Gut Reaction on the Attack on America
By Carolyn Gargaro
September 14, 2001
People assume we will never forget the images shown on national airwaves on September 11, 2001.
But we could. And we must not.
For once, I want my normal television programming to halt, and to watch nothing but news for days on end. I do not care about sitcoms, movies, or soap operas.
I've been reading many opinions on how America should respond the September 11, 2001 attack. I agree with many, and disagree with some. I have posted thoughts on this since the 11th in my personal web site "journal" and guestbook/discussion area, but haven't had the energy or time to write anything else. Today, I read a friend's opinion on his web site. The gist: there was too much coverage of the attack at this point, the constant flow of information merely fuels the ignorant belief that we should bomb countries, fringe groups are to blame, not countries, and we all should get on with life. After reading that, I decided to write him a short e-mail. The e-mail was going to briefly state my disagreement, but the e-mail became rather long, as thoughts continued to pour out.
I didn't send the e-mail. Instead, I have included it below.
My thoughts are not eloquent, as this was composed "off the top of my head." This is an expression of emotion, not polished article, and should be taken as such. I wish I had something more substantial to present at this time, but I do not.
I must respectfully disagree with the idea that we should all just shut up about this week's incidents. America has pushed things aside before, and the result was the horror of September 11, 2001. After other tragedies we have made noises about bringing the "guilty to justice", prosecuted some people, and everyone went back to work. Now, as people went "back to work" on September 11, 2001, thousands of lives were ended, thousands more are ruined, and there are numerous long-lasting consequences that many haven't even thought of yet. I know people who lost loved ones and friends in this attack, I know people personally who were at the WTC when this happened, and were lucky enough to survive. Get on with life - absolutely. Forget about it, shut up about it and not take any action? That will result in a "second time around", and next time, it could be you or me being blown up or jumping out of a window and splattering all over the ground.
We shouldn't haphazardly blanket bomb various countries, but something has to be done. Previously we limited our actions, and that has not stopped terrorism, since we did nothing to make other countries fear doing anything to us because of the resulting retaliation. Yes, countries, because these countries protect these fringe groups, and these countries celebrate our devastation. Even finding Bin Laden and punishing him will not stop other groups from doing something like this again - or something worse. We "punished" Saddam Hussein, right? Yet even the Gulf War did not scare off Saddam - after all, he most likely helped fund this recent attack. This isn't the result of Bin Laden and a few followers who, if found and eliminated, would end the incredible threat of terrorism we live under. This is the result of more people than we can imagine - a "few people" from a fringe group can't plan out something like this - it takes years, resources, planning, and many, many people. I am not a pro-war fanatic, but unless we do something drastic, we'll see these events play out again and again. And, without seeing those images -- the images of piles of rubble where the twin towers used to stand, images of devastated families, images of rescue crews working without sleep in the hopes of finding just one more survivor -- as we go on with our everyday lives, we will become complacent, just like before. Complacency can destroy us, such as the complacency which lead to the halting of a project a few years ago that would detect explosives at Logan airport. There are reports that a terrorist went through that very airport on September 11 with C4 strapped to him - C4 which would have been detected if the project had not been scrapped.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I don't expect to change minds. That being said, perhaps even writing this is somewhat illogical, but the events of this week has had an impact on me I could never imagine. I don't usually cry when The Independent Women's Forum publication, Ex Femina, arrives in my mailbox, but I did yesterday. It reminded me of Barbara Olson, an IWF founder and a woman I admired, who was blown to pieces as her plane smashed into the Pentagon. I don't usually burst into tears at work, but I did when I heard that passenger planes were used as missiles, when I thought my friend who worked at one liberty plaza could very well be dead, when we finally got a TV working in my office and I first saw the images of each tower crumbling… I don't usually burst into tears while lying in bed watching TV, but I did when I heard a story of two people jumping out of a tower window, holding hands.
I don't want to again talk to one of my company's clients, Staten Island University Hospital, and hear of the burn victims they are treating from a terrorist attack. I don't want to cry on a daily basis again. I don't want thousands upon thousands of people to go through the hell they are going through right now, a hell I can't fathom, a hell I don't know how they cope with. I don't want a "next time" where it is my loved ones being blown up. I don't want a "next time" when it is my company that is wiped off the face of the earth. I don't want a next time when it's a building I am in, collapsing around me. I don't want a next time when it's a plane my family is on that is used as a missile. No one can guarantee that there will never be a "next time" but I want to make damn sure we do what we can to prevent a "next time."
September 11, 2001 - NEVER AGAIN.
"We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers." - Anne Coulter
Please view Mike's touching flash presentation about September 11, 2001
The image below reflects my thoughts at 3am on September 12, 2001
This article copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Gargaro and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.
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