One September Morning....

Lou Cabral By Lou Cabral, 5th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

One September morning I rubbed the sleep from my eyes in time to see the unimaginable come across my T.V. screen. While smoke was still billowing from the first tower, what looks like a 747 plows into one of the second tower, live on NBC's Today Show. With a quick call into work and a shower I got into my car and ventured out into a very different world.

One September Morning....



One September morning I rubbed the sleep from my eyes in time to see the unimaginable come across my T.V. screen. While smoke was still billowing from the first tower, what looks like a 747 plows into one of the second tower, live on NBC's Today Show. With a quick call into work and a shower I got into my car and ventured out into a very different world.

Winding my out of the cul de sac and out to the freeway, the scene was a surreal. At the top of the off-ramp I looked out onto a deserted Highway 99. Driving past Livingston and Atwater there was no traffic coming in the opposite direction. Merced was nearly deserted with the exception of a couple of police vehicles parked in front of 1810 “K” Street. Fire Chief Ken Mitten came rolling by to make sure all was well and then he was off.

My office mate Lesa Rasmussen opened the door and then locked it behind me. She and Cathy Paskin immediately confirmed my worst fears, we were under complete lock down until further notice. The Assembly member was at an undisclosed location with the other members of the Legislature. At the time, no one knew if we were dealing with homegrown terrorists or something even worse. The three of us spent the next few hours watching the news coverage on a small television in the relative safety of the inner office. Word finally came around two o'clock that we could go home. Our world that had been turned inside out in a matter of minutes would never be the same again.

It felt so good to be home even though I couldn't shake the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. A call went out to check on mom and the grand parents who were relieved to know that at least we were home and safe. Grandma had already checked in to make sure that all seven grand kids and their extended families were safe and sound.
I expected the wall to wall coverage on television, but the realization of what had happened set in when all non essential channels went off the air until further notice.
My wife and I spent the rest of that day flipping back and forth between CNN and RTPI international ( Radio Television Portugal International). RTPI's coverage proved to be very graphic, much more so than it's American counter part.

The days quickly turned into weeks and the months into years. Christmas that year was a quiet affair given that everyone of us were still numb from the events of September 11th. We all learned to watch for suspicious activity in our neighborhoods that might be dangerous. Although suspects were hauled in, they never did find those responsible for sending Anthrax laced letters to state and federal offices. It felt good when the bombs fell on Afghanistan and the Taliban was run out of town. I can remember thinking “they aren't done yet, why the hell are we invading Iraq?”

An intern's disappearance in Washington brought down a once invincible valley congressman. Loyalties were tested and long held cannons shattered in the wreckage that followed. Jobs started to get scarce even though the housing market continued it's climb to the stratosphere. The valley's death spiral had begun in earnest with the consequences to come by the truck load.

The war in Iraq turned into a killing field and we couldn't get any straight answers from Washington. When the bodies started coming home the questions from everyday Americans only got louder. Then came reports of secret prisons and enhanced interrogations that included something called water boarding.

The attempts to bring down planes and the United States with them didn't end on that clear September morning. Thankfully none succeeded, but that old familiar feeling of fear and apprehension always return ever so briefly. Bin Laden lies at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and Khalid Sheik Mohamed will never see the light of day, but how many more are lying in wait for the opportunity to be the next martyr for the cause.

A small band of zealots managed to leave their mark on the mightiest nation in the world that lasts to this day. I'm not so sure we will ever shake that feeling every time we take off our shoes at an airport check point. Ten year on now we will mark the anniversary with solemn reverence for the lost and their families. Memorials will be held and bells will toll at Ground Zero, lest we ever forget that September morning....





Tags

Afghanistan, Bin Laden, Iraq, New York, September 11, Taliban, Terrorism, Twin Towers

Meet the author

author avatar Lou Cabral
Currently live and write in rural Wisconsin after spending over thirty years in California. Writing,politics, music, family, and the Azores are never far from my thoughts.

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