HASBARA: Remembering 9/11 In 2007.
Today is a monumental date, one which should live on in the minds of all Americans and even of all people opposed to living under the oppression of dictatorships and the random indiscriminate violence of Terrorism and Jihadism. Today is 9/11. The single worst attack on the United States in world history. A watershed. A day of infamy. A day which will be discussed by those who remember and those who seek to forget for the rest of our lives. The "Pearl Harbor" of my generation.
Here's my story:
I don't know any other way to say it, but to say it outright:
Like many, I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 hit us... teaching fourth grade at elementary school. I'd arrived early to correct some papers and hang out with the lead teacher in my room. At the time, I was a student teacher and taught about half the day, but under the direction of a lead teacher, a guy named Brad who's a good man. It was Brad's habit to turn on the news in the morning as we reviewed our plans, corrected papers, and otherwise prepped for the day. And everyone knew Brad's habit and habitually stopped by to visit, shoot the breeze and maybe catch a little news. So, there we were correcting papers, conducting school teacher business, and just chatting amicably when the television screen flashed with that footage that we all remember... an airplane hitting a building. The room went nearly dead silent with only the sound of a red correction pencil hitting the floor breaking that silence.
And we sat and stood there for an indeterminate amount of time... just watching and taking in what happened. The students started coming in and immediately sat down and watched along with us, not understanding what was going on, but understanding that their teacher's silent behavior was serious. I don't don't know how long we sat there watching... it must have been a few hours... but none could tell how long... The attendance collector didn't come by, there were no overhead announcements, recess was forgotten (...I don't even remember the bell), in fact, other teachers and students had come into the room and sat or stood with us quietly. It was long enough to see the second plane hit though... and that was when we all woke up. The students and teachers from other rooms went back to their classrooms. We thought about trying to teach, but that wasn't going to happen. Instead we talked with the kids about what we had all seen and what it meant. After lunch, we resumed teaching, but it was hard. I don't think alot of school learning went on that day, but I'm sure some deeper lessons took hold. I know; I've run into some of those students since.
I'm going to share some of the articles I've found meaningful on this anniversary of 9/11.
Two of the best wrap-ups I've read to date:
Title: "Six Years Later -- We Will Not Forget"
By: Lorie Byrd
Published: Sep 11, 2007
Excerpt: This 9/11 memorial post is a compilation of commentary, news reports, eyewitness accounts and pictures not only from that day, but from the past five years as the nation has recovered from the most deadly attack on U.S. soil in the country's history.
Over the past six years, millions of words have been written about the terrorist attacks of September 11. Below is a sampling from each of the past five anniversaries. I will be adding links to additional commentary from today's anniversary throughout the day...
Title: "9/11 Comprehensive Roundup 2006: Five Years In - And So It Begins..."
By: Joe Katzman
Published: September 11, 2006
Excerpt: 9/11. Of course you remember where you were. That day was a summons, a call; many answered it, in many different ways. Our team is here because of it. In all probability, so are you.
This September 11th we honour those who answered that call, and those who answer it still. Amidst the clamour and tumult of all the 9/11 related posts and articles over the past 4 years, some stand out and speak more truly to the essence of that dark day - and the challenges that lie before us still.
All of us are called on define the parts we play, and the exchanges we will make. What part will you play? "Ah," you say, "but I'm not a writer, or a hero." Funny, but I've got a few people in here who would have said the very same thing...
Two of the best articles I've read about 9/11 this anniversary:
And an article and a few links to reminders as to why we need, as a society, to confront Jihadism and the greater epidemic of terrorism head on:
TOP: The cross at Ground Zero.
Title: "Just for being Americans..."
By: Dave Barry
Published: September 13, 2001
Excerpt: The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people...
Title: "Is 9/11 Becoming Just Another Calendar Date?"
By: Rick Hampson of USA TODAY
Published: Sep 11, 2007
Excerpt: Even if you wanted to forget what day it was, you couldn't. When you write a check or plan a meeting, there it is — printed on the calendar, encoded in time.
You might forget the date Hiroshima was bombed or Kennedy was shot. You can't forget Sept. 11, the date that shares its name with the catastrophe of 2001.
Is that beginning to change, even as the war the attacks helped to inspire drags on in Iraq?
Tuesday's sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people is unlikely to pack the same emotional clout, generate the same media attention or command the same public focus as the fifth anniversary...
It still stands out in my mind the exact thoughts that went through my mind I watched those early report from 9/11. And my resolve to not just stand by and look the other way still burns deeply. I will continue to support the fight against the murderers of 9/11 through my words, my voting, my donations, and whatever other forms of support and action I can. I encourage you, my reader, to do the same.
Title: "The Date Which Will Live In Infamy"
By: Robert Spencer
Published: Sep 11, 2007
Excerpt: Now it has been six years. The global jihad proceeds apace, with well over 9,000 deadly attacks carried out in the course of those six years by believers in the proposition that "Islam must dominate, and not be dominated." Yet we are no closer as a society to recognizing how exactly to combat this foe...
...Six years after 9/11, the jihad proceeds apace, and the UN investigates... Islamophobia.
Want to end Islamophobia? End violent attacks committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. I guarantee that Islamophobia will then vanish utterly.
Title: "In Their Own Words: Newly Translated Writings Of The al Qaeda Leadership"
By: Bruce Thornton
Published: August 19, 2007
Excerpt: Given that war, as both Sun Tzu and Mohammed preached, is deception, it behooves us to understand accurately the enemy’s motivations and not be fooled by his deceiving propaganda. Yet in the current war against Islamic jihad, the West has stubbornly refused to take seriously what the jihadists tell us, believing instead what Thucydides called the “pretexts” with which an enemy rationalizes his aggression. Osama bin Laden and his theorist Aymin al Zawahiri in particular have provided us with numerous texts outlining the Islamic foundations of their war against the West. A few of these pronouncements and manifestoes have long been available, but now thanks to Raymond Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader, writings previously unavailable in English can be studied and analyzed. Such study will provide powerful evidence that contrary to the deceptions of apologists and the naïve delusions of some Westerners, the bases of the jihadists’ actions lie squarely within Islamic tradition, not in the alleged Western crimes against Islam...
* For more words from the society from which the 9/11 attackers came, please consult these translated videos of actual media reports from across the Middle East:
* And the below story ought to be required reading for those who think that terrorism can be ignored and that Jihadism will only poison the Middle East if we just leave it alone:
(Hat tip to Joe Katzman)
Today's required reading: I'd argue that it's science fiction author Dan Simmons' story "The Time Traveler" - and its follow-up.
Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).