I had meant to blog today about the NEC Romance Writers Conference today, but after coming to work tonight I changed my blog. Within half an hour of arriving at work, the whole of the lab surrounded the Internet with the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. Immediately my thoughts raced back to 9/11. I could still cry when I think of that day and the weeks that followed. Never will I forget where I was and what I was thinking during that horrendous day when one of my friends called and asked me if I heard if a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. I turned on my TV to the scene. I watched the news in horror, alone, while the other Tower was hit.
Unbelievable. Shock. Panic. Worry. Sadness. Vulnerable.
Never in my life had I felt so afraid. My children were at school. My husband at work. My family in Mississippi. My heart stilled as I watched people run from the Towers along the streets of New York. People helping each other, crying...the look of shock. We had been attacked. The worse was still to come because we kept hearing of other planes heading for targets. Later we watched the effect of the plane that hit the Pentagon and then we learned about the fateful flight that downed in Pennesylvania. Watching heroic firefighters and police rushing into the Towers, then watching the collaspe...there is no need to describe anymore, not to anyone that lived through that day.
People died that day. Real people to me. Not far away on foreign soil, but here on American soil. Not someone seen in pictures or videos. People I knew. I had seen with my own eyes. A hockey coach died that day in one of the planes that took off from Boston. My son attended clinics he held. My son went to the school he played in high school. I had met him. Not that I would claim I knew him personally. I said hi to him, but he was flesh and blood to me, not a name on a paper. My husband knew him. He knew his older brother better having gone to school with him, but he was from the same community. My husband lost co-workers that day. A few of them. So many times in the past I felt empathy for others seen in a crisis, but in the back of mind I thought I was safe. Nothing would happen to me or my family...I don't feel that way anymore.
Back in '85 when I first moved up here, I had a conversation with a co-worker on Christmas. It was the first Christmas I spent in New England. My family was down South. My husband's family...let's just say I was new to the family...so when someone asked me to work for them to spend time with their young children I agreed to work a double. I worked with a sweet gentle lady from India whom I don't even remember her name, but during that time we talked, a lot. She told me the struggles her family and her had before coming to the US. She described some Muslim fanatics whom sought to cleanse the world of all infidels. If I remember correctly, I believe she was Hindu. I don't believe it is revelvant what religion only that it wasn't Islam that these fanatics followed. She said that these fanatics believed if they killed a 'non-believer' they gained steps to their heaven, nine to be exact. I remember her shivering while she remembered. The conversation haunts me.
How awful to have a religion that tells you to kill people only because they were different than you. Shouldn't be too surprised. Religion has been used for centuries to justify wars and killings. Religion is a powerful motivating tool by fanatics. It happens in all religions. Don't forget the Inquisition. Our hands in the US aren't clean either. Think back to the Salem witch trails. History is littered with examples.
Three things scare me about these fanatics that followed Bin Laden. One- they aren't scared of death. Rather they believe with their action it will lead to their heaven. Two- they don't respect human life. Three- they have proven they can strike on America soil. It is the reason they are called terrorist.
Make no mistake. The war against terrorism is far from over. After 9/11 we learned we will always have to be vigilant against terriorism. And if they are able, they will strike back. But...
But today a man died who was responsible for well over 3000 innocent lives. If the strike against Bin Laden does nothing else know this- Bin Laden will never again call for the end of an innocent life. If the reports are true, he died hiding behind a woman. He will have to answer for his deeds. Will he descend to his heaven or find his hell? I can't answer that, but I know what I believe. And I believe that today the world is a better place.