For those who lived through it, the anniversary of 911 (today, September 11) brings a feeling of vulnerability. The United States was victimized by a terroristic act that managed to destroy the heart of downtown New York and take many lives. The devastation wasn’t just felt there. People died in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon as well. We were caught with our guard down. Time has changed a lot since then. We went to fight a war in Iraq (even though Osama bin Ladin, the mastermind behind the attack, was living in Pakistan). Eventually bin Ladin was killed in a raid of his home. That still didn’t do much to erase the vulnerability of attack in our minds but it did bring about a sense of closure. I remember that morning I was working but I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the world trade center in New York. I thought that was odd, but it wasn’t until I heard about a “second” plane crashing into it that I realized we were under attack. All of us watched on television as you could see the buildings wobbling and finally disintegrating. Small items could be seen on television falling from the buildings before they collapsed. It wasn’t until later that I found out those items were people falling to their deaths. A sad part of this for me was that I had a friend who personally died in that tragedy, and I distinctly remember talking to him about it before then. His name was Calvin Bowser, and we both attended Kutztown College together. One day before this tragedy I saw him at church, and I remember asking him how it felt to work at the number one terrorist target in the world. Calvin was commuting to the trade center from Philadelphia each day. He responded by saying that he had to make a living for his wife and kids. He couldn’t be worried about terrorism. He mentioned that this could happen anywhere. He wasn’t concerned about it. After I saw his picture in the newspaper I felt so sad. It is one thing to hear about it. It is another to experience personal tragedy from it. The event of 911 changed a lot of minds. We need to forget, but we need to remember as well. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Al Sharpton and Dick Gregory with Brett Jolly in the background