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9 – 11 – 01 + 5

Has it really been that long?

It seems like just yesterday we watched the horror unfold live and direct. Technology brought us the events with a detail never before seen and never after forgotten.

And yet, so much has happened since.

FDNY … Afganistan … WMD … Madrid … TSA … shoe bombs … GWB … Iraq …

History says that time must pass before an event can be viewed with proper perspective, and we’re clearly not there yet. But the press orgy as we approached this particular anniversary told me that we’d reached the point in the recovery process where we could … celebrate? … the event. We survived “Flight 93” and “World Trade Center”. I guess we can survive Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric, too.

I’ve never been to NYC, or even had a desire to visit. Yet after the towers fell, “I Heart NY” felt pretty special. I’m an entire continent away, yet with three of the four planes bound for Los Angeles, we had a definite connection.

Everyone had a different reaction to 9-11. My way of coping was to use the internet to collect recollections of the event. Photos, video clips, even entire websites – somehow, collecting and categorizing them kept my hands busy while keeping my mind connected to the event. Eventually, I had – and still have – over 8,500 different files relating to the attack and recovery.

9-11 was the real coming-of-age for the Internet and associated technology. When the communications failed in lower Manhattan, it was the brand new Blackberry that let people get out final messages. And it was through the new concept of a weblog that people could find an outlet for the fear and feelings and questions we all had.

Five years later, we’re still looking for answers. I don’t think we’ve done much to solve the problems that led to the attacks. Hell, I don’t think we fully understand why they attacked in the first place – and I don’t think they do, either. It’s dogma versus philosophy, constraint versus liberty. And it ain’t something we’re gonna be able to bomb into submission.

There will be plenty of time to look for answers. Today is a time to remember. Remember those who were lost, and remember those who remain.

In the aftermath, a lot of songs were written to try to put words to feelings that were difficult to express. I’m reminded of the lyrics of one – “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson

“I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is Love”

It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you live, or what you believe … today, may your God and my God bless us all.

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