I was on days off, at home. The first I knew of the strikes was when I took a quick drive into town just before lunch to return some videos I’d rented. They were all Steven Segal movies and I joked with the gal I gave the videos back to about how mindlessly silly all of Segal’s action movies seemed to be. The gal countered with something like: speaking of mindless action, how about what’s going on in New York, with the Twin Towers collapsing and all? I confess I thought she was pulling my leg at first, and even after she’d given me a rundown on the situation as best she knew, I was still rather sceptical during the drive back. I still had a little rabbit-eared TV back then and checked it out as soon as I got home. It was true! Every channel was covering the story. A lot of the info being aired seemed so incoherent and contradictory, though, that I decided I’d carry on with my day’s plans and tune back in later, towards evening.
While I was pruning some shrubs along the fence line I share with a neighbour, the neighbour came out wearing his work duds (he does security) and told me that he was being called out on an emergency basis to the airport, that a whole bunch of jets were being diverted there because the States had just closed its borders to all commercial air traffic and was grounding everything. He confirmed that it was all due to several major terrorist attacks on American targets, then hurried off. Shortly afterwards, I saw an airliner go by low overhead, en route to the Halifax airport. They continued to come in, one by one, all afternoon long, and you can see some of the end result, how the visitors were parked and tended, in the aerial photo at the following link:http://www.airliners.net/photo/188171/
I returned to work two days later and the first person I saw was one of our then-resident American service people, an Army major. When I expressed my condolences over what had happened to his country, he started crying. He was one of the first people in our building to later volunteer for a position within the newly created homeland security forces. I like to think that he had a personal hand in hunting down Bin Laden. It would have given him a great deal of satisfaction.
My own major feeling in regards to 9/11, then and now, is still surprise that the terrorists involved were able to get organized enough to carry out several such large operations all at once. Aside from that, I’m pessimistic enough to believe that there’s a great deal of evil in the world and that its fallout is largely inevitable.