I was thinking yesterday about where I was 12 years ago.
I was working for a Real Estate company in Dallas Tx, and was just pulling into the parking lot when my Regional VP, Brian called and said he wasn’t flying down from Minneapolis for our meeting. I proceeded to give him shit for copping out of another visit to see me when he asked if I had not been listening to the radio. I replied no, I was listening to a music CD on the way into work.
Brian started telling me this wild story about how he was locked down in the airport and no airplanes were allowed to leave the terminal. We finished our conversation up with Brian telling me airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center and terrorist were in control of an unknown number of other planes.
As I walked into the lobby of the office our receptionist Elaine was not at her desk, and the further I proceeded into the building no-one was at their desks. Total silence. I dumped my bag and coat off at my office and walked around the whole building to find 200 other desks empty. One of the most surreal experiences in my life.
I ended up finding a majority of the staff in the training room in front of 8 TV’s and a large overhead projector all on the same channel. No one turned their heads or acknowledged my presence as I entered. I quietly asked what was happening, silence. The same images of the aircraft plowing into the twin towers were playing over and over on the screens.
As people came out of their trances and filtered their way back to the empty desks, the main topic of discussion was the “attack” We had a small call center and as I look back on the scene in my mind, not one phone was ringing in the whole building the entire time. It was probably after lunch before any phones rang.
So there I was……In hindsight, we all saw our world change in a span of two short hours. And it has taken 12 plus years for people to come to grips (and some who still haven’t).
Admiral Yamamoto in 1941 talked about “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.” Although it has never been proven he actually made that statement fast forward 60 years and the Saudi born and bread terrorists indeed woke a sleeping giant with the attack on the WTC. Be it ignorance or complete stupidity on the part of our current enemies that think they can out last us in any form of warfare. We are a nation of warriors and know how to create war. We even learned how to kill ourselves in such huge numbers that during our own civil war we began our quest for perfection at the art of killing.
Adm. Yamamoto did speak of this “I can run wild for six months … after that, I have no expectation of success”. Most insurgencies last 12-14 yrs. We have reached that point in time where the current conflicts we have been in are burning themselves out. There is a point when a society loses enough of its current and future generations that there is no one left to fight with any effectiveness.
With the Arab Spring uprisings in its second and third years you have to hand it to Western governments and their ability to make the Muslim nations turn on themselves and attention away from us. Trust me this was not a spontaneous event.
I hope we all made some sort of reflection yesterday and not just plowed ahead in our own worlds worried about ourselves.
For my brothers and sisters still on the line, thank you.