On 9/11/2001 I was in the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) fast track class on the Red Hat campus. They had a TV in the room that morning and we watched the events unfold rather than have class early on. Class resumed later that day. Clearly what we were seeing on the TV was more important than the workings of a Linux operating system that morning, even one we had all paid good money to learn.
In 2005 I was working as a consultant for Red Hat and I was in New York for them. Here is what I wrote in the old version of this blog on August 20, 2005:
World Trade Center Station
I just finished a two day trip to New York City. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City so I took the PATH tube into lower Manhattan. The World Trade Center station was rebuilt where it always was, which was under the Twin Towers. Now the train goes into the hole where the Towers once stood and that station is in the bottom of the hole. I hadn't been back to New York since 9/11 and this was an eerie way to see the results up close. It's absolutely chilling.
I can remember watching the World Trade Center go up. Lower Manhattan looks wrong to me. I always navigated by the Towers. I'm not sure I can describe all the feelings that went through my head when I saw the hole my train was traversing or as I walked around it up on Church Street. A sense of loss, sadness, and definitely anger were all part of it. Everyone should take the PATH to World Trade Center station at least once, just to see what's left of the site from the inside.
You know what bothers me most today? They people who did this, the ones who masterminded and paid for the 9/11 attacks, are mostly still out there. They still hate us with a passion and sooner or later they will strike again. The country has all but forgotten the resolve and has certainly abandoned the unity of purpose we had in the days after 9/11. Neither President Bush nor President Obama ever put this country on a wartime footing and neither has been successful at truly going after those responsible.
Today we fight among ourselves. We had the spectacle of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives heckling the President and calling him a liar during a joint session of Congress. What ever happened to respect for the office of the President? What ever happened to realizing that we are all in this together and our enemies really don't care if we're liberals, moderates or conservatives. They hate all of us regardless of our ideology or affiliation.
It's time we wake up as a nation and realize what 9/11 really meant, both then and now. We Americans like to think of ourselves as the greatest nation on earth. A great nation would have rebuilt the Twin Towers already.