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Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Sep 12, 2021.
I spent a few hours Friday and Saturday looking at stuff on the Internet and watching a couple of TV specials. I remember the panic 20 years ago, starting with "someone flew a plane into a skyscraper?" then the second impact live on TV ("well that wasn't an accident"). The rest of the morning filled with anxiety as cities across the country emptied. Even in rural Indiana I was watching the skies wondering if an attack would be targeted locally ... silly in retrospect (nothing in my range of vision worth attacking on an international scale). But then a plane crashed near Shanksville. Not the intended target, but forever linked to the "successful" attacks.
It was a weird day. Some people didn't seem to notice the importance of some of the events. When all airplanes in the US were grounded the skies emptied - which provided a different kind of eerie feeling for me. Kind of like when the crickets stop singing. Planes flying overhead en route to other places and the "Witchiepoo" contrails marking their passage are part of the background noise (visual and sometimes audible) of life. I remember the relief when the last planes were landed. I also remember some places from my history making the news as international flights were landed in locations in Canada and near the border to prevent them from flying in our airspace.
I couldn't find a flag in the store ... I eventually made one that fit in a picture frame. America came together against a common enemy. There was a lot of pushback against new restrictions put in place on banking and travel. People who loitered too near a "sensitive" place were considered terrorists until proven otherwise. And sadly people who believed it was all a hoax appeared.
20 years later ... a generation passed. People who experienced and remembered that day and those events are getting older and are getting replaced by people with fuzzy memories or memories they got from books and TV. The first memorial location I went to was the Pentagon. A few years later on the way home from a subsequent trip to DC I found Shanksville. The first phase of the permanent memorial had been built and there were few visitors when I was there the first time. I returned to Shanksville after the visitor center was completed.
Remembering my day 20 years ago in rural Indiana the rural hills of Pennsylvania matches my memory. Quiet, peaceful, separated from anywhere where terrorists would strike. And yet it touched their community.