Patterico's Pontifications


9-11, Ten Years Later

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 pm

Everybody has a 9/11 story. The story of my day is nothing remarkable. If one memory stands out, it was watching the repeated footage of the plane hitting the tower, and seeing our 1 1/2 year-old daughter point and excitedly yell: “Airplane!!” She was old enough to recognize airplanes as those things that fly in the sky, but not old enough to recognize that they could be instruments used by evil people.

Early on in the day, I popped in a new 6-hour VCR tape and taped the news coverage. I left it on all day and still have it. I used to go back and watch it from time to time.

Things change. I don’t watch the VCR tape any more. Our VCR eats any tape you put in it. And our daughter knows what terrorists are. So does our son, who wasn’t even there on September 11, 2001.

I remember telling a friend: I feel, all of a sudden, that my career is relatively meaningless, in light of what just happened. In a good career, I’ll prosecute maybe a few dozen murder cases and bring justice to a few dozen families, I said. What is that compared to the 3000 lives just lost in one day?

Things change. Today, I am preparing to start a murder trial tomorrow. It doesn’t feel meaningless.

Some things stay the same. There were people on September 11, 2001, who wanted to kill me and my family. Who wanted to kill you and your family. Such people still exist. If they could have made today a living hell ten times worse for America than September 11 was, they would rejoice. They would rejoice in our death and misery.

I don’t need a working VCR to remind me of that.

9/11 +10

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:00 am

[Posted by Karl]

When we remember the 9/11 attacks, it can be too easy to forget Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon. On a year emphasized by our base-10 mathematics, it appears that at least the heroes on Flight 93 are getting their due.

Yet it seems undeniable that the attacks had their biggest and most terrible effect in New York City.  Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor for US news at The Associated Press, takes a decent run at capturing what the loss of the Twin Towers — and those at Ground Zero — did and meant to New Yorkers.  No single essay could reasonbly be expected to capture that loss.  To paraphrase an apocryphal quotation attributed to an expert on the subject of mass murder, the death of of one is a tragedy, while the death of many is a statistic.  This may be why I return to the recollections of a single New Yorker (and one of my favorites) Allahpundit, as compiled by Andy Levy (another of my favorites).  Both Oreskes and Allahpundit refer to those who plunged from the towers ten years ago today — people rarely discussed, but as deserving of our attention and reflection as any this day.


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