Sep 11 2009
My phone rang at about 3 am in my tiny apartment on the other side of the Pacific Rim from Vancouver. “Jonathon, have you heard? It looks like World War Three is starting.”
I struggled to decide whether this was still happening or if it was just a dream. Then I figured Brian was still just raving drunk from a late night filled with alcohol and self-loathing, as usual. “What are you talking about? What time is it?”
“Planes are attacking New York City. They hit the World Trade Center.”
I tried to wrap my head around that one. How the heck would Russian fighters make it past NORAD to hit New York? OK, maybe not the Russians. Who, then? France? It just didn’t make any sense.
“Who do they think it is?” I asked, giving up.
“They don’t really know. Some guy said maybe it’s the PLO.”
The Palestinian Liberation Organization? They don’t have any jet planes. What the hell are we talking about, here?
I went down to the 24-hour Internet cafe in the basement of my building to learn the horrible truth. They had hit the World Trade Center. The Pentagon was on fire. All air traffic in the USA was grounded. Thousands were dead or missing. In those first hours, it really did look as though the world might catch on fire.
Eight years later, we still live in a very dangerous world. We understand better who our enemies are and the lengths they will go to in order to destruction to our lands. We understand also that within our own societies, these monsters are still able to recruit, plot and carry out more deadly attacks justified by a perverted ideology. Like cockroaches, Al Queda and its allies are resilient. They won’t be shut down next week, next month, or possibly even next century.
At least now we’re awake to confront them.