ... common Welfare..." We can produce great things; individually we fail.

Posted by: RBStanfield | September 7, 2008 8:46 AM

I think anyone who had been unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of the Pentagon on September 11, as I was in my Alexandria neighborhood, might tell you that the most eery thing was the complete and devastating silence of that afternoon.

On September 13, 2001, I really had no choice but to go to the grocery store. While waiting in line with my things, a man who was in line behind me started the inevitable discussion of what had happened two days before. His take on it was that it was "the fault of those damn Jews in Washington" who drew the US into complacency, etc. and this was the reason for the attacks. I turned to him in anger, addressed his inane comment as politely as I could, and then it hit me that I could no longer live in a country where anyone thought such idiotic things. The man at the Giant was no different than any terrorist at an Al Quada training camp. I decided to put my feet where my heart had been since 1966 and moved to Israel. I have no regrets and now I count myself fortunate that I have a place where, if anything happens to me, God forbid, no one will sit around blaming people out of racist beliefs and carry out revenge against the wrong individuals. It feels somewhat reassuring that my own people will answer for me promptly and appropriately.

Posted by: Rachel | September 7, 2008 9:14 AM

9/11 changed my life in so many ways. I was on Capitol Hill that morning and saw Senators, Congressmen, and news anchors running for their lives. I spoke with my parents who were crazy waiting for news that I was OK. I spent all morning with my husband trying to reach his brother and our best friend who worked in Manhattan. Our friend saw the towers fall and was inconsolable. Later, I comforted my 8-year-old son who was sent home from school and was terrified that this was the start of World War III. I spoke with a priest at my daughter's preschool, whose wife was in her car on Washington Blvd. and watched the plane fly into the Pentagon. This kind of shock and fear can never be forgotten.

I remember reading in the Post the next summer a story quoting some Administration officials saying they knew the terrorists would be back, one of them saying "they WILL get the White House, it's just a matter of when." People are taking it so much for granted that we have not been attacked again. But it isn't an accident. It hasn't happened again because we finally took the war to them instead of sitting around waiting for them to hit us.

I thank God that we have had the leaders who were willing to make the hard choices so that this kind of attack has not happened again. I thank the soldiers and their families who have made so many sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice.

I am coming to the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial on Thursday, to honor the memories of those who lost their lives that day and to be with the ones they left behind. It's the least I can do.

America can NEVER forget what happened that day!!!

Posted by: Kay | September 7, 2008 9:33 AM

Imagine working in a place where the list of victims of the Pentagon attack comes across your desk and as you go down the list only to find out that 12 of them are your best friends and coworkers. I thought at that time that this is the worst job ever to have. My life has changed forever, it will never be the same.

Posted by: Forever Changed | September 7, 2008 10:10 AM

9/11 made me realize I needed to start living my dreams. I quit a full-time, well-paying job in Texas and moved 2000 miles away to study music in Boston. Now I teach violin part-time and perform more than most other violinists I know. Each day, I go to bed knowing that I'm finally doing the work that makes me come alive! Exhilarating.

Posted by: Violin con Limon | September 7, 2008 10:16 AM

After 9/11/2001, I experienced a spiral of unexpected tragic events, because of 9/11/2001 my husband loss his job. He was working in the financial sector and because the economy got hit hard he was layed off two months after. At this time we were expecting twins. I was forced to work extra hours and developed complications and was severely ill. Due to my illness I delivered severely premature twins. My son died due to complications of prematurity. Thank God my daughter is doing amazingly well today. Since then my husband has not been able to find a decent job paying him what he deserves with his education and experience. We have family that lives in NYC. I can remember being in NYC, in that same area only a exactly a week before it had happen. I will never be the same.

Posted by: Will never be the same, Philly, PA | September 7, 2008 10:58 AM

For me 911 served to pull back the curtain and let me see that there is no limit to what the powers that be will do to further their agenda of world domination and the aquisition of planetary resourses. At this point, anyone that still believes that we were attacked by arab terrorists, still believes in the easter bunny and the tooth fairy. Simply put, the government story about 911 violates the laws of physics. Any time your story ventures outside those laws, your story is a lie, and no matter how much the government asserts that their story is true, and no matter how much the american people don't want to believe their government would be capable of such a terrible act, the laws of physics don't lie. There is absolutly no credible evidence that the "official" story is true. The FBI has not even charged Bin Laden with 911 because they don't have any evidence. All we have is government assertion that their story is true. For those of you that think you know what you saw on TV on 911, answer me this. After seeing a David Copperfield show, in the end, do you really know what you saw. Did he really make things dissappear, or did he just make it look that way. Did the towers really "collapse" or did they just make it look that way. If you look for EVIDENCE insted of assertion by government agencies, you won't find ANY to support the "official" story. On 911, we were had, and the only ones that can't see that are the ones that don't want too.

Posted by: Hank | September 7, 2008 11:03 AM

Hank, take your dishonest and stupid conspiracy theories somewhere else.

“Simply put, the government story about 911 violates the laws of physics.”

No it doesn’t that is just bs peddled by America hating conspiracy theorists. They try to dress their arguments up in “science” when their beliefs have nothing to do with science. Saying “the twin towers didn’t fall the way I say they should have” isn’t evidence. I don't see any credentials on you that make your claims credible.

“All we have is government assertion that their story is true. For those of you that think you know what you saw on TV on 911....”

You should stop doing drugs, buddy.

“ If you look for EVIDENCE insted of assertion by government agencies, you won't find ANY to support the "official" story.”

Sorry pal, but there is plenty. I saw hijacked planes hitting buildings. The fact you are so full of hate for this country that you want to believe it killed its own on 9/11 doesn’t change that.

“… the only ones that can't see that are the ones that don't want too.”

There is the pot calling the kettle black. There is nothing more worthless than moronic conspiracy theorists. It is only because this country is so great and generous that useless individual such as yourself is allowed to peddle this garbage.

Posted by: RealChoices | September 7, 2008 11:34 AM

I was a senior in college on September 11, 2001. My husband lost a fraternity brother who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. The whole day was just numb, numb, numb. Plenty of people got their backs up that same day and were yelling about killing every [insert any slur against Arabs you can think of] in sight. I couldn't, and can't to this day, join in that sentiment. That's not what this is about. We should have gone after those who did this. We started to, then we stopped before we got them. I will never understand the leadership of this nation during the last seven years. They really let us all down. I'm so sorry to those who lost someone. Maybe, someday, we can bring those monsters to justice instead of chasing other policy objectives. We're supposed to be the "good guys" in this movie. Let's start acting like them.

Posted by: bamagirlinVA | September 7, 2008 11:35 AM

RealChoices--Show me some EVIDENCE pal. Your disbelief does not suspend the laws of physics. And where did you get your quote about the way the towers fell. Not from me. How I thought they should have fallen is irrelevent, just as you believing that they could have "collapsed" the way they did is irrelevant. Also, where is the PROOF that the jets that we saw hit the towers were hijacked. Did you see any arab terrorists? There were none on any of the passenger lists.

As for the physics, of which you obviously know nothing, Newtons' laws of motion make a "collapse" like the one we all saw on TV impossible. Not unlikely or improbable, IMPOSSIBLE. Momentum cannot overcome resistance at the same speed as momentum falls through thin air, yet that is what happened on 911. In point of fact, there was insufficient momentum,(mass times velocity) in the top portion of the towers to overcome the resistance value of the in tact, still robust lower section of the towers. A genuine "collapse" could not have happened. Also a fact is that no steel frame high rise building has ever collapsed for any reason other than controlled demolition. EVER! What you need to do is wipe the ignorant, raging spit bubbles off you face, and do some research. You might want to start with the laws of physics for dummies. As I said, the laws of physics are immune to assertion and disbelief, so you can believe anything you want, it does not change the facts.

Posted by: Hank | September 7, 2008 1:13 PM

I'm Irish and was a tourist on vacation in Boston and New York during the month of August and September 2001. I always loved the USA, particularly Washington DC, Boston & NY. The events of 9/11 made me significantly more sensitive of opinion in Europe & I found myself defending the reaction of the American population and angry at those who said anything unfair or suggested that it was a wake up call. I was angry at how unsympathetic some people were and at the same time found I did view it differently to those who were not in NY at the time. I came back to the USA that December as I felt I needed to deal with the feelings and emotions I'd buried as a result of 9/11 and it was also my way of showing that terrorists or other idiots out there will not stop us from achieving our dreams or goals or going where we want to. As it turned out a few years later I was awarded a Green Card through the Homeland Security Green Card Lottery and I took this up the option of moving to the USA without hesitation. It was a dream I'd had and while friends thought I was crazy to pursue it, I did and have never regretted it, even when we've had other scares since 2001. I've been living in Washington DC since 2002, working a block from the White House (which many of my friends think is crazy) and not a day goes by that I don't thank my Irish luck for this opportunity and realize i'm living my dream. 9/11 was a terrible time for everyone but if anything good came from it, it made many people, not just Americans follow their dreams in defiance of those who try to squash them. I, like everyone else, will handle the anniversary of 9/11 quietly and discreetly and with a prayer that intelligence and goodwill always beats stupidity and illwill.

Posted by: DeniseinDC | September 7, 2008 2:19 PM

Hank, you are making a variation of the "free fall speed" argument, it doens't hold water. The towers fell at "near free fall speed" not actual free fall speed.

The free fall speed argument is like the rest of the conspiracy theories: made up to hide the fact you clowns push this crap because you want to believe it, not because evidence backs it up.

It would have taken weeks to rig those buildings to fall and NO ONE saw this happening? You clowns are so dishonest it is pathetic. If you are going to accuse this country of committing mass murder of 3K of its own citizens, you should make sure you have a strong case but in fact you have nothing. No credible objective scientific body has endorsed the nonesense you peddle. All you have is your hate, nothing else.

Posted by: RealChoices | September 7, 2008 5:01 PM

We lost constitutional rights to be governed by "statesmen" and became a nation of idiots obsessed with terrorism and governed by knee-jerks. We must Stop using gasoline and get on with formulation of an energy policy that will not finance shieks (their shieks and ours) or destroy the beaches and fisheries. America will always be hated and attacked by radicals, get over it America, its time to move on. We must lead, or get the sam hill out of the way. The unholy marriage of realtors, appraisers and the banks must be re-thought to save the nation. God bless and save our Constitution.

Posted by: George Mills | September 8, 2008 12:01 PM

RealChoices-- There are in fact thousands of extremely credible individuals that endorse the "nonsense" that I peddle. Go to archetects and engineers for911 truth, or physics 911, or any number of other web sights and read what scientists, engineers, archetects, pilots, military, former military, former polititions and advisors, former intellegence, air traffic controllers, metalurgists, physicists, professors and eye witnesses have to say about 911. Again you offer no science of your own to back up the "official" story, just generic denials and villification of the laws of physics. Your distinction between free fall, and virtual free fall makes no difference. Even if it had taken one second per floor, which would have be very fast, it would have taken 90 seconds for the towers to come down, it took 10. That's about 9 floors per second. Without the resistance value of the intact portion of the tower being altered, it is impossible for the towers to come down that fast. As for wiring the building and setting the charges, if you read the testamonies of the people that worked there, after Larry Silverstein bought the world trade centers, there was almost constant "construction" going on in sections of the buildings that were out of sight of the people working there. In the weeks prior to 911 there were random evacuations of sections of the buildings for so called "security drills", and on the weekend befor 911 all the power to the buildings was shut off under the pretense of installing new computer cable. No power means no security cameras, or electronic securtiy of any kind.

Posted by: Hank | September 8, 2008 1:21 PM

Many of my fellow Americans, in their fear, lost their minds and voted for the biggest threat to ever face America, George W. Bush resulting in many losing their lives, homes and life savings. I lost my constitutional rights and the sense of pride in my country and its leadership. "Now Ive been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun." VOTE FOR CHANGE!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 2:24 PM

Add to that: lifelong friends of mine lost their children in, and my son, nephew, niece, and younger brother were sent to the same desert that I left 10 years earlier to continue the fight of the father whose son is sitting in The White House... I guess Mama Bush needed some new pearls to put around her fat neck?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 2:34 PM

I was in a conference room setting up a background for employee photos after hearing about the WTC being hit by a plane. Was looking out into VA from DC, noticing that it was a beautiful day...everything seemed so vivid for some reason--something I also noticed when leaving home that morning...and saw smoke come billowing out of the Pentagon. At that point, I thought "this is no accident, we are under attack". I made my way across the city on foot to my wife's office, where we caught a ride with one of her co-workers back to our car at a Metro station in PG County. We then drove to our daughter's school, where the children were released while the school administration hid under their desks, and picked up her and several other children from our neighborhood. We went home and were glued to the television the rest of the night. Couldn't move. The next morning, I went to work to find most of downtown was deserted, and found that my office was closed for the day. As I was leaving, the Secret Service stopped me and asked me where I was coming from, where I was going, etc. Come to find out, I had breached their perimeter by going into the office...the whole block was closed down. Not sure how I did that...but felt strange that a dork like me could get past them.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 3:06 PM

9/11 changed all our lives. When Americans forget and lose their "anger" we are in trouble!!!! Never forget, Never, Never, Never!! I just watched "Flight 93" for the first time last evening. I was "mad" all over again. I will remain so for the rest of days. I live, I laugh, I enjoy, but I will always get chills for our flag and all the brave souls who have lost their lives for this very beautiful flag and the great "freedoms" we enjoy!

Posted by: Janny | September 8, 2008 4:42 PM

AS I HAVE ALWAYS SAID,AFTER PEARL HARBOUR THE U.S BOMBED THE RIGHTFUL COUNTRY JAPAN.WE DID NOT BOMB CHINA,BY TAKING OUR EYE OF THE BALL.AFGANISTAN IS NOT IMPORTANT TO THE U.S BECAUSE THEY HAVE ROCKS AND CAVES.SETTLING OLD SCORES WITH IRAQ FOR OIL WAS STUPID AND TREASONABLE.DON'T TELL ME WE ARE DEFENDING FREEDOM IN IRAQ.WHAT ABOUT DEFENDING FREEDOM IN DARFUR,SUDAN?

Posted by: cj | September 9, 2008 8:14 AM

9/11 pulled back the curtain--but not the curtain Hank talked about. It pulled back the curtain on extremism. I thought 9/11 would show the world and particularly insulated Americans the depths and lengths that people will go to to export their brands of radicalism and inflict their deadly will on others. I was a federal law enforcement officer in DC on 9/11. I am not anymore. 9/11 made me leave DC, and move to a small town far away to raise my kids. The daily grind of facing the prospect of being responsible for catching/preventing some grave act of terrorism or treachery was too much for me to shoulder with young children. Posters on this website don't realize the burden that our military and law enforcement officers bear in this war on terror. Say what you will about the administration, but don't forget that there are thousands of individuals doing what they can day in and day out to prevent something like this from happening again. 9/11 changed everything about my life. It should have changed everything about everyones' lives.

Posted by: Left DC | September 10, 2008 12:49 PM

Well i lived in Jamaica, that time, so ever since i came to america it hasn't change one bit except those soldiers suffering

Posted by: babytaje | September 10, 2008 4:54 PM

Being an Aussie, I can't even begin to fathom what it would have been like to be an American or in New York city at the time of the twin towers attacks. To anyone who was touched by this tragedy, I offer a prayer to you and for those you lost. I first saw what was happening at about 2am in the morning while flicking through pay tv channels and stumbled on CNN. I remained glued to my tv for the next 24 hours almost. 9/11 had stopped our nation in it's tracks too. Over the next day or so I saw people in my neighbourhood with tears in their eyes and shaking their heads in disbelief. I also heard comments from people here saying that America deserved what had happend on 9/11. In reading the many comments here on this site I can only think that you are all very intelligent people and that you hurt and feel pain just like every other person on this planet. I won't share my comments on your government because I don't have anything nice to say but to the rest of you I want you to know that there is one Aussie that is thinking of you on the 2008 anniversary of 9/11. May we never see anything like this ever again in our, or our future generation's lifetimes.
I think 9/11 changed my life because I now believe that real evil is out there and nobody is immune. I do however feel sorry for the ones that were or are to become terrorists. To be brought up in an environment where it seems to be perfectly okay to take another human life in this way is truly beyond my comprehension.
I pray for a world of peace and hopefully one day we can collectively achieve that.

Posted by: Tarielle | September 11, 2008 1:42 AM

well it hurts lots of friends and family were lot i lost 3 friends and 2 family members and it still hurts today i cry over it every year
i was at school when it all happen they ended up sending me home that day i was wathing the news on the tv when that hit the twin towers then i ran to the office and started crying i was only 10 years old i even lost my mom

Posted by: karen whitehead | September 11, 2008 5:07 AM

I concur everything Hank has mentioned concerning plenty of indications that 9-11 was an INSIDE JOB. Numerous physicists, engineers, architects, pilots, etc. have put their careers on the line to present differing opinions to that of the "official story" with nothing to gain except exposing the truth. Please understand Truthers love this country, but disagree with the corporately manipulated government that rules it. If peace was more profitable than war, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Yes we love America!!!! North American, Central America and South America, we just don't knuckle under to the injustices that this Neo Con regime performs. I bet waterboarding Cheney might provide some answers.

Posted by: Benihana | September 11, 2008 7:13 AM

On the morning of September 11 I woke in San Francisco, having traveled from my hometown, Buenos Aires, to visit clients. By mere coincidence, my wife, Leticia, from whom I had been separated for over a year, was in New York on a business trip of her own. Our only son, six-year old Manuel, had stayed in BA in care of her two grandmothers. I had asked the front desk to wake me up at six and, as most lone travelers in a strange hotel room do, the moment I opened my eyes I reached for the TV's remote. The first plane had just crashed into the North Tower and I remember shouting a warning in the quiet room when I watched the second plane veering to struck the other tower. The rest of the morning I spent in that room, my eyes glued to those horrible horrible images, while I frantically tried to reach Leticia in New York and, feigning calm, attempted to reassure our son. It wasn't until the early afternoon that I got a call from Leticia. She was all right, she described seeing the second tower fall from a just a few blocks away. Listening to her voice I cried with relief and sadness. A few days later, when the airports reopened, I took the first flight out from San Francisco to New York. I remember standing up at the gate for the minute of silence and I remember the palpable fear of the few passengers and crew on that interminable flight. As we approached the City, the cloud of smoke rising from ground zero was visible ("Look what those bastards did," said the pilot on the intercom.) In New York I reunited with Leticia and, while we waited to secure a flight back to Argentina, we roamed the streets of New York staring at the faces of the missing in the leaflets left by their grieving relatives. We flew home together. September 11 changed my life. Leticia, Manuel and I have been together ever since.

Posted by: Sebastian Soler | September 11, 2008 8:24 AM

When 9/11 happened I was working part-time at Arlington Hospital ER, registering patients. Arlington being the nearest hospital to the Pentagon received most of the injured and as hard as it was having all of them rescues come in, everyone pitched in to do everything they could to help the injured. I remember driving past the Pentagon several weeks after the disaster and remembering a awful odor in the air but couldn't distinguish what it was. I found out later. You see, I am a retired U.S. Navy man and it instantly gave me a desire to go back on active duty but I couldn't. It has also gave me a sense of pride that I didn't have before. Sure, I have always been proud of the military but it gave me a new appreciation of it. After the attack, I would constantly watch CNN news and started having dreams about people in the towers jumping out of windows and falling to their death. It still affects me whenever I hear about a military service member dying in Iraq or Afganistan. I don't care what political party you are affiliated with; we need to bring our troops home from Iraq. As long as the U.S. continues to fight the war, Iraq will never step up to the plate and protect their own country.

Posted by: Ray Burns | September 11, 2008 8:24 AM

It caused my country to go into massive debt, leading to job loss and a failing economy, and a distrustful government.

Posted by: Joe | September 11, 2008 8:24 AM

I have lost confidence in the Republican Party's ability to lead. We were attacked by a group of Sunnis with ties to Saudi Arabia. Our response was to invade Iraq and enter into a long and winless war that has not made us any safer and has caused us to lose focus on matters that are of greater importance to the long-term wellfare of the nation. Many people I know live in constant fear because of the Republicans ability to raise this issue as if there were a Muslim in every backyard waiting to kill us. We have accumulated a huge national debt that my grandchildren will have to pay off one day. 9-11 was a terrible day but it pales in comparison to havoc brought by our response.

Posted by: cdgainesville | September 11, 2008 8:46 AM

"911 was a inside job" Alex Jones.

Posted by: SBLOVE99 | September 11, 2008 8:47 AM

It's changed everyone's lives! We live in a police state because of it. Thanks, W.

Posted by: ThatGuyOverThere | September 11, 2008 9:00 AM

I work on critical risk issues. The events of 9/11 were shattering for me, but the attack helped me refocus my work on helping individuals and communities at the grass roots level, below the first responder level, to better prepare for disasters, emergencies, and acts of violence associated with terrorism and individual acts of rage.
Before 9/11 my work was more academic and self-promoting, but 9/11 opened my heart.
We need to look after each other.

Posted by: Hal Marchand | September 11, 2008 9:09 AM

Hank said "There are in fact thousands of extremely credible individuals that endorse the "nonsense" that I peddle. "

Those are not objective groups but rather groups who formed to push conspiracy theories. To rely on them as evidence is like relying on a group of priests to decide whether god exists. Further in some cases they claim to have support from people such as Wesley Clark who don't buy their bs.

Your distinction between free fall, and virtual free fall makes no difference...it is impossible for the towers to come down that fast.

That is your opinion, not a fact. Again, you are offering no credible evidence to back your claims.


Posted by: RealChoices | September 11, 2008 9:14 AM

Sorry, I forgot to put quotes around this statement "Your distinction between free fall, and virtual free fall makes no difference...it is impossible for the towers to come down that fast."

That is your opinion, not a fact. Again, you are offering no credible evidence to back your claims.

Posted by: RealChoices | September 11, 2008 9:16 AM

I still get so sad when I think of 9/11. I never watched anyone die before, and there it was, live on Good Morning America, a plane flew into a building and killed people instantly! Then you knew that the first plane into the towers was no accident... it was a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
And I think of the brave firefighters and policemen, soldiers and regular people who ran INTO the burning buildings in NYC and DC, who helped the injured people, who tried so hard to save others and then lost their lives too.

Posted by: Ellie | September 11, 2008 9:29 AM

My heart goes out to everyone who's posted their personal experiences on this thread. I no way do I intend my story to be dis-respectful to the memory of those who died needlessly, wastefully in this tragedy. Nor do I intend to insult anyone living with ties to 9/11.

My brother works in Manhattan and we had a few harrowing hours trying to contact him. Email finally did it for us. Later, the phone.

I grew up on Long Island and remember when the WTC was being built. I now live in a "red state" and have had to witness some of the most idiotic, jingo-istic responses to 9/11. So here are mine, perhaps in counterpoint.


1. I drank bourbon every day for 2 years following 9/11.

2. I lost faith in my government to ever do anything right again. Sadly, this happened again after Hurricane Katrina.

3. I lost faith in the American mainstream media to ever tell me anything related to "the truth" about anything. Shills for $.

4. I watched as a President refused to unite his nation. Instead "9/11" became a branding icon for the Republican Party. You may not yet be ashamed of yourself for this now, but I have a funny feeling someday you will.

5. A sitting U.S. President thought it was more important to continue his month-long vacation in August, 2001, than to address the security concerns brought to him by his own staff. Incompetence writ large. Have you ever had a month-long vacation?

6. I went to NYC in November, 2001 for a record collectors convention. Our hobby may not be very important, but the fact we could still gather and forget our troubles for a day was a blessing. I could still see the smoke and smell the carnage, even in Times Square.

7. Most of all, I learned that really bad people are in charge of this country and the world. George W. Bush looked into Putin's eyes and saw a fellow gangster who got what he wanted, when he wanted it.

8. To return to my permanent cynicism towards my fellow Americans "in charge of things," I must say, what is so freaking hard about getting me the head of Osama Bin Laden on a platter? And what was that silly exercise in flying the Bin Ladens out of the country about? We could have held them for "questioning" to flush Osama out. Oh, wait, that's right, the Bin Ladens are friends of the Bushes. See you in hell, the whole lot.

9. You asked. God save America. Because apparently, no one else will. Anyone who tries is branded an "elitist" and has to run against a moose warden from Alaska.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 11, 2008 9:31 AM

10. Within a year after 9/11, I saw my 80 year old father-in-law, a naval commander in WWII, submit to a "Homeland Security" search at an airport in Raleigh, North Carolina. His willingness to comply, his graciousness, as he stood there in his walker, in his coat and tie as he was "wanded" is something I will never forget. He was on the way to a reunion in Annapolis. I tear up a little every time the scene plays back in my mind.

We are in such a wrong place to live like this. I'd say the terrorists won this round.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 11, 2008 9:41 AM

I was eleven, and just old enough that my parents told me what was happening when they took me out of school and we evacuated D.C.
It terrifies me that there is a growing class of voters who do not remember America pre-9/11.

Posted by: Laura | September 11, 2008 10:12 AM

RealChoices-- I did present the science. You're just too stupid to understand it. As for the people I referred to, most are just individuals not part of a group. They did not form to push conspirisy theories, they saw a genuine problem with the "official" story, and add their experience and expertise to the questioning of that story. As I said, a little more education and a little less opinion would go a long way toward making you not sound so dumb.

Posted by: Hank | September 11, 2008 10:20 AM

Did you watch President Bush's speech this morning of 9/11/08?

HE DIDN'T MENTION OSAMA BIN LADEN ONCE.

Posted by: R Abrams | September 11, 2008 10:44 AM

Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United

(1) Maniacal terrorists strike at the big apple of America’s eye.
Famed majestic landmarks, the Twin Towers crumble,
imploding into billions of bits of molten steel, jagged glass,
seared human flesh, and flailing broken bones. Escaping
spiked and surging fire balls, staff vaulted through windows.
A canine-toothed wing of the Pentagon is broken in the aftermath
of the devastation: a massive death toll of innocents remains
lodged, buried alive, fifty feet under, feeling the cold-bloodied
hard rubble, a steely glint of hope, five warm-blooded survivors
are unearthed. Every save a divine miracle. Subways evacuate.
First-aid crews take to the streets and man the flaming towers.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


(2) Flattened, the first company of New York City’s finest fire
fighters, police, and first-aid crews CRASH and BURN inside the
cascading avalanche of steel daggers. The 110-story Twin Towers
are brought to their saber knees and then to their foiled ankles.
Grieving, a 47-story sister building 7, collapses in distress into ragged
ruins. Billowing, nearby brother buildings in the zone remain ablaze.
WTC mass exodus: pyre and plumes of smoke hover, flying concrete
shards and soot, repugnant jet fuel, raining dust and debris, thousands
of frightful fleeing bystanders are entombed. Fatalities, makeshift morgues
ferry the sacrificial corpses to New Jersey. The Pile, 1.2 billion tons of
scorched scraps are hauled to The Hill of Fresh Kills Landfill. DNA matches:
a gruesome, grueling, and grisly task, steam still rising, pickaxes poke
for parts. Dogs sniff and succor. Ground Zero: dug-up remains are draped
with the U.S.A. flag, saluted, and reburied. Every find a divine miracle.
FDNY Firefighters, Jack Tipping finds his fallen son, John Jr. Tipping.
A carnivorous crater, vestiges of an office complex, in the dangerous
pit of dignified souls, hard hat archaeologists dig among the ruins: 13 bodies,
10 fearless firemen and 3 fearful civilians are found 30 feet below ground.
High-flying stars and stripes fly low at half staff. Busy bees swarming,
scalpeled surgeons, bedpan nurses, and selfless volunteers man the
hospitals. Boiling vigorously, New Yorkers from every mosaic melting hot-pot
take to the streets and wait for hours to donate their warm vital blood.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


(3) Slamming, ramming into Grade A U.S. Steel,
four American jumbo jets are commandeered:
flight crews are maced; by razor blade box cutters,
pilots are knifed, passengers use their cell phones:
“I Love You” are their final words. Diabolical,
suicide bombers -- American men, women, and
children transfigured into four human missiles:
8:45 a.m.:Flight 11, Boeing 767, Boston to L.A.,
81 Americans, eleven crew members, CRASH
and BURN, into the north tower, N.Y.C.
9:03 a.m.:Flight 175, Boeing 767, Boston to L.A.,
56 Americans, nine crew members, CRASH
and BURN, into the south tower, N.Y.C.
9:45 a.m.:Flight 77, Boeing 757, Washington to L.A.,
58 Americans, six crew members, CRASH
and BURN, into the Pentagon, in D.C.
10:00 a.m.:Flight 93, Boeing 757, N.J. to San Francisco,
38 Americans, seven crew members, CRASH
and BURN, into an empty field, in PA, by unsung heroes:"Let's Roll!"
Federal aviation officials ground flights: 4000 planes take a nose-dive
at the nearest airport. Soaring sky high, safe and sound, squawking
seagulls with whimpering wings remain in flight and brave the fight.
Zippered up, bridges, tunnels, and highways lock gates. Fiercely,
five warships, frigate ships, and aiming bull's-eye, guided missile
destroyers man the N.Y. coast: Two aircraft carriers: USS George
Washington and USS John F. Kennedy man the N.Y. skies. Operation
Noble Eagle: combat air patrol to shoot-em-up and shoot-em-down.
In steely determination, it is business, but not business as usual.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


(4) It is more than a terrorist attack -
It is an act of war! It is a national tragedy!
(4) It is more than a terrorist attack -
It is an act of war! It is a national tragedy!
The free and democratic world is attacked:
White House evacuates.
United Nations evacuates.
Treasury evacuates.
State Department evacuates.
Justice Department evacuates.
World Bank evacuates.
All Federal office buildings evacuate.
Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions - 12 months of merciless jihad:
soulless suicide bombers maim, mutilate, and murder Jews.
All N.Y. State government offices evacuate.
New York’s primary elections are postponed.
Trading is suspended: The American Stock Exchange,
Nasdaq, and New York Stock Exchange. 110 stories,
Chicago’s Sears Tower evacuates. Homeless, a frozen
zone, 20,000 N.Y.C. residents are displaced. Chartering a Saudi
jet, on a one way ticket to Mecca, 11 Bostonian bin Ladens evacuate.
Slumbering, F.B.I., C.I.A., I.N.S., and N.S.A. agents rouse. It is the
first war of the 21st century! No-man's land, hermetically sealed,
the President of the U.S.A. is whisked away. Blinding black smoke and
clouds raining ash, heroic, Lady Liberty stands tall in the New York Harbor.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


5) Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani addresses New York:
“Deaths are more than any of us can bear.”
Senator Hillary D. Rodham Clinton addresses New York:
“We will not be cowed by evil, despicable acts of terror.”
President George W. Bush addresses the nation:
“These acts shattered steel but they
cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
“We will make no distinction between the terrorists
who committed these acts and those who harbored them.”
"Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring
justice to our enemies, justice will be done."
Nefarious doings, suspect numero uno is "The Evil One," cannibal Saudi militant
Osama bin Laden and his vile circus of vicious cavemen. Virulent videos made visible,
rallying all Muslims with venom and vitriol: "God Willing, America's end is near...”
UPWARD UNITED WE STAND: OPERATION INFINITE JUSTICE: SEEK AND DESTROY AL QAEDA.
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM: target cells, villainous metastasizing cancers.
Flight 93 terrorist manhunt: Who is the 20th hijacker? Ramzi Omar or Moussaoui(?)
Americans man their maps and ask: Where the HELL (?) is Afghanistan(?)
WW III: Worldwide Coalition Bombers vs. Terror-Bender Troglodytes.
Oct 7th: Billion dollar bombs drop. Tora Bora caves are wiped off the map:
"Osama, Peek-a-Boo, Where Are You?" Taliban women see the light of day,
Taliban men will never again see the light of day. Anthrax: Biological,
nuclear, and radiological weapons. Inhalation. Evacuation. Annihilation.
"Our nation, in our fight against terrorism, will uphold the doctrine of either
you're with us or against us." "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air"
"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for
freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from
shining." "God Bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her..."
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


(6) Heaven sent, where 70 virgins await each Islamic martyr
on a homicidal-suicidal mission, 19 corrosive terrorists pulverize
into an Arabian desert sand storm: desolate and deserted; no bad
guys; no car chase; no planes; no black boxes, no survivors, no
witnesses, no testimonies, no revenge to seek; no justice to exact;
no war to win; and no Hollywood movie. Arise: Awake. New world
order and Office of Homeland Security: cockpit dead bolts,
armed pilots and martial art stewardesses, no curb side
check-in and Arab profiling strip searches. An inferno, charred
bodies incinerate into ashes, few funerals, many memorial
tributes, urns of WTC dirt comfort. Cremated. Sobbing. Closure.
Weeping widows, wailing orphans, donations flood the Red Cross.
International terrorism: a worldwide menace. Terrorists: a worldwide
monstrosity. Arise: Reborn. One true empyrean: a phoenix, names of loved
ones are inscribed on the walls of the observation deck, sacred ground, a shrine,
the hatched angels hover, protecting the Twin Towers rebuilt. Lighting a blowtorch,
ironworkers, engineers, teamsters, laborers, and dock builders take turns...
Last steel column of 2WTC, 58 tons, no. 1,001B, is cut down at 8:17 p.m.
Heartbroken, resting in peace, archangel-chief architect Minoru Yamasaki said,
"A beautiful solution of form and silhouette. “ WorldWISE: democracy, liberty,
freedom, love, prosperity, goodness, security, and peace. We Shall Overcome.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.


(7) A cataclysmic collision course between good and evil; angels aflight and devils afoot.
"Thou Shalt Not Murder," the first set of twin tablets of the Ten Commandments
crumble into rubble, and are reengraved: Operation Infinite Circle. Singed aftershocks:
fear, disbelief, terror, rage, grief, depression, revenge, numbness, and nightmares... and
2,990 children are without parents. Twin Tower totals: 90,000 tourists a day, 50,000
employed; 25,000 rescued; 35,000 in subway evacuated; and two-thirds empty
airplanes. 8,700 casualties, each story a miracle: a raging fire ball, 82% of her body burned, Lauren Manning lives. Innocents: Fatalities from 92 nations, 343 firefighters,
265 airplane passengers, 184 at the Pentagon, and 25, 0000 people work at the Pentagon. Mournfully, 2,749 people are consumed. Outstretched, GOD’s hand of mercy, love, compassion, and nerves of steel, vanquished the evil incarnate, GOD WILLING.
Spiraling Downward, Upward We Stand United.

Sharon Esther Lampert
http://www.worldfamouspoems.com
#1 Poetry Website for Students for School Projects

Posted by: Ben Adams | September 11, 2008 10:51 AM

How did Sep 11th change my life?

I've given the order to kill terrorists on many occasions since. I've seen their lives end suddenly, violently, unexpectedly, in a ball of flame and smoke. At first, life altering. Then it becomes sterile.

I've been 5 feet from an Islamist collecting explosive components to use to blow up Americans, in my burkha, with my finger on my M-4 trigger hidden under it, just off Chicken Street in downtown Kabul...

I love my family, my country. I love children. I'm a regular guy. I've become an instrument of lethality for my government's cause, while I coach your kids, live in your neighborhood. Pray for me; I'll pray for you.

Posted by: A.H. | September 11, 2008 11:11 AM

I lost all hope for this country, that's what changed for me.

Posted by: Bill Monroe | September 11, 2008 11:13 AM

My hamster died on 9/11/2002 and it made me cry many tears. He was a good hamster and I loved him. He would snuggle in my shoulder and make me happy. Life hasn't been the same since he died.

Posted by: Jeff Wagner | September 11, 2008 11:28 AM

I had a panic attack and stop believing in god.

Posted by: Wayne | September 11, 2008 11:28 AM

I live in Virginia and my life hasn't changed at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 11:33 AM

death is part of life; monumentalizing death is also part of life in an effort to make death more acceptable

this abysmal administration has hijacked the national sentiment to benefit its own murderous goals of domination in the ME; unfortunately that will remain the legacy of 9/11

there has never been an open discourse on why 9/11 happened; we heard over and over that it happened because there is evil out there that hates our freedom. This tunne-vision attitude will only bring us more pain and destruction, but we are too self-righteous and believer in American exceptionalism to really challenge that point of view

Posted by: asiago | September 11, 2008 11:54 AM

I know that there is a season for everything. Was this a season to go after terrorist? Yes. However, they were in Iraq and this was not the season to go to war in Iraq. I think about all of those lives that were lost in Iraq because a pack of lies told to the American people. It reminds me of a song by Edwin Star called "WAR"

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Uh-huh
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all

War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing
But a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Ooooh, war
It's an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die
Aaaaah, war-huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Uh-huh
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all
War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, it's got one friend
That's the undertaker
Ooooh, war, has shattered
Many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life
It can only take it away

Ooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

Ooooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
You tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it

War, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it
Nothing

Posted by: A Season For Everything | September 11, 2008 12:00 PM

I am sickened. The terrorists have won. Americans now live in a fascist country and have lost we all have lost our Constitutional freedoms. Our country was driven into an economic death bed by this needless war on terror.

When one person dies it is a tragedy, when 2000 die it is a statistic. To continue to live in the past is also tragic.

I have seen many good men and women die in a senseless war, and many good men and women die because a city was not prepared.

We don't need to build more memorials honouring the terrorist's victory, we need the Twin Towers built back up with the correct fire protection. We need every community to be prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters so we do not have huge losses of life.

We need to stop living in fear. We need to have our rights back.

Damn, it makes me sick that Bin Laden won.

Posted by: Sierra | September 11, 2008 12:39 PM

We all have our stories/memories of where we were. That morning, I was going to see the "right" client (Dicks Sporting Goods, based in Pittsburgh, PA) out of Boston; beautiful morning and Jimmy Buffet woke me up to "Margaritaville"..Was a beautiful morning in New England and a perfect morning to fly; of course, we never made it to Pittsburgh, got diverted to Syracuse; Pilot came on shortly after take-off and said "we have to divert to Syracuse due to a security alert"..At that period in my life, I traveled every week and had never heard that excuse. Well, we all know the rest of the story. I had been on the Boston/LA flight several times to see West Coast clients. As I made my way to the main concourse, Peter Jennings (for some reason, all the taxi drivers had their cars tuned into ABC radio) came on and announced that the "Pentagon had just been hit". by the time I got to ground level, all rental cars were gone at the airport - thankfully, an angel yelled out "is anyone going to Worcester?!".. I found myself driving across the state of New York back to Boston that day with three complete strangers, who, by the end of the day, were no longer strangers but friends. Call me lucky...I do. Best feeling ever was arriving home to Greensboro 3 days later after driving from Boston and hugging my two year old boy and my wife...I jumped off the corporate treadmill and now own my own little real estate company in southeastern North Carolina. God Bless our troops for keeping us safe and for their sacrifice, God Bless our President and our leaders for doing what they can to help protect my two young boys and most of all, God bless the victims of 9/11 and their families. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

Posted by: Pete F. | September 11, 2008 12:42 PM

The tragedies of September 11, 2001 reminded me that liberty and unalienable rights for all is the most important thing to protect in the entire world. Anyone who wants to take away those things from others is dangerous and evil and should be stopped.

I am ultimately grateful for all people on earth who reach out to others and risk their lives to save another. I salute and deeply respect all who volunteer and all involved in fire & rescue, the military and any other group whose intent is to help others and secure their liberties. If their intent is otherwise, then I do not respect them.

Today "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." "All" being the key word.

Posted by: Marie H.O. | September 11, 2008 12:44 PM

You had to wonder whether there was indeed a divine component. Ninteen guys with knives, in a operation that probably cost 4 million dollars to run, defeated the biggest defense department ever on the planet, which was funded at something like 400 billion dollars per year. That's 100,000 to 1 in dollars, at least. No wonder some of them are convinced that god is on their side.

You do as well as you can but you can never presume to know the mind of god, and you can never expect Him to act in a way that you will find reasonable. We get told that a lot, but it's never been so clear in my lifetime.

Of course the people in power "refused to be humbled" when just maybe that was the message after all. Despite all the technology, all the money, all the skill, and all the power, it is still the grace of god that gets us up in the morning and gives us one more day - and only one at a time.

Posted by: Rozinante2 | September 11, 2008 1:03 PM

It didn't. It was a tragic, horrible event-- and I say this as someone who lives in NYC, saw and smelled the smoke from my home in uptown Manhattan, and whose husband was just outside the Towers when they fell. I thought for the longest 4 hours I've ever lived through that that he was dead. Then he walked in the door covered in ashes. But it didn't change my life. And with the exception of those people who were directly affected (the dead, injured and their families and friends), there is no reason 9/11 should have changed "everything" as we've all been told ad nausium. This nation has faced far, far worse challenges with fortitude and grace. It shames me how utterly unhinged Americans became about 9/11. Recently a woman who lives in Cleveland went on and on with me about how 9/11 was the worse day of her life and how terrified she was. I didn't know what to say. It like me saying the day Katrina drowned New Orleans was the most terifying day of my life. I was sad and concerned, but not scared. I wasn't there and no one I knew was there. This woman was 500 miles away, hovering in fear. I think we all need to get a grip and move on. Look to the future and stop dwelling so much on this one awful occurrence. Certainly stop using it as an excuse for aggression and the erosion of our civil liberties.

Posted by: Stacy | September 11, 2008 1:13 PM

We should not be the world's policeman that was the main cause of 9/11. Let their own citizens fight and die for their own freedom. We can live with less gasoline if we want to. Bush got his re-election likely because of the war that he knew before he sent citizens to be killed. Look at what Beijing had done in last 7 years vs what we've done. We should spend resources and effort to improve our lives, starting with economy, infra structures, education...

Posted by: TonyP4 | September 11, 2008 1:15 PM

Looking at the past 7 years I have learned to let the anger go and move on. Yes I watched on CNN in horror as the Towers were hit. I watched in disbelief as they fell. My friends and colleages, I was wondering how many made it out. I wondered what United flight my sister was flying on that day. I wondered where in the Pentagon my dad was working that day. Many hours later both were found to be safe.

Every year I fly on 11 Sept as an act of defiance. I remember the AA gate agent that got me home on the 2nd flight allowed back in the air. The flight had commerical crew and injured people being transferred to hopsitals that had space and I remember how one injured man's wife said 'Harry, it's wonderful, there are fighter jets here to protect us.' The pilot in the seat next to me knew better as did I. We both prayed the pilot of the plane kept our plane straight and level.

I miss my friends that died in Iraq. I wish there was more I could do to help a great young man who came back horrified at what he did there.

Nothing can bring these people back and we should never forget.

But we must get back to a normal life where we don't live under a blanket of fear. We must snatch victory away from the terrorists who are very clearly winning the war.

And please no more memorials, they are only monuments to the terrorist's victory.

Posted by: Sierra | September 11, 2008 1:16 PM

The dead citizens are victims and not heroes. They should be compensated to a smaller extend, but not the money that have received. The airline industry has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: TonyP4 | September 11, 2008 1:18 PM

I was working just 4 blocks from the white house that day. From our office window we could see the white house and the pentagon in the background, with black smoke billowing out and helicopters circling. I left the office around noon and took the metro home. It was completely silent in the metro station and on the train. I will never forget that day.

Soon afterwards I started traveling around the country and some to Europe. It made be realize how much of the world I hadn't seen yet and didn't really know or understand. It also made me realize that we are not protected just because we are Americans and living in the US. What a powerful way to learn.

Posted by: EMcQ | September 11, 2008 1:26 PM

9-11 changed my political views.

I used to be a die hard conservative. But I CANNOT and WILL NOT condone the actions of a few WHO TOOK advantage of the tremendous fear that overcame this country after 9-11.

I undertsand the fear I really do, but I question the response.

My hear aches when I hear people who disagree with my opinions resort to the accusation that I either hate my country or I am a liberal.

As Benjamin Franklin stated, not only is dissent a right but a duty. I shudder to think we ever live in a country where discourse is deemed as un-patriotic.

The fact that I disagree with my countries policies does not make me right. But it also does not make me un-patriotic.

I have decided to do every thing in my power to try and change the direction of this country and it's politics. This is MY right, no one can take that away from.

It is what I beleive. All I ask is that those who disagree with me that simply respect that.

Do not challenge my love of country. You do not know me from Adam. You have NO idea how 9-11 affected me.

It is ALMOST funny when I have people accusing me of "forgetting 9-11". How simplistic. Have we forgotten Pearl Harbor? Have we forgotten the day John F Kennedy was shot? No we never will, just like we will not forget 9-11.

React to the events of 9-11 as you see fit, but before you accuse someone of being less than human because they disagree with you, take a minute to read the constitution and truly understand what it stands for.

Trust me you DO NOT have all the answers.


Posted by: Danno | September 11, 2008 1:28 PM

Justice delayed is justice denied. The cover up following 9/11 ( e.g. the confescation of matirials including tapes of a jet liner hitting the Pentagon, the escort of Bid Laden's family members, and the phony 9/11 comission's report) raises REASONABLE suspision. Building seven was the first steal structure to burn down in history, and you would question my patriotism just for asking "why?" If the Pentagon was hit by a plane don't you think they would have released a tape that proves it? To this day no one who had contributed to this discussion has seen such a tape.
We are in Iraq illegaly. We have spilt more blood in retaliation than was nessesary. It's time we come to terms with each other to understand what is going on.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 1:29 PM

I was in the car driving to work when the plane hit the first tower. I was in my office when the plane hit the Pentagon and could see the smoke from the Pentagon.

Getting out of the city that day was an almost impossible task but I had 2 children who were so scared I wouldn't come home I talked to them until I got on the beltway. And then I talked to them some more until I got home.

Pulling into my driveway, they were both sitting on the steps with anxious faces that no children should ever have. When I ran to them they wouldn't let go. Old enough to know I work in the city, they didn't understand I was not directly in the vicinity of the Pentagon.

I thought of all the children that would be waiting on steps, looking out windows or have to sit down with loved ones to find out their mother/father/guardian was never going to pull into their driveway again.

I think it changed everyone's lives. When I get up each day and I hear the moaning of my children, I just remember that day and am thankful I am here to still be here for them. And I say a little prayer each day for those that aren't.

Posted by: Grateful Mom | September 11, 2008 1:40 PM

September 11th 2001 made me feel all sorts of things:

I was working across the street from the Pentagon (Navy Annex) when the plane hit, I saw it, felt it and smelled it. I also lived very close by, in fact I could see that damaged side of the Pentagon from my bedroom window.

For 3 months - I was not right.
I was very depressed, my anxiety level sky rocketed!
Years later and today it still brings me to tears to think about it.

That day - it felt like my Mother had gotten killed all over again. She had gotten killed by a speeding driver in a horrid car crash 3 years before 9/11.
I was feeling what all of those family members were feeling when they found out that their loved one had perished.

Since 9/11 I have been much more aware of my surroundings, I don't trust ANYONE, but on a brighter note I have learned to stand back, notice and watch the beauty in this world. Simple things like birds, trees, good people and my beloved pets (my kitties) are all so special. I have realized that I am very lucky to be an American and I am very lucky to be alive!

Posted by: Billie Bryant | September 11, 2008 1:44 PM

On Sept. 11, I was 23 years old and had lived a charmed life. I was watching it all unfold on tv from Atlanta, knowing that my family was in DC and my husband's was in NY. After the plane hit the Pentagon, I felt this horrible, indescribeable sense of fear like nothing I had felt before or have felt since. For a few terrifying minutes, I felt unsafe in America. I honestly wondered (however irrational) if the world was going to end.

I feel so much compassion for those people in other parts of the world who feel that sheer horror on a regular basis.

Posted by: stella | September 11, 2008 2:09 PM

9/11 helped me to realize even more how important it is to thank God ea. and every sec, min, hr, day, noon, night for our lives. Tomorrow is never promised.

Posted by: lllu817 | September 11, 2008 2:32 PM

I remember talking to my mom shortly afterwards saying 'whoever did this, they have to know we'll come after them, they have to know we'll hammer them into the ground, right?'

Apparently they were counting on it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 2:35 PM

I did not lose anyone in 9/11, and I am very very sorry for the people that did. My thoughts and prayers are with you today.

I was sitting in traffic beside the area of the Pentagon that was hit when the second plane hit in NY. By the time I got to work the Pentagon had been hit. I lived about 3/4 of a mile down the highway from the Pentagon at the time - the noise level from the constant helicopters/jets above that area was awful - it really did sound like a war zone. I drove past the pentagon every day to get to work - which was very emotional as they were still getting people out. How this could not effect me is beyond me, and I am very grateful that it did. I think if I had been living anywhere but DC (or NY too) and saw it unfold on TV, I would not have appreciated the seriousness of the sitation. It was a very anxious time and it introduced me to a new world - one where we can be attacked on our own land. You accept it, adjust and move on, but I think it is pretty disrespectful to forget or try to downplay it. I think remembering with respect is the decent thing to do.

I don't think that this is a world where some power greater than humans punishes innocent people to prove a point - whether it is to the people in charge or us as a population. I am not willing to believe that an event that took over 3,000 lives was a premediated message from some sort of God. Now THAT would be a world filled with fear and dread.

Posted by: anonymous | September 11, 2008 2:49 PM

I think 9.11 has given us all a shared experience.

Even 7 years later, everytime I meet someone new and spend any time talking to them at all, the subject of 9.11 comes up. People still want to talk about where they were, when they found out. Who they know that was personally affected. What the rest of their day was like, the next day. The week after.

I will never forget the silence in the air--I have always lived under a flight line for Dulles Airport. I will never forget how loud planes seemed to be for weeks after we atarted flying again. How every plane looked like it was crashing.

I can never remember there ever being so much fear. Fear is everywhere.

Posted by: Melissa | September 11, 2008 3:15 PM

I appreciate all the comments made here today which actually are written by thoughtful, rational, NORMAL, people.

I am not going to post any comments of my own because I feel that the Washington Post does not do a good enough job of removing offensive and obnoxious, irrelevant and insane comments from their site. It is too painful to give comments when their are inter-mingled with insane rants.

I hope the Washington Post will, in the future, do a better job of reviewing and monitoring their own site and QUICKLY removing the obviously irrelevant and crackpot comments.

Posted by: D. Rodriguez | September 11, 2008 3:17 PM

9/11 made me trust muslims even less....

Posted by: Osama | September 11, 2008 3:24 PM

There are many ways 9/11 changed my life, but I think there is one odd way - how I viewed the weather. I remember what a gorgeous day it was. Cool, dry air, perfect blue sky, marred by that column of smoke as I was stuck on the Roosevelt Bridge. Ever since, when there is a day with that weather (like yesterday September 10, actually) - I immediately think back to 9/11/01.

God bless the victims and their families, and God bless the many brave men and women who labor and fight every day to keep us safe and keep us free.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty."

Posted by: JH | September 11, 2008 3:27 PM

I returned to the Church. I had an epiphany that evil truly did exist, and we take the good for granted. I believe in God. I now understand that faith requires a leap. God can't be entirely knowable or understandable, but he is there. I strongly encourage everyone to watch "Faith & Doubt at Ground Zero" by the producers of Frontline. It changed my life.

Posted by: Jay | September 11, 2008 3:34 PM

it didn't change anything

Posted by: dick cabesa | September 11, 2008 3:35 PM

didn't phase me a bit

Posted by: dick cabesa | September 11, 2008 3:37 PM

9/11 changed not directly my life but I would say the lives of immigrants living in this country especially the hispanic community, I feel that ever since 9/11 happened and the laws changed, the people most affected by them have been hispanics, which angers me because even though terrorists come in all different colors and races we are the ones that are being impacted most from what happened. Every time hispanics are being targeted for anything and the excuse is always the same blaming it on 9/11. I understand the whole idea about securing our country more and trying to avoid something like this to happen again, but the way we are doing it is the wrong way.

Posted by: eh | September 11, 2008 3:46 PM

As a chinese man I can feel the misfortune for Americans,though some chinese people hate your country.But I wish it will not hapen again.

Posted by: east | September 7, 2008 12:47 AM
----------------------------------
It makes me wish that Americans would listen to the rest of the world when they speak. By that, I mean, take them at their word that they do hate us and we need to quit subsidizing their terrorist activities, paying foreign aid, shoving tourist dollars to them and let them whistle in the dark when the next earthquake hits. I mean that! I personally lost coworkers who were incinerated by these ignorant filthy savages on the 11th of September. They have been trying to tell us they hate us for decades and we don't listen. If I had my way I wouldn't allow one single citizen from any of these countries to step foot on American soil. This country needs to go into a period of rebuilding our own nation, reestablishing our own manufacturing base and by all means necessary create our own energy sources without giving another cent to the savages on the other side of the world. We found out who our real allies were on September 11. Seven years later we still have our borders wide open taking in thousands of people who come in to live here, hate Americans, hate our customs, steal technology and spy, loate our patriotism and wish daily for our destruction and seek to weaken our nation and bring us to our knees. We haven't learned a thing. They truly are destroying our nation from the inside.
The next time some moron rolls into Kuwait, let him roll. Ethnic cleansing? Too bad, how tragic. Americans are staying home. Call France or Mexico.

Posted by: sober American | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM

I can't believe how many of you have turned this into a rant about the U.S. government and the administration. There is a time and place for that...today is not it. Today is to remember a day of tragedy and those who lost their lives. It is a day to mourn and a day to give thanks to those who are putting themselves on the front lines to protect us. There are people on this blog trying to share some of their grief on losing people they cared about, people that were just children when it happened. To insinuate on this board that our own government is responsible is just plain heartless. I won't get into my personal political beliefs b/c I don't think this is the forum for it. Please, let those who are grieving and want to share their memories and feelings do so without having to read political propoganda.

To those who lost loved ones, I am so sorry for your loss. And to those who are serving for our nation's freedom, or who have served, my appreciation cannot be expressed in words.

Posted by: anonymous | September 11, 2008 4:17 PM

It didn't.

Posted by: James D | September 11, 2008 4:46 PM

I wanted payback and still do . I remember thinking as the decision to invade Iraq came closer that I would lean with the aggressive path rather than the hunting of the few . What the Republicans have done (and I have no problem blaming them all) is polarize the nation towards each ones party and beliefs . Rather than Unite like Bush said he would he and his boys have done just the opposite GlOBALLY . I am very angry and would like to hold everyone who has enabled this gang to be held responsible . It amazes me what the American voter has for criteria to give their allegience to . Very frustrating .

Posted by: jersey devil | September 11, 2008 4:54 PM

I remember 9/11 as being truly proud of my fellow citizens. I remember driving by and seeing people of all walks of life standing in hour-long lines waiting to donate blood. I remember the flag being sold out everywhere. I remember my boyfriend and I inviting another rattled buddy of ours over for grilled cheeses and tomato soup as we all sat glued to the tv, sleeping when it got too much. I remember the heroics of the firemen digging through the rubble, the brave German Shepherds sniffing for cadavers. I remember how civil everyone was, and I knew even then it wouldn't last. It hasn't. Things have gotten worse.

But anyway, bless all you who lost loved ones that day.

Posted by: VA woman | September 11, 2008 4:57 PM

I worked in downtown DC then. I remember walking into my office and seeing a column of smoke down the street and not connecting that it was from the Pentagon. It was so quiet on the streets the rest of that week. You didn't hear the normal chatter. People walking around in shock that this could happen. On Friday when they asked everyone to wear red, white and blue, it was the most wonderful mix... guys who looked like gang bangers with a flag bandanna on; people with flag pins, or red, white and blue scarves. For a brief time, the whole country seemed to come together. That's what made the divisiveness and fear tactics afterward so disheartening.

Posted by: Dee | September 11, 2008 5:03 PM

John Donne wrote:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

On September 11, I felt those words more strongly than I ever have. Although I was living in Kansas City, I'd worked in NYC for years previously, often taking the subway into the WTC.

I remember the last day I worked on the 45th floor of 7WTC. I made a point of walking to the corner that faced out to the Statue of Liberty and my eyes teared up because I knew I was changing jobs soon and I would never again see that glorious sight. Little did I know that hundreds of others would lose that view as well.

I take issue with the writer who said that Sept 11, and Katrina, and other events should not affect those of us not there. "Any man's death diminishes me" too.

Posted by: HJJT1971 | September 11, 2008 5:08 PM

My life has changed dramatically since September 11, 2001. It has taught me to live more, love more in spite of the ways of the world, and to appreciate all that is wonderful about life. I’ve quit smoking, quit drinking, started loving, living, and experiencing more. I'm in the best shape of my life physically, mentally, and spiritually. I never take one day for granted. In this way I feel that I honor life, the world, and humanity every day. It’s not always an easy task, but one I hold on to and come back to always.

If you think the world is corrupt, then that is what it will be. If you believe the world is hopeless, then that is what it is. If you think there is conspiracy in the world, then so be it, and so it be. If you prefer to hate rather than to love, then you’ll live in a hateful world. I see the world as a place where anything is possible, where love is the strongest force there is, and where my every thought and deed makes a difference along with everyone else’s. We have the power to shape the world (our world) in any way we choose to imagine it. Nothing (no government, no fanatic, no corporation, no person, etc.) can change that. I’d like to think that living life this way is the best way to honor those who are no longer with us.

We are all in this together. Peace to all.

Posted by: In this world, not of it... | September 11, 2008 5:25 PM

Didn't change my life at all.

The real question is: What actually hit the Pentagon? Why not ONE photo of a plane part, wing, wheel, fuselage, nothing? Just a smoking, smoldering building...more lies and coverup.

The truth will probably come out in 50 years after it won't matter anymore.

Posted by: kahlua87 | September 11, 2008 5:25 PM

I never realized to what extent people actually hated this country before 9/11! This made me want to join the Foreign Service and learn different languages to able me to interact with others around the globe and promote unity within my country because on that day- there was no black or white; straight or gay; Muslim or Christian; Regardless we were all Americans and we cried together! Whatever we go through, we pull together! That's the great great thing about this country, a few bad apples can't spoil the mass! I do believe that we LOVE our country and must do what's right for it.

Posted by: i'minlovewithmycountry | September 11, 2008 5:45 PM

It did not change my life, except that it made me realize how closed minded many people are in the US.

The 9-11 commission report mentions how many times the WTC was threatened by terrorists. Yet that rarely gets talked about.

I blame militant muslims, yes, but also the money grubbers who ran the flight schools that actually taught these people how to fly when they should have not taken their money and contacted the FBI. What a joke! In the name of running a business.

The rest of the world, unfortunately, has gone thru attacks of some sort. We were lucky until 9-11. What I want to know is what does a US soldier in Iraq today, have anything to do with our "freedoms" at home.

Yes they are fighting supporters of Al-Queda, but wouldn't spending 1/1,000,000 of the money on the war on actually making airports and airlines safer make more sense?

Posted by: fedupinfla | September 11, 2008 5:55 PM

It has made me realize that the United States is one Nation. What happens on the East Coast is just as important as what happens on the West Coast. We love, suffer and feel the same. It has become more important to elect leaders that are fearless and brave when it comes to making decisions for the welfare of our country. Whether politically correct or not. That they have sound values and put the people of this country first. I still feel the pain of that day, remember where I was and what I saw on TV. I get angry when I hear people dispute that 9-11 happened by terrorists. I stay away from them as they are terrorists in their own right. This is from Oregon and we do love the people of the East.

Posted by: alice | September 11, 2008 6:12 PM

Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11; this has been stated many times before. That's what Afghanistan is about but not Iraq.

I cannot wait for a new President so we can finally have national pride again instead of all the whiny liberals complaining because we are barbaric. I cannot some of the, what might as well be called socialists would've said had they lived during WWII.

You express outrage over how innocent people in Iraq are being killed, yet before they were being killed by their own leader and you turn your shoulder to the local homeless man in your own damn country.

America needs to regain its composure and stop making Bush's administration a representation of the nation as a whole because it isn't.

Btw, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists need mental help. Yes, Bush sucks, but he did not plant bombs in the buildings.

Posted by: Kevin | September 11, 2008 6:21 PM

7 years ago our lives were changed
Never to be the same
And to think it all started
Because someone hijacked a plane
Terrorists they called them
A word that became well known
They destroyed so many lives that day
They attacked our home
The United States stood frozen
For a moment in time
As we watched those people
Commit and unexplainable crime
Then sadness and emotion came
Our fears took flight
And we realized we had
To stand up and fight
Our heroes our brave
All banded so strong
To face our enemy
Who we knew was wrong
They brave they're lives
And sometimes they're lost
I believe in this war
But at what cost?
We've lost so many soldiers
Yet gained no respect
From the people we fight
Who never seem to reflect
On the havoc they reeked
That September day
When for just one moment
America all stopped to pray
So today stand up
Remember and be proud
America band together
Dont be afraid to be loud
Show them our pride
In the Red White and Blue
Where freedom is a word
That rings Loud and True
Make them remember
The loved ones lost that day
And everyday since
Kneel down and pray
Pray loud and Thank God!
Wherever you may be
That we live in America
The LAND OF THE FREE


Written by Sasha Thomas

Please pass this on and remember all those lost 7 years ago. Pray for their families and all of our soldiers who are fighting for our freedom and who have lost their lives in this war. We will never forget 09-11-2001


Thank you for being our heroes!!

Posted by: Sasha Thomas | September 11, 2008 6:33 PM

9/11 made me realize how important it is to choose our leaders of this country wisely. Bush Jr is the current example. While people were busy voting on whatever ideals, he and much of his team were not competent enough to protect us. Look what has followed after 9/11; the vast of our defenses were not engaging in the direct area after bin Laden, but Iraq.

When you think how many innocent lives were lost, and how much more from our defenses, the toll it all took on this country economically. It hurts. We realize not only could this have been prevented, but also ponder about how the positive state of this nation could have been continued, and how many lives could have been saved had we elected Al Gore as he rightfully won. We have the opportunity to get it right this time, and not continue it. Amen. For the love of my country, and my people.

After all of that, as Biden said, it is definitely time for America. It's our time folks. It's been long overdue.

Posted by: Obama2008 | September 11, 2008 6:50 PM

9/11 made me realize how important it is to choose our leaders of this country wisely. Bush Jr is the current example. While people were busy voting on whatever ideals, he and much of his team were not competent enough to protect us. Look what has followed after 9/11; the vast of our defenses were not engaging in the direct area after bin Laden, but Iraq.

When you think how many innocent lives were lost, and how much more from our defenses, the toll it all took on this country economically. It hurts. We realize not only could this have been prevented, but also ponder about how the positive state of this nation could have been continued, and how many lives could have been saved had we elected Al Gore as he rightfully won. We have the opportunity to get it right this time, and not continue it. Amen. For the love of my country, and my people.

After all of that, as Biden said, it is definitely time for America. It's our time folks. It's been long overdue.

Posted by: Obama2008 | September 11, 2008 6:51 PM

fedupinFla-oh, no, the USG hasn't spent ANY MONEY to strengthen the aviation security safety net system have they? You don't go through screening checkpoints at airports manned by well paid federal screeners, do you? Your cockpits are not hardened against a terrorist trying to bust through, are they? Pilots are not now armed in the cockpit, are they? There aren't rules about liquids and gels that could be used to make a bomb on board a flight now is there?

Sheesh! The IDIOCY and sheer STUPIDITY OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEVER EVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 7:45 PM

Seven years on and I still get sad on glorious late summer days. The terrorists took away my bright sunshine-filled mornings. I will never forget walking from Foggy Bottom and through Georgetown to get out of the city. I will never forget finally getting a hold of my mother to let her know I was okay. I will never forget the sound of freedom - two F-16s flying down the Potomac several hundred feet above me. I will never forget the friends I lost in NYC and at the Pentagon. I will never forget how our nation came together as one - unified and strong. I will always be thankful to President Bush for ensuring another 9/11 has not happened under his watch. Sure, some may hate him, but I adore him and all the men and women who work day and night to keep me and my family safe. Tonight, I sleep well because of them.

Posted by: Jo-Anne | September 11, 2008 8:17 PM

How has it changed me? It made me question how God could have created a day as beautiful as it was in DC that day and have such hatred and evil and innocent death be a part of it. I still have not found that answer.

Every beautiful day like that now reminds me of September 11 and it brings sadness to me and makes me feel everything could be crushed and blackened in an instant.

And I am more afraid. Every weekday when I drive to work in DC over the Roosevelt Bridge I relive the fear I felt that day when I had evacuate DC and drove home over Chain Bridge, which I was certain at that moment must have been rigged with bombs. Clearly it wasn't.

It taught me to be kinder to people and to try to feel what it is like to live in their shoes...and their skin...and their lives.

It taught me to be thankful every day for what I have and to pray for the unfathomable courage that many of those who died displayed before their deaths (knowing they were imminent) and for the determination their families had that they should go on living as their departed ones would have wished. Even when they, themselves, questioned whether life was worth living without those they loved.

It's made me more appreciative and trusting of police and fire personnel but less respectful and trusting of our national leaders.

Posted by: Jen | September 11, 2008 8:30 PM

I live in Australia and for some reason could not sleep on the night of 12th September 2001 (we are a day ahead of the USA because of the International Date-Line). I was flicking through the channels on our cable operator Foxtel and saw the reporter from NBC or CNN I think on top of a building reporting that there had been an 'accident' in NYC and that they thought it was a light aircraft. While I was watching, the second aircraft slammed into the twin towers. I was shocked as everyone was. I immediately called my Dad in Melbourne (I was living in Sydney At the time) and his response was one word as he had obviously been watching.
I was genuinely hurt and concerned for everyone in NYC. My wife and I had been married for a year and about 12-15 hours before we had passed through NY on our honeymoon where were had toured the USA.
It changed our lives in a few ways. I worked for an airline called Ansett Australia that was 66 years old and had been going through difficulties. It went into receivership on the 14th of September 2001.
We changed our minds about travelling for a while and we immediately contacted a guy we had met (from New York) on our AmTrak Travels.
I have worked in the airline industry for nearly 25 years and for may I had an insatiable yearning to travel. I also endured people (passengers) who were flippant and dismissive of airline staff and procedures. In some ways, it made being an airline employee a bit easier because people now took things like security very seriously.
Our hearts went out to the people of the United States and all of those who lost their lives.
The dark side of the event in a historical perspective (as alluded to above by another post) is that we too, in Australia, endured a government for another 6.5 years who deviously and slyly used the 'muslim card' to play on fears and win elections. We lost our wonderful sense of freedom and egalatarianism in this country for the sake of political expediency. I feel we are only now learning that we should have embraced the muslim community, the overwhelming majority of which (in Australia), resoundingly denounced the attacks and wanted to stand firm with their fellow-countrymen and allies.

Posted by: Wes Mason | September 11, 2008 8:55 PM

Addendum.
Of course, I meant we passed through NYC (Penn Station, on our way to Boston) 12-15 MONTHS before (not hours).
I am not the slightest bit religious, but in honour of our American Friends, let me say 'God Bless America' and I firmly believe, coming from a family with a mother who describes herself as a 'student' of Abe Lincoln and a father who is as expert as anyone on the Civil War, I have always had a consuming interest in the USA, that the Star Spangled Banner will continue to wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave..."

Posted by: Wes | September 11, 2008 9:04 PM

How did this change my life? Having lost my two childern in separate incidents, my heart goes out to the survivors; I feel their pain, and, with me, it continues after 14 years.

That said, if I were a younger man, at some point following that attack I would have moved out of the USA. It's a fine country, that's what I was brougt up to believe, but it's very hard to live in a country that elected GW Bush twice. And now I fear for the next election and may indeed pack up and fly away if the Republicans get it or steal it again.

Posted by: aristata | September 11, 2008 9:32 PM

Regardless of party affiliation, religion, race or gender, we all suffered some level of trama on 9-11-01. I wish the true felons could be held libel for such heinous acts. PTSD due to this catastrophe has kept shrinks quite busy for the past seven years. I am not afraid of terrorists, but I am truly AFRAID of the US Government and the cabal of evil that manipulates the US Government. Us common folk are just merely debt slaves to the Central Banks that benefit from war, fear and terror. Open your eyes, and see the true evil that drives the machine. Protect your children from more lies like 9-11, history is full of hoaxes an find true freedom in the truth! Islamic extremist groups have been funded for years by the CIA, etc.....so don't focus on the patsies by following the money trail directly to the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Warburgs etc. over the last 200 or so years. You will be surprised at where your research leads. Obama is the beginning of a Renaissance of politics in the U.S. Choose wisely. PEACE

Posted by: Benihana | September 11, 2008 9:42 PM

Conspiracy Theorists do not need mental help you little vanilla thinker. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

WTC is the smoking gun on 9-11, no plane, minimal fires, TOTAL COLLAPSE, free fall speed in it's own footprint.... Prove that it wasn't a controlled demolition..... YOU CAN'T! See Zeitgeist, the truth will set you free!

Posted by: Benihana | September 11, 2008 9:58 PM

Other than the greater inconvenience of travel, has not changed my life at all. I continue to work, live my life and ignored the attempt to disrupt my life. If it had done so or does in the future, the terrorists have won. Those who became afraid, or anguish over the event are giving in to exactly what the terrorists want you to do. Those of you who feel this way make the terrorists feel they were successful. Personally not dwelling on it, or fearful of it, tells the terrorists that they have no hold on you and did not succeed.

Posted by: north dakota | September 11, 2008 11:00 PM

I have read through these comments and I have noticed alot of people posting political comments. I beleive the question was how 9/11 effected you. I know that the response to 9/11 by the political incumbents has been at time misplaced and confused and misleading, everyone in the world knows this. I think the Terrorists wanted to crush the USA and the American spirit. I do not think it has done that all. Does anyone remember that all over, people started to fly the flag on their porches, stickers on their cars. People came together and helped their neighbours, spoke to one another, sent money to charieties, volunteered and some felt so passionate they joined the armed services. This is what we are about in this country. We are a strong nation who prides itself on giving every citizen a fair go. We are a nation that got complaincent and did not look outside our borders to what was happening in the wide world around us and even what was happening in our own borders.
Now we know more about the world outside the USA. Now we have a Colored man running for President whose competion in his party was a Women. I cannot see this before 9/11. We have a nation that has taken an interet in who runs their country and questions the descisions that they make on our behalf. This is the good that has come from 9/11. Whilst it was a tragedy that none of us will forget. Bin Laden did not win, he lost badly, as the American spirt has gotten stronger and we as a nation will rise from the ashes of September 11 stronger, smarter and more proud than ever.

Posted by: Ryan | September 11, 2008 11:11 PM

Since 9/11 our country Pakistan has lost all its peace and is under threat from terrorist within the country (taliban) and outside the country (US army). Since then I am feeling insecure in my own country. My own city.. And to me, 9/11 was a setup by forces who dont want to see the world in peace.. I dont know they r Afghanis who did this, or Taliban who did this or American themselves did this.. I dont know... But whoever did this had a definite plan to do this for some other goals...

Posted by: Hasan Mobeen | September 11, 2008 11:22 PM

On September 10, 2001 my doctor informed me that my unborn child showed very strong indicators of having Down syndrome. That news followed by the events of September 11, 2001 added a perspective to my life I know I would not have otherwise had. My daughter was indeed born with Down syndrome.

And here we are...September 11, 2008...remembrance of great loss along with a future of great hope. Who would have imagined?

Posted by: shema4t4 | September 11, 2008 11:28 PM

Without conscious thought, our plan to "semi" retire went into overdrive. We had already been toying with the idea. The building I worked in was not anywhere close to being considered a target, but it was 2.5 miles from the Pentagon, and it shook for a second. We were already overwhelmed by what we were witnessing on television at the Twin Towers. Feeling the building tremble, then running out to see billowing smoke off toward D.C., it was enough to throw us further into turmoil. We did find property in the south; we could see the Gulf down the street. That old cliche, "The grass isn't always greener...," well, one word, Katrina. So, we moved away from another potential terrorist attack prone area to where we grew up. 9/11 changed our direction, Katrina changed our direction, but we will always remain Proud, Free, Patriots. Southern by birth, Americans by the Grace of God. I want to thank the Washington Post for such a wonderful tribute to the families and to those who were lost at The Pentagon. This really did my heart good. And, God Bless Mr. Flocco. His courage and honesty is a living tribute to his son.

Posted by: Teresa M | September 13, 2008 2:52 PM

A.H. - I'm praying for you, too.

Posted by: clc | September 21, 2008 2:17 AM

A.H. - I'm praying for you, too.

Posted by: clc | September 21, 2008 2:31 AM

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