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September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little" 
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Post September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
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Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:00 am
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
September does indeed have a difficult memory for me, but not for the same reasons as most people. I remember that fateful day at school, I knew something was off since the teachers wouldn't let us go outside, nobody at school told us what was going on, so I didn't think anything of it, when I got home from school on that fateful day and seeing my mom watching news footage of the attacks, but despite that I went about the rest of my day as normal, being 11 years old at the time, 9/11 was just another day for me, but 9/14 is a day i'll never forget, that's the day my cousin died in a car crash. Somehow no tragedy, no matter how big, could compare to a close relative dying so suddenly.


Last edited by Vexer on Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:52 am
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
I was working on the 45th floor of a building in the financial district in Toronto putting the final touches on hosting a gala that evening for TIFF. Our parent company lost 200 souls in the towers that day. I didn't know any personally, only through emails, phone calls and faxes....because of the collateral effects on the reinsurance industry, our company folded 6 months after the event...we did have employees that were in the towers that day, and their descriptions of the evacuation were unspeakable. Being in a building and hearing that planes were diverted to Canada, and the fear in the boardroom packed around the sole TV in the office, I immediately called the COO and requested to evacuate our floor...as we left the building, people were milling around the financial district with their cameras, and handycams pointing up....eerie

It was personalized further for a work colleagues brother was supposed to be on one of the flights that crashed into the towers but missed it due to traffic and a hangover of all things....

Watching the news the following day and hearing about all the stranded passengers at the airport, and all the hotels booked, we took in a British bloke for a few days until the restrictions were lifted.

I like to think I, and many of my friends, changed that day. When trying to find meaning to it all, we started asking "why". So we were forced out of that complacency of being amoebas. Looking at the world with more skepticism. Forced us to take a longer look at intervention. Religion. Policies. Conversations that followed 9/11 were more informative. Some extreme, some enlightened. But, people were engaging in issues that transcended the usual wedge inducing topics.

In the following years solidarity with our US brothers, sisters, comrades and friends decidedly split. Doing some international traveling it helped that I was Canadian on more than one occasion. But I did sense the ground move a little having conversations with families in places like Guatemala where US intervention literally destroyed their country. While there was immense animosity towards the US people, I got the sense that after 9/11, it was directed more towards policy makers and not US citizens...some things changed.


Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:13 pm
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Post 9/11. Ten Years Later
I remember where I was on that morning. I'd just gotten up. I had a class to go to later that day. I was getting dressed when the telephone rang. It was my grandmother. "Jeff turn on the TV. A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center". My intial thought was "my god. What a horrible accident". Turn on the TV, see the second plane hit. Realize this is no accident.

Reflecting now on that moment when the world changed, I find myself feeling that what America lost on 9/11/01 was not its past innocence. But its future. America never was the sunny Leave It To Beaver world so many people like to paint it as. But even in the darkest moments (The Depression, Vietnam) there was always a sense of can-do optimism. That optimism emerged right after 9/11 especially in light of what happened on United 93. It was there for a while. But then it seemed to get replaced by a certain sense of lastitude and cynicism.

In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.

The day that changed little is an accurate description. While America didn't let the fear break it down, it also changed in primarily minor ways. The lastitude and cynicism I referred to earlier was always there. It simply got amplified about three years after the day the world changed.

Vexer wrote:
9/14 is a day i'll never forget, that's the day my cousin died in a car crash. Somehow no tragedy, no matter how big, could compare to a close relative dying so suddenly.


For me the defining day of 2001 was 5/3. That was the day my mother died after a painful two year battle with cancer. I'll never forget 9/11. But the day of 2001 that will always loom largest in my head is May 3.

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Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:22 pm
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Well I remember being at the local shopping mall, getting some CD's, when I saw it behind a window on a (then) large tv screen. A tower burning at the top, shaky cameras. Braking news for sure. No sound. Only after a zoom-in did I realize that this was the WTC. The name hadn't appeared on screen. After that a plane hit the second tower and I understood what was going on.
After a cab ride with the radio on to fill us in, I returned to my work place where everyone was sitting in front of the tv set where things unfolded.
Even on the other side of the pond, all kinds of very creepy ideas kept flashing through our heads while trying to figure out what exactly is happening.

After that event I visited the US three times. I felt and heard from all sides that it never was the same ever since.

One rather small event summed it up for me what I can't fully understand as a non-US citizen: at a souvenir shop on board the old Queen Mary Hotel at Long Beach, around the second anniversary of September 11 a guy showed me a large, beautiful and very detailed painting of a cuising ship (the QE2) at New York harbor. The twin towers were featured glowing in the sun (either dusk or dawn). The guy said: man it's hard to look at this. Doesn't sound like much, but I felt like that guy's heart had been ripped out. I guess that was in fact the case for so many.

The events seemingly came out of nowhere. And that I guess changed a lot forever. I cannot talk about the American "can do" spirit/dream. I see a failing European Union - which was just a hackjob done by a few suits, not a nation built up from the ground - at the moment.

I sincerely hope and wish you guys will do better in the near future.


Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:17 pm
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Post Re: 9/11. Ten Years Later
Jeff Wilder wrote:
In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.


It's all a matter of perspective, I think. The ugliest scar in my lifetime was left by the early '70s. Those were dark, dark days. I lived through them but only recognized how bleak they were in hindsight - racial disharmony, loss in Vietnam, an economy on life support, gas lines, and Watergate. Any innocence we had left was well and truly destroyed by what happened in the political arena after the 1972 election. Sure, there was always a degree of cynicism about the President, but what Nixon did forever changed how politicians high and low would be viewed.

9/11 was more traumatic because of the suddenness with which everything happened. But the early '70s left deeper wounds.

Those who lived through the Great Depression (and who are now in their 90s) would argue that the '30s were even worse.


Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:16 pm
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
The changes 9/11 brought to the United States may not be measurable by observing ordinary people's everyday life, but economically and politically speaking it changed the world dramatically. It is unmeasurable how much money the attacks have directly or indirectly cost the U.S. Individuals who didn't lose a loved one in the attacks may not notice any major changes in their everyday lives, but this country was drastically changed forever that day. Just imagine if that day never happened. George W. Bush's presidency would have been entirely different. There's a great chance Obama wouldn't be president. It was just such a large and monumental event that the changes it caused can't be known. Would America still be trillions of dollars in debt if that day never happened? How different would things in the Middle East be if 9/11 never happened? Like I said, it can't be known what the world would be like if September 11th never happened, but it is safe to say that things would be very different. You and I might still be sitting here on our computers regardless, but its about the bigger picture.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:46 am
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Jeff Wilder wrote:
In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.


Does anyone else think that in a way, our country was even more traumatized by the 2000 election than by 9/11? Think about the ripples in political mindset, and how that might have been a huge blow to general patriotism and passion for our system of government. If you're looking for a source of cynicism and loss of innocence, I think we may want to consider looking a year earlier than this anniversary would suggest. Any thoughts on that?


Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:23 am
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
MGamesCook wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.


Does anyone else think that in a way, our country was even more traumatized by the 2000 election than by 9/11? Think about the ripples in political mindset, and how that might have been a huge blow to general patriotism and passion for our system of government. If you're looking for a source of cynicism and loss of innocence, I think we may want to consider looking a year earlier than this anniversary would suggest. Any thoughts on that?

My mom would agree with you on that, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that hates Bush more then she did. It's also been argued that Bush's approval rating would've dropped much faster if it wasn't for 9/11.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:25 am
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Vexer wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.


Does anyone else think that in a way, our country was even more traumatized by the 2000 election than by 9/11? Think about the ripples in political mindset, and how that might have been a huge blow to general patriotism and passion for our system of government. If you're looking for a source of cynicism and loss of innocence, I think we may want to consider looking a year earlier than this anniversary would suggest. Any thoughts on that?

My mom would agree with you on that, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that hates Bush more then she did. It's also been argued that Bush's approval rating would've dropped much faster if it wasn't for 9/11.


For me, I think bush would've been an unremarkable one-term president if 9/11 never happened......that's just me though.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:17 am
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Quote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
In a way, one could say that 9/11 was the day when the innocence was shattered irreplacably. We moved on. But the scar it left is bruised and uglier than previous scars.


Does anyone else think that in a way, our country was even more traumatized by the 2000 election than by 9/11? Think about the ripples in political mindset, and how that might have been a huge blow to general patriotism and passion for our system of government. If you're looking for a source of cynicism and loss of innocence, I think we may want to consider looking a year earlier than this anniversary would suggest. Any thoughts on that?


I always traced the primary reason for the political divisons in this country and why politics have gotten so rancid to two events: the 2000 election and the Clinton impeachment. As I wrote on a friend's Facebook about a year ago:

Quote:
The impeachment provided grist for the extremists who didn't see Clinton as simply wrong or misguided in his thinking. But evil. A similar thing in a way happened with the 2000 election aftermath. I know quite a few hardcore democrats who went apoplectic over it and a few that got totally radicalized (in both cases there were some on both sides who just gave up). Those two events set the parties to a level where they're at war with each other and the only purpose is less the betterment of a nation and more the destruction of the other side because the other side is not simply wrong. They are EVIL.


And the more I think about it, the more I realize how true this is. Yet the election played a bigger role in a way. I agree with previous commenters who observe that were it not for 9/11 Bush would most likely have gone down as a one-term president. The fact that by the end of his second term, many people (including a few hardcore Republicans I know) were ready to write his presidency off as a disaster should tell you how far he fell.

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:10 am
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
The more I look back on that year the more I am convinced if Gore had won 9/11 might have never happened. I know it's a divisive statement, but I just can't escape the fact that he wouldn't have allowed Clarke to downgrade, or ignored him, wouldn't have hired Ashcroft who was "tired of swatting flies", wouldn't have had Rice who was a very politically divisive neo-con. Powell might have been in place still and actually listened to. His cleaning lady wouldn't have been his chief adviser. The threats coming from almost every intelligence agency in the world, even the CIA, would have probably been given more attention...

The whole Bush atmosphere seemed to not take security threats seriously, at all! Which today almost sounds like fantasy as they went in the complete opposite direction to draconian lengths and spending...

The world changed, perhaps, when the Supreme Court had to invent new law to place Bush in the white house. We'll never know what the world would look like today had Gore won, but I certainly am convinced, our economy wouldn't be as bad, two wars wouldn't have been fought, and still fighting, climate change might be getting the attention it deserves instead of the obstructionist con$piracy theorist$ winning the debate, and the extremism in politics we see today might be more of an annoyance and not an actual threat like it was before Clinton...


Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:00 pm
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Well I expected another cynical rant from JB, but color me pleasantly surprised this time. I especially love the message that since we returned to our normal lives so quickly (with the exception of airline travel), it means we didn't let the terrorists win.

nologo wrote:
The more I look back on that year the more I am convinced if Gore had won 9/11 might have never happened. I know it's a divisive statement, but I just can't escape the fact that he wouldn't have allowed Clarke to downgrade, or ignored him, wouldn't have hired Ashcroft who was "tired of swatting flies", wouldn't have had Rice who was a very politically divisive neo-con. Powell might have been in place still and actually listened to. His cleaning lady wouldn't have been his chief adviser. The threats coming from almost every intelligence agency in the world, even the CIA, would have probably been given more attention...

The whole Bush atmosphere seemed to not take security threats seriously, at all! Which today almost sounds like fantasy as they went in the complete opposite direction to draconian lengths and spending...

The world changed, perhaps, when the Supreme Court had to invent new law to place Bush in the white house. We'll never know what the world would look like today had Gore won, but I certainly am convinced, our economy wouldn't be as bad, two wars wouldn't have been fought, and still fighting, and the extremism in politics we see today might be more of an annoyance and not an actual threat like it was before Clinton...



I'm with you on that one.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:09 pm
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
I was under the impression that at least the 'feet' of the buildings were now a fountain, and not a new structure?

I was on a bus when I first heard the news, on my way home from college. A friend of mine said "Did you hear someone crashed a plane into the World Trade Centre?" My first reaction was one of puzzled amusement as I pictured a light aircraft or microlight harmlessly shattering a window or two. "That was stupid, how did that happen?" was my reaction. Being informed that it was a hijacking of a passenger plane wiped the half smile but not the egg from my face. I arrived home to find my mother, who had been off work that day, watching the live BBC news coverage. Both planes had struck by this point but we both watched in shock as the towers actually collapsed...


I had first hand experience of the utter bullshit that people try to get away with in the wake of an incident of terror relating to public transport. Despite being no strangers to acts of terror, when the London bombings occurred on 7/7/2005, people as far away as Aberdeen in Scotland were being high and mighty about making up rules to piss people off. I had been in Orkney visiting family on 7/7 and had to travel back to London only two days later, by boat and then coach. The coach company decided that anything we couldn't keep in our pockets had to be stowed in the hold (including women's handbags) which really would make a virtually non-stop 12 hour drive a nightmare.

Dare I point out that there are certain people in the world, regardless of political persuasion etc who just love the feeling of being in control? Perhaps this is why we cannot fly without being made to feel like bad people. Not just for 'security' but now for the added bonus of supposed environmental impact. I mean the sort of people that would love to decide what movies/music/television we SHOULD be watching and are petty enough to use something like 9/11 as an excuse to swing their ban-hammers.

Where was this apparent 'sensitivity' when Hollywood wanted to cash in on however many IRA incidents in the UK?


Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:41 pm
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
I was in the middle of an eighth grade class, getting something from the supply closet when I heard the news over the intercom. I felt sad for the victims and their families, but since no one from my family who lives in the area was directly impacted by it, I felt a distance to it(however, I did feel very jumpy when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed a few months later, since it hit closer to where they live. I'm ashamed to admit that I was "relieved" when I found out it was a cockpit error instead of another attack). When I got home, my father and mother were upset, but it took me a while until I grasped what really happened. Before the attacks, I had virtually zero knowledge of politics and very little of history outside of maybe the American Revolution. I looked at them in a remote, incurious way. September 11th changed that.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:52 pm
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
Dragonbeard wrote:
I was under the impression that at least the 'feet' of the buildings were now a fountain, and not a new structure?


The footprints for both the North Tower and the South Tower have been converted into fountains as part of a memorial. The entire courtyard surrounding where the building stood is part of a memorial "park." The new building, World Trade Center One, is rising off to one side of the park - I don't know its exact current height but it's over five hundred feet and growing. When finished, it will stand - ground to antenna top - 1776 feet. There were plans for a WTC2, WTC3, and WTC4, all originally intended to be high rises, but I think some (or all) of those plans are on hold because of the weak economy. Not enough tenants can be found.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:08 pm
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Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
The paragraph about the difference in reaction of people to 9-11 vs Pearl Harbor was interesting to me.

I think the difference is caused by video. Video brings an immediacy and intimacy to the event that news reports can't capture.
We also have audio of people calling on phones for help, but audio, while more compelling than news reports, does not seem as compelling as the videos.

For me, the images of the people jumping to their deaths from the burning floors of the building are the most important. These images connect me immediately emotionally to the horror and the outrage. I always gaze for long seconds at the still shot of "The Falling Man", that poor fellow who jumped and is falling in a manner - body relaxed, composed, not struggling - where you can tell he has accepted his fate.


Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:06 pm
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
One of my favourite websites on the world wide web is Slashdot.org. They post snippets of news stories but the real content is the commentary from the user base who strikes me as more intelligent than any other user base I've come across. Interestingly, most of the commentators there seem to argue that the terrorists did win so I thought it interesting to share the link. There are some great points immediately after the squabbling about the correct way to write a date:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/09/11/136207/Marking-10-Years-Since-9112001


Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:41 pm
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
ed_metal_head wrote:
One of my favourite websites on the world wide web is Slashdot.org. They post snippets of news stories but the real content is the commentary from the user base who strikes me as more intelligent than any other user base I've come across. Interestingly, most of the commentators there seem to argue that the terrorists did win so I thought it interesting to share the link. There are some great points immediately after the squabbling about the correct way to write a date:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/09/11/136207/Marking-10-Years-Since-9112001

I skimmed through the link and found one from a poster who mentioned something about Osama Bin Laden telling someone that the aim was in fact to draw the U.S. into a protracted war in Afghanistan, which I find ridiculous. If OBL thought that a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attack would be looked upon as negatively as the Soviet invasion was, he must have been smoking a little too much hash at the time. I agree that the invasion of *Iraq* was pointless aside from protecting American oil interests in the region (fuck you very much, Bush), but the Afghan war is anything but.


Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:22 pm
Post Re: September 11, 2011: "The Day that Changed Little"
nologo wrote:
The more I look back on that year the more I am convinced if Gore had won 9/11 might have never happened.


As much as I dislike Bush, I'm convinced that the attack was being planned long before he came to power.

Also, would you (the states) really have been happier with Al Gore as president? Pardon me but the guy is a tosser. All he managed to do with 'Truth was open people's eyes... to how manipulation is a two way street.


Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:36 pm
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