Nine Eleven

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Ten years on, it hasn’t gotten much easier to get my head around the brutality and tragedy of that Tuesday morning. I’ve been blogging on this website long enough to show you what I did back then – I over-wrote the main html page so that all that displayed was this:

Today I got up at 4 am and rode my bike 3 hours. Went and did some climbs. I just felt right. Pain is good right?

When I got home, I spend about an hour with the remote control and my 5 yr old daughter showing her that happened a decade ago. There were a lot of programs showing overviews or repeats of the original aired coverage.

It was a surreal moment. My daughter is old enough to ask questions. She has been to New York, just this last summer in fact, and she will tell you that it is the best place in the world. She sat with me and watched that second plane hit the south tower, as we all did a decade ago. She watched the towers fall, first one, impossibly, and then the other, impossibly again. How could such a thing happen? She simply could not believe the amount of smoke and dust.

I used words like “terror,” “evil,” “horror,” and “war” to describe what were were watching. She used words like “sad” and “why.”

I couldn’t tell her why people do such things to each other. I could just hold her in my arms.

There are a lot of people bitching on the internet about the, frankly, over the top feel to today’s multimedia retrospectives, tributes and dedication. I’ll not join that chorus today. I do not know anyone who died that day, but I have spoken with people who did. And I have friends that still live in New York. A lot of innocent, good, decent people were killed in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania for no god damn reason.

So, get up early, go ride. Come home, hug kids, watch football.

I don’t care who you are, Jim Cornelison tore the damn lid off the national anthem today in Chicago.

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After a quick lunch, I took my 5 yr old to see Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D. It was, without question, one of the worst films I have ever seen. My daughter, of course, absolutely loved it. We had popcorn and held hands. It was good.

Then I spent the balance of my day watching more football, eating pizza and hot wings, and drinking beer. You know why? Because I can. America. Fuck yeah.

Two of the many things I’ve read today which will be on my mind for some time:

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

17 Replies to “Nine Eleven”

  1. Not scared, riding your bike, and a movie with your kid; you sir are a winner and a fine American. Many of us did similar things. I did not try to think about, or not think about, the whole thing. I lived and worked at a shop just outside DC and dealt with the mass of humans just finding something to do and hanging out at the shop after DC was evacuated.

  2. Ten years? Damn. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. That rendition of the National Anthem absolutely ripped. And I still get knotted up when I think about that day.

  3. i cried when i watched some of the coverage from 10 years ago. i remember exactly what i was doing. the 1st plane hit and i was at home, getting ready to hop on the bus for a 3 mile ride downtown to macy’s where i worked in the travel department. when i got to work, the 2nd plane had hit and we had to find all of our travelers. mass chaos and confusion and organizing buses to get them out of the city. cannot believe its been a fucking decade…

  4. …i hadda re-post this where it was more appropriate…

    …a simple shout out to all the firefighters, emt’s, cops & their like, as well as the plain ol’ joe & jane citizens who volunteered to help others 10 years ago today…many of them gave their lives trying to make sure others had a chance…

    …i’m not in a somber mood, i’m just remembering & being grateful…

    ..shit happens – it’s all in how people respond…

    …& no matter your thoughts, theories or speculation on the how & why of what happened that day, gianni’s daughter said it best – “…sad…”

    …i think gianni had the only viable answer when she asked ‘why ???’…”I could just hold her in my arms.”

  5. My Dad was at the VA center getting his meds that day. I remember him talking about how everyone at the VA was watching it, and how it reminded him so much of Pearl Harbor. Strange how things repeat themselves. Today, I got up, left the TV off and rode the bike, came home 101 miles later, it felt good. Love your country, ride your bike, and vote for good people… we’re all in this together.

  6. Two Kiwis died in 9/11, one in the North Tower & one on flight 93.

    11 Australians perished as did 2 South Africans.

    God bless you all.

    This may seem a bit trite but:

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Just be nice to someone today.

  7. …hurben…on a day of strong emotions, here’s something a little more lighthearted…

    …saw john doe down at the local health food store & he’s just back in town from touring (with X) for a few days, so i met him back at the house & you sir, are now the proud owner of an personally autographed (to you) cd of “a day at the pass”

    …now i just gotta get my shit together & send it on down your way…

  8. Awesome, BGW, I’m deeply grateful.

    However, I won’t be giving you an address to send it to until I either get a PayPal account to pay to or an address to send some great downunder CDs to.

    You can send details to my email address.

    Really appreciate this, many thanks.

    Take care.

  9. I’m glad I’m currently not in the US and thus can avoid the media overkill on what is a very personal piece of history to many.
    I’m also glad as this day marks 12 years of being married to my wonderful wife, who gets it that as much as I love her I also love by sixteen pounds of titanium and carbon.
    9/11 is a day that we should each personally and introspectively enjoy by holding those we love close to us and maybe now that a decade has past, the media can just STFU and stop showing that video and getting everyone all upset.

  10. AWESOME that you would post that version of the Star Spangled Banner, mostly because I was just over his left shoulder screaming my fool head off with 65,000 other AMERICANS. Some people have complained about it in the past, but the Chicago tradition of trying to drown out the Anthem with cheers is powerful beyond words when you experience it in person. I’ve been to Bulls games when you could NOT hear the singer…the entire stadium just vibrates. I’ve seen Mr. Cornelison at a Blackhawks game…the man is unreal…just gives me chills thinking about it. Definately FULL of the awesome.

    Plus, it was a great game!

  11. What I think is totally balls out is the interview with the pilots who were COMPLETELY willing to sacrifice their lives by a Kamikaze mission into the cockpit and tail of the plane. I may not always agree with our government and their decisions on our military, but damn when the chips are down, our individual servicemen and servicewomen aren’t afraid to take it to the threat against our country

  12. …sfb…that must have been an awesome place to be with jim cornelison singing such an intense version…that was seriously heartfelt raw emotion…

    …something similar but opposite which stills stirs my blood is certain canadian hockey games where everyone is singing along so loudly that the singer will stop for a verse & just hold his microphone up & the volume in the rink won’t drop whatsoever…

  13. bikeskag, I’m with ya. From the article:

    A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a fourth plane could be on the way, maybe more. The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

    “Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

    They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

    “I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

    She replied without hesitating.

    “I’ll take the tail.”

    It was a plan. And a pact.

    . . .

    They screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon. Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy.

    “We don’t train to bring down airliners,” said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon. “If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target. My thought was the cockpit or the wing.”

    He also thought about his ejection seat. Would there be an instant just before impact?

    “I was hoping to do both at the same time,” he says. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

    Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out.

    “If you eject and your jet soars through without impact .?.?.” she trails off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of dying.

    Hard. As. Nails.

    I have nothing but the deepest admiration and respect for these two pilots.

  14. …pure ‘lump in the throat’ stuff…

    “i’m going to go for the cockpit”…

    …”i’ll take the tail”

    …THAT is a pact…

  15. Hallelujah !!!!!

    Nice to hear someone finally sing the national anthem correctly after years(decades?) of every dip-shit celebrity and wanna-be fucking it up royally.

    Rosanna Barr anyone ?

    Trying to explain all of this to a kid must be a bitch. Good luck with that bj.

  16. More on the F-16 pilots:

    No, Heather Penney hadn’t mentioned that the extraordinary “kamikaze mission” she was ready to execute that day might well have been directed at a plane that carried the man who had once tucked her in, driven her to school and taught her to love fast airplanes.

    “This sounds cold-hearted; I mean that was my daddy,” Penney said from Reno, where she and her father are flying for separate teams in the annual Reno Air Races. “But, frankly, there was no way for me to know, and it would not have changed what I needed to do at all.”

    Her father could have been the pilot and she has now way of knowing…

    Try to wrap your head around that.

    “We talked about the possibility that I could have been on the plane,” Col. John Penney said. “She knew I was flying that kind of rotation. But we never fell down and emotionally broke apart or anything like that. She’s a fighter pilot; I’m a fighter pilot.”