Choosing Change

Captain’s Log   6,075

When my sister and I went to New York in March of 2002, the memorials that people were placing around the city were still growing and becoming an even larger testimony to the memory of 9/11 that happened fourteen years ago today.  Grace Chapel’s fence was completely covered.

Grace-Chapel2 (1)

Powerful even though it’s now a memory for me

My sister awakened me that Tuesday morning with an early morning phone call.  “Turn on the TV.  I think we might be at war.”  A few moments after I turned on the news, the second plane hit.  I sat there glued to the television all day.  And the next day too.

We were at war and we have remained at war.  We are now engaged in a war with soldiers.  And we continue to be engaged in a war with our fear.  They are both destructive and deadly.  It has become so routine to scan for weapons that we don’t even think about it anymore.  Our fear has embedded itself into our psyches.  I don’t think twice about having to go through metal scanners at the country administration building so I can give a speech to the county supervisors or drop off a grant report.  We scan and scan and scan for bombs and weapons.   We do it without question.  Want to travel by air?  Prepare yourself to be scanned, questioned, touched, etc.

I think we have crossed the fence and there is no return.  At least not for a long time.  With idiots like Donald Trump surging ahead in the polls, we will continue to allow fear to fertilize our hearts, minds, and souls.  He wants us to be afraid of immigrants, women, and anyone else who might be off the conservative grid.

It scares me.  9/11 did not cause this.  It has been festering for years and years.  9/11 just gave fear a reason to bite back.

On this day of memory, I am choosing to look for the healing.  I am choosing to look at my own fear responses to people and situations.  I am choosing to change.

19 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

19 responses to “Choosing Change

  1. susanna

    Then we went in a disrupted Iraq leaving it in shambles so the terrorists could take hold. I am with the group of experts that say if we went in, we needed to stay and stabilize that country. I heard even Jeb Bush was not for invading Iraq.

  2. poundheadhere

    The day in many ways re-defined what it meant to be American. It brought us together as a nation. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, we as a country united in unprecedented ways. Perhaps the real tragedy is the loss of that unity, allowing it to be replaced by the bigotry and hatred that drives us now.

  3. Patty O"

    The fear was universal, not just here. We were in the wilds of North Central British Columbia at a fishing lodge. When we strolled from our cabin to the lodge for breakfast we were met on the front steps by the entire staff, all looking stunned… The German owners of the lodge were paying their annual visit and we were pretty thoroughly isolated. But they had received an e-mail from their daughter in Germany telling them what had happened. It was breakfast time there, but enough time had passed for the rumor mills to be at work everywhere. We were told: There had been attacks in New York and Washington. But there had also been attacks to the Houses of Parliament in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the headquarters of the old League of Nations in Geneva that now contains (among others) the hqtrs of NATO. According to the reports, the whole Western World was under attack. It was our departure day but we had to drive for many hours before there was any radio reception in the rental car and enough time had passed that what they were saying made no sense. It was not until we reached Williams Lake and the motel’s lounge with a TV. It was a sports bar, so it had only sports channels, but the news was there, too. It was then we finally learned that ONLY the US had been attacked. ONLY. It was a strange perspective and I think we were the sole people who felt somehow relieved…Needless to say communication was very difficult and getting home was an ordeal. I have nothing but praise for the help received from the Canadians we encountered. Their consideration was truly amazing. I have tales to tell…

  4. I know we all remember where we were when we heard the first news…and then the first pictures and then the fear of what was happening in our world. I agree that we have become too used to being afraid, not wanting to venture out. I’m guilty of that myself these days. I’m going to make a change and do the things that scare me more often. Thanks for the “push”.

  5. poolagirl

    You are a hero. B

  6. Inspired, moved, thankful for you in my life. I choose to change. No more complacency for me.

  7. I’m not questioning your memory, but I think you may be slightly off in one aspect of your account. I was just across the Hudson River in NJ that morning, as I right now as I type this, and as part of our job we had police scanners on and cameras focused on various roads and river crossings. When the first plane hit there was almost universal uncertainty from official channels about what had happened. I was at our producers’ desk, and the first thing we heard was a dispatcher saying they were getting reports of a helicopter flying into one of the towers. That was followed by other channels saying they thought it might be a corporate jet. We swung our Holland Tunnel camera to the tower and zoomed it in tight, but all we saw was a black hole with smoke pouring out. No one (unless they saw it actually happen – and there were certainly a few, but none in officialdom) imagined it was a commercial jet. It wasn’t until the second one slammed into the other tower – which we watched with that same camera – did everyone realize it was the history changer it was. So…I don’t think your sister could have thought “it was war” after only the first plane hit, since it was being broadcast across all media (including the stations I was reporting on) as, basically, an “accident of some kind”.

    • poolagirl

      Those were her words to me. Not sure of details.

      • I’m going to hazard a guess then – and again, without disparaging your memory of the event – that your sister called after the second plane hit. Remember, there was only a 17 minute gap between the north and south tower strikes. It took several of those minutes just to hastily gather whatever info was available, get camera crews ordered out, and break into programming to get whatever sparse info they had on the air. Your sister would have gotten wind of this several minutes in no matter what source she was using, leaving only a few minutes to the next strike. And in those few minutes she made the assumption it was a deliberate act rather than the accident that we were all broadcasting in those early minutes, called you, then on your end you would have to have tuned in just in time to see the second hit. I’m sure that’s possible, but I’d be surprised if your sister was so prescient, seeing as everyone at the time during those 17 minutes was calling it an accident.

        On the other hand, I was pretty drunk that day and every day since. So my memory is probably about as reliable as every other part of me 🙂

  8. bholles

    That was an incredible trip.

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