Ten years ago today, one of the single most tragic events in American history occurred. September 11, 2001 was a day that should be remembered in the hearts and minds of all Americans, as a reminder of how fragile life is and how a small group of people (and I use the term extremely loosely) can affect so many. On that day, roughly 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, at the hands of 19 vile and disgusting parasites acting in the name of their version of religion, and under the banner of Al-Qaeda. Sadly, only the 19 should have died. Since then, thousands more have died in the ensuing military theaters that have evolved as a direct result of that day. Our world has changed in many ways over the last decade, and we have all been affected, some gravely more than others. I promised myself I would use my blogging powers to write down some of my thoughts regarding that day and what has transpired since. As I write, I am biting my tongue and curtailing my words at the risk of being called politically incorrect. On September 11, 2001, I started the day like many other days at that time. I was in the office by 5:00 a.m. or so. I had made my coffee and was at my desk working. I had my television on, with the morning news in the background. I remember seeing the first plane go into the WTC tower. Though the common initial reaction was wondering whether this was an accident, I personally had my suspicions, as the trajectory of the plane seemed much too deliberate. As I continued to watch the news, I saw the second plane hit the next tower and knew my suspicions were confirmed. I immediately called home to let my wife know what I had seen. Though 2,000 miles away, I was scared for us all. I had a client coming in shortly after the second plane hit. Rather than getting down to business, we sat and watched my television as the events unfolded. Shocked and horrified, very little work got done that day. I remember us driving around later in the day with a commercial realtor looking for new office space. Our eyes were constantly on the sky looking for that ominous plane that might fly into Denver. Aside from the absolute horror of people jumping from buildings and the violence itself, the most vivid and troubling memory seared into my mind from that day was video clips of men, women, and children from Middle Eastern countries cheering in the streets. This included people in Palestine, who but for U.S. efforts to keep peace with Israel, would have been in worse shape than they were. Those pictures are forever etched in my mind. I changed that day, as I believe many of us did. Our world changed. Reminiscent of Columbine, I sat and wondered whether my daughters should be in school. I was thankful they were not yet grown. I was thankful we were in Denver, as opposed to staying back east after law school. We all went to bed that night wondering what the next day would bring. Would there be more attacks? Who was behind this? Are we at war? Going back in time, I remembered going up in one of the towers in 1974 with my great uncle, who lived in Manhattan at that time. I remembered returning to one of the towers as a law student in 1996, to hear a lecture by an SEC official (I believe I was on the 12th floor, but am not sure). Though my family was not directly affected and a small handful of Americans directly felt the immediate tregedy, I think we all took the attack and the grief personally. Perhaps this is just human nature when you know such an attack was aimed at all Americans? As the days and weeks unfolded, we became all too familiar with the terms "Al-Qaeda," "Taliban," and Osama Bin Laden. We learned how the crime was committed. We learned how vulnerable we were. Sadly, I also saw the economic crisis unfold. I saw clients lose jobs. I saw businesses suffer. I watched some people's incomes plummet. I saw other family law attorneys' businesses greatly affected. Of course, these affects paled in comparison to the dead, and the family members left behind. My family was set to travel to Boston the following weekend, for a wedding. As some of the fatal flights had eminated from there, we cancelled our trip. Why take a chance? Had the disgusting Al-Qaeda cowards chosen September 18, we would have been flying out of Boston at roughly the same time. Moving forward, we have seen thousands of brave American men and women die bravely in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the further deaths resulting from 9/11. They have not died in vain, and I would like to think that they gave their lives to ultimately make us all safer. I am proud that we showed the terrorists, the nations that might harbor them, and those who wanted to fantasize about the downfall of America that we will fight back, that we would seek retribution, that we would protect ourselves, and that we would stand up and not take the crap of a dangerous few. I am proud that we went into Afghhanistan and routed the Taliban freaks from power. I am proud (though I do belive we were hoodwinked regarding the weapons of mass destruction) that we went into Iraq and got rid of their evil dictator. We sent the terrorist world, and the Amercia-haters, a message that we will fight back, and that we will win! That was the right move. As I jump forward 10 years in time, I still see the effects, mostly related to travel. I ponder the day when we all get onto airplanes bare naked, as this may be the only way to prevent another attempted shoe bomber, like the coward, Richard Reid. I see old ladies and little children patted down in security lines, as some of our fellow citizens believe you can never be too careful. I see Dasani and Aquafina profitting on all the bottles of water purchased after the security check point. I hear stories of baby bottles of breast milk being dumped out by security. I see lots of shoeless feet. I will never forget the constant reminder at DIA that the "current security threat level is orange." Every time I fly, I look around. Everytime I fly, I want to thank the sub-human monsters who foment this brand of terrorism around the world for making travel such a pain. I also step back in thanks and recognize that if these minor inconveniences to my family, and millions of others, are the only affects I have suffered, that I am OK. I know others have suffered much worse, and believe as a nation we should honor and grieve for them. Today, Al-Queada is just a shell of its former self. Like a virus or bacteria faced with penicillin or anti-viral drugs, it will try, here and there, to find cracks in our armor. There will be other attacks throughout the world. This time we will be ready to face a much more impotent enemy. Osama Bin Assh*&(#le is dead. Their number two (they are all really number two) was killed in the last week or so. The 19 disgusting animals sent us a message and forever changed things in our country and the world. Yet, if we go about our lives aware of the threat, but ready to continue living, we win. 10 years later, we have won. America still stands. A new tower is under way. They took down buildings. We took over nations. As a people, we can never forget this great tragedy or blindly sit by and let it happen again. I must also reflect upon the philosphical divide in our country caused by 9/11. On the extreme end of the spectrum, we have idiots like disgraced CU professor, Ward Churchill, who somehow gleefully assign blame to America, for whatever ridiculous reason. We also have those who believe these types of attacks can be prevented in the future through discourse and dialogue. They are almost as ridiculous. You don't negotiate with cancer. You don't stop for a swarm of bees to ask if they would like to talk instead of sting you. We also have those who would sacrifice logic and security in the name of political correctness. Shame on them. We were attacked by foreign invaders bent on destroying our country and way of life. To call it anything different is assinine and foolish. I have said my peace and mildly vented 10 years of repressed sadness and anger. Our memories of 9/11 will not bring the victims back. They can prevent more people from becoming victims. As I go to work tomorrow and listen to the concens of clients, or opposing parties, I will remember, in the back of my mind, that so many have lost so much more to this tragedy than any divorce or custody battle could take from them. For a divorce in the Denver area, look to the attorneys at Plog & Stein. For resolve, strength, perseverance, and the ability to survive in an uncertain world, look to the United States and the 300 million who make us what we are. Should another 19 of you disgruntled, dirty, evil, abusive, woman hating, American hating animals decide to repeat 9/11, remember America can repeat its actions, too. Good will triumph, and in the end, we will still stand, while you float at the bottom of the sea.
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