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11 August 2011

Aug. 11, 2001 — 10 Years Ago Today

So you're probably wondering why I'm choosing to recall Aug. 11, 2001. Significantly, it's one month to the day before the darkest day in American history. And today, it's been 10 years since that date. 

Imagine, just for a moment, just how different life was at that time.

■ President George W. Bush was in office for just seven months, and he was still suffering from a major backlash, having lost the popular vote for the presidency — and having been appointed to the presidency by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

I'm sure some of you out there still believe Florida went to Vice President Al Gore. And on Aug. 11, 2001, there were substantially more who felt that way — and whom were very angry about it.

■ There were no iPods, iPads, iPhones or thin laptops. Many of us still got our Internet service through America Online, a company that had been the leader in Internet service for many years before broadband become widely available. Most of us still had a landline phone and our cell phones only had numbers and basic screens on them — no cameras, no Internet access, limited texting, if at all.

■ Gasoline was about $1.25 a gallon.

■ We got on to airplanes without having to take our shoes off and without walking through detectors that can see our private parts among other things.

■ Joe Torre and the Yankees were World Champions for the fourth time in five seasons. And they were on their way to another championship.

■ I, personally, was 26 years old, was still living at home with grandma and had a marvelous view, from my livingroom window, of the New York City skyline — including a breath-taking view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

■ The name Osama bin Laden, though known by some, was hardly known by all.

■ We were a nation that believed it was invincible. Hell, no one had dared attack us, on our soil, since 1941 — and that was Hawaii for crying out loud.

■ We had no clue, none whatsoever, what we'd face in just one month. In a simple 30 days, everything we knew, loved and cherished would be turned upside down in a two-hour period of attacks that the most brilliant writer couldn't have dreamed up.

So one month before we mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, I thought it would be good to remember those days. Yes, there were more freedoms, but we were caught with our pants way, way down. We can only hope and pray that as we mark a decade since the worst day in our lifetimes, that somehow, we never have to experience anything like it ever again.

My hopes are not all that high.


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