Ten Years Later

Here it is, ten years after Islamic fanatics took over four planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  We still remember and mourn those that were lost in such a savage and senseless act.  Here’s how I remember that day [from Remembering 9/11]:

Sitting at my desk at another plant on assignment five years ago, I was finishing up some report when someone came in the office and announced that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. I really didn’t think much of it at the time, and thought that some joy riding pilot in a Cessna got too close to one of the buildings, got caught in an updraft, and slammed into the building.

I finished up the report, and went out on the floor to check on the project’s progress, and I happened to see one of the TVs the company had set up for internal communications. Someone had put the feed from one of the national networks on the network, and I saw the WTC burning. I was stunned for two reasons – the first was that it was such a clear day, so how could someone accidentally hit one of the buildings. The second was that I just couldn’t understand how a small plane could cause so much damage. That’s when I saw the second plane hit…

Dumbfounded, I suddenly realized that the first plane was not a Cessna or other small plane, but a full-sized, passenger-carrying jet. I next understood that this was deliberate, because there was absolutely no way that two planes could hit the WTC buildings on the same clear day. Then there was the overwhelming sense of sadness, grief, hopelessness as the dawning of a new thought came to mind…

Terrorism, unlike anything that we have ever known, had come to America.

I watched, horrified along with the rest of the country, as the towers came down mere minutes from each other. I couldn’t understand that at the time – this was the last thing that I had expected. I had known that the Empire State Building had been struck by a B-25 bomber and had survived with minimal damage – why not a modern building? But that was not the case here – too big, too much fuel, too much heat – and the towers collapsed. And I wept openly as I watched the plumes of dust rise over the island of Manhattan.

Over the past ten years, we have seen the terrorists commit other horrendous acts of violence in this country as well as the rest of the world.  Homegrown terrorist wannabes as well as committed jihadists have committed murder and mayhem if they were not discovered first.

However, many terrorist leaders responsible for 9/11 and other atrocities have been killed or captured, and in many respects, terrorist activities have been curtailed.  Unfortunately, there is still various networks that are planning and plotting to cause mayhem and havoc to the innocent.

What is astounding to me is that there are still those that believe that the terrorists can be negotiated with.  Tom Brokaw wrote in this Sunday’s Parade Magazine:

We’re still armed and on the ground in two Muslim nations where we’ve fought for much of the past 10 years, but we still have not extinguished the rage of extremists. We need to be more effective in promoting the American ideal without using guns or drones.

Mr. Brokaw, I agree with you.  However, I’m also reminded of a conversation from a Batman movie between Bruce Wayne and Alfred:

Alfred Pennyworth: A long time ago, I was in Burma, my friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never found anyone who traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.
Bruce Wayne: Then why steal them?
Alfred Pennyworth: Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

“They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with.  Some men just want to watch the world burn.”  Those last two lines, I believe, is the overriding reason why Islamic radicals and their terrorist brethren kill the innocents in the name of their religion to bring about their own version of heaven on earth.  The “rage of the extremists” cannot be quenched because it is not rational, nor does it respect the lives of fellow human beings.  This is why terrorists should not and cannot be negotiated with.

The civilized world is in a war that cannot and will not be won easily.  The hardest thing to eliminate is an idea, even if that idea states that in order to enter heaven, innocents not of your faith must be killed, but if those people that are of your faith get in the way, then they are automatically martyrs for the cause.  And that, my friends, is the last resort for people who have nothing to lose except their lives, and everything to gain in the next.  This is madness, at least to my mind.

Today is a day of remembrance for those who have been victims, for those who have lost their lives in fighting this horror, and why the fight must continue on.  Today needs to be a reason for us, the American people, to persevere in the face of those who wish us harm.  We must be…


Tom’s Place remembers all the victims of 9/11, and offers this remembrance to one of the victims, Klaus Johannes Sprockamp.

13 thoughts on “Ten Years Later

  1. It’s not about negotiating with terrorists it’s about giving locals in areas where terrorists flourish alternative views of America AND an alternative view of what’s possible for them in the World (and they’ll be more likely to protect it and turn in the terrorists hiding in their midst). THAT is what “We need to be more effective in promoting the American ideal without using guns or drones.” means — I’m stunned you don’t get it! Honestly the only bummer I’ve found is reading your blog and your constant references to Obummer. What a waste of time. I’m off for my day of service because being absorbed in positive action, moving forward in their memory, IS the best way I can honor those I loved and lost on this day ten years ago.

    1. Anne – But I do get it! Our problem is that there are those among us that want to negotiate with terrorists while they plot & plan & recruit. And that recruitment is happening worldwide in our country as well as the Islamic countries. If you have watched the bedside interrogation of the only surviving terrorist in the movie “Terror in Mumbai” you will understand that the recruitment happens in the poorest parts of the world. It is stunning what promises and deals are made with tribal chieftains for their young men. Then there are the “homegrown” terrorists that are typical middle-class people that seemingly go off the deep end and commit (or try to) terrorist activities. Yes, the outreach programs can and should continue, but the masterminds like bin Laden and KSM still need to be found and held accountable for their actions.

      I’m sorry that you find my references to Obummer distasteful. I make no apologies for expressing my disgust with his actions, his policies, and his politics. The fears that I had when he came on the political stage for the Presidency have come true and more. If you find reading my opinions a waste of time, then so be it – there are plenty of other people out there that express the same views and not in tactful ways.

      Yes, today is a day of rememberance for those that we lost on that day ten years ago, for the ones who have lost their lives since then, and for the ones that will be lost in the future either due to terrorist actions or fighting them.

      Velma – Thank you for visiting and sharing.

  2. I remember being in ms sweets class & kids were saying that a plane hit the empire state building. The teachers aids made the kids shutup

  3. It is an odd day when we must resort to quoting a Hollywood movie to express the profound reality that Hollwood denies daily. We already know there are men who only want to see the world, or small parts of it, burn. They’re called arsonists and Islamic terrorists are nothing more than arsonists, arsonists for allah.

    1. Indigo – Sometimes the best lines come from Hollywood, even if it is the land of the lost…

      Robert – Will add your blog to the Blogroll, and thank you for your comment.

      Seane-Anna – It’s the hard-core extremists that will not be convinced to stand down, and those are the people that want to see the world burn. The people that they recruit to do their dirty work are the ones that need to be educated to the reality that Islamic extremism means murder and mayhem upon innocents of all faiths (including their own).

      Sue – Thank you for visiting, and please visit again.

  4. Fantastic post my friend. I found your blog after reading another friend’s blog at Sinestra’s Bane. I came here to find you and now will add you to my growing blogroll. I love that reference to the batman movie. Great thoughts. Keep up the good work, and I will be back often.

  5. Tom, you and I were thinking somewhat alike today. The statement you quoted from Tom Brokaw caught my attention too but, unlike you, I disagree with it totally.

    Mr. Brokaw’s statement reflects modern liberals’ “Blame America first” mentality. It implies that terrorism is some how the result of something America has or hasn’t done and then puts the responsibiliy for “extinquish[ing] the rage of extremists” on America. Mr. Brokaw’s statement reveals his inability or unwillingness, after all these years, to deal with the fact that Islamic terrorism is caused by ISLAM, not by some American failure. Until Brokaw and other liberals finally accept that reality our ability to fight Islamic terrorists will be hampered in a way it doesn’t have to be.

    You’re right, Tom, that “the hardest thing is to eliminate an idea”, especially a religious idea. But that diffculty shouldn’t be dealt with by denying that an idea is, in fact, what we’re fighting. Instead, we must face facts, and the hard decisions they force upon us.

    European colonialism in the Middle East, bitterly resented by Arabs today, was Europeans’ final response to 1000 years of Muslims attacking, invading, enslaving, and occupying them. Europe learned the hard way that it couldn’t eliminate the idea of jihad, so it had to eliminate the ABILITY OF MUSLIMS TO ACT ON THAT IDEA. I believe that’s the reality liberals like Brokaw, and even some conservatives, don’t want to face. That’s why they resort to blaming America. That’s much easier than contemplating the possibility that, to truly defend ourselves against Islamic terrorism, America and the West will have to keep a permanent boot on the Islamic world’s face. That’s not something I like to think about either, but history teaches us that that’s the only way for non-Muslims to protect themselves from Islamic imperialism and jihad.

    We can’t eliminate the idea, so we must eliminate their ability to act on it. That’s a hard reality to deal with. I pray that God will give us the resolve to see it through.

  6. Tom, I will never forget the impact those two blue spotlights had on me. It was like they were going upward forever.

    The picture on your blog is stunning.


  7. That is the best image of the twin tower lights I have ever seen. Since September 11, 2001,(well 2002 actually) I have had an image of those lights as my wallpaper on my laptop. I might have to grab this one from you or can you email me the original without “Tom’s Place” on it?

  8. excellent piece Tom..thank u for this..so so sorry..your comment at WHT somehow ended up in my spam filter..can u comment again so I can take u off the spam list?.God bless ya~!

  9. What is astounding to me is that there are still those that believe that the terrorists can be negotiated with.

    Now that the 10th anniversary is behind us, watch for more such negotiations. We’re going to suffer because those negotiations won’t result in real measures to curb terrorist, but rather will give our enemy the further idea that we are weak and ready to be conquered.

    BTW, did you hear what Obama read at Ground Zero yesterday? I was watching the ceremony and gasped! Watch the video, and notice the desolation part. I also wonder if that Psalm is included in the Koran?

  10. Debbie – The original picture is here.

    Angel – It’s on the way.

    AOW – Time (and polls) tend to cloud the politician’s memory and weakens their backbones (if they ever had any to begin with). It is also interesting that religious leaders were banned from giving prayers, but “the one” was allowed to. Talk about hypocrisy…

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