Monday, September 11, 2006

Memories of 9/11/01

Doing something different to remember 9/11/01 -- 5 years ago today. For me it seems even longer, only because my life has since gone through so many changes. But in other ways, the memories are fresh. I was in my 'Research, Writing and Analysis' class a mere month after entering law school at Georgia State. I hated that class and my initial reaction was one of glee when a custodian walked into the room mid-class and informed the professor classes had been cancelled for the morning. Naturally, my feelings soon changed. I walked over to the Irish Pub in Underground Atlanta and chased a shot of Jamison with a pint of Guinness while I watched the news.

5 years later I live in Charlotte County, Florida. It's 1200 miles from New York and a totally different world too. Yet even here I'm reminded how 9/11/01 touched all Americans. 3 of the highjackers actually spent their final months in this area learning how to fly planes. They lived in nearby Venice, the town where my wife works and one that hasn't seen a murder in 6 years. Ziad Jarrah, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Mohammed Atta each earned their wings at the Venice Municipal Airport and would then pilot 3 of the 4 doomed planes on 9/11. But in the summer of 2000, they came to Venice and blended right into our community. They lived in local rentals, attended flight school, and even drank in local bars. After class they went for beers almost every night at The Outlook Bar. According to bartender Lizsa Lehman, Atta was gruff and aloof and frequently expressed disapproval of the presence of women servers behind the bar. But al-Shehhi was apparently friendly and jovial and always eager to interact with bartenders and patrons.

Amazing. So with a vigilant eye towards the future and one of sorrow towards the past, let's reflect on the horrors the fallen of 9/11/01 went through, especially the heroes who died ascending those burning stairs. Let's also remember that for all our efforts in the Middle East, Osama Bin Laden remains free. Whether it be by this administration, the next, or even one 20 years from now, I pray that f*ucker gets justice G. Gordon Liddy style. And whether we're on the Right or the Left or somewhere in between, we can all agree on this, GOD BLESS THE USA!


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