Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shattered Illusions ...


"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more,
Can't place Humpty Dumpty as he was before"
...

And such were our shattered illusions ... it's hard to believe that it's been nearly nine years since those grand symbols of international commerce and free trade came tumbling down to the ground ... I recall that sunny September morning as if it were only yesterday ... always will I reckon ... a crystal clear, blue sky ... nary a cloud  ... as I leisurely drove up that dusty, backwoods road while scanning various FM radio stations made available compliments of the high, mountain elevation ... suddenly I found myself listening to a broadcast which brought to mind that old 1938 radio spoof by Orson Wells entitled "The War Of The Worlds" by H. G. Wells which depicted a Martian attack on civilized earthlings ... except this particular morning they were describing airliners crashing into skyscrapers in New York City ... another slamming into the Pentagon ... another heading up the Potomac River toward the U.S. Capitol or possibly the White House ... other aircraft were yet to be located or accounted for, no determination had yet been made as to their intentions, and armed, fighter jets had scrambled into the crisp, autumn air ... it seemed that America was under attack ... well, I wasn't at all interested in listening to what I thought was nothing more than contrived foolishness and sensationalism, so I switched the dial to another station ... surprisingly I found more of the same ... then on to another, and again more of the same ... the drama was unfolding on every radio station, and as a chill crept up my spine, I settled on the stark realization that America actually was under attack!

I'll never be able to erase those horrendous images which were forever etched into my memory on that dreadful September day as I sat glued to the TV set immersed in a state of abstract confusion watching history unfold before me ... and during those fearful and uncertain days which followed there were no assurances that more attacks were not forthcoming ... for the first time in my life I felt that my ever invincible country was possibly incapable of protecting herself ... this blindsided attack by a seemingly unknown and insignificant group of cruel, faceless individuals had nearly brought this great nation to the brink of absolute ruin in a single day ... we were the walking wounded, in shock and stunned disbelief ... how could any human being be so obdurate and coldhearted so as to impart such pain, suffering, death and devastation on their fellow man? ... thousands of innocent, unsuspecting men, women and children who's lives either abruptly ended or were forever altered ... virtually overnight America's way of thinking about national security and her many enemies drastically changed ... no longer were our foes marching under the flag of any particular nationality ...  there were no soldiers donning uniforms with insignias and name tags openly displayed on sleeves and chests ... no marching soldiers or tanks rolling across our soil ... no ships steaming toward us from off our sovereign shores ... no bombers carrying deadly payloads in the skies above us ... no what we were/are up against is a political and religious ideology based upon hatred, who's ultimate intent and goal is to destroy any people who do not agree with nor abide by their evil and twisted philosophy ... to make matters worse, individuals who espouse ideological values such as those who carried out the atrocious acts of September 11, 2001 have no respect nor regard for human life, including their own ... a different type of war had been declared on America, and on every civilized culture in general ... America was forced to responsively transform her way of thinking, or fall.

The total number of people who died in a series of orchestrated suicide attacks committed by a Muslim terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden and his cohort Ayman al-Zawahiri, were at one time estimated to be 2,976, most of which were civilians ... out of those victims, 236 were foreigners, which brought the total number of American citizens who died to 2,740 ... let us never forget that fateful day when nineteen hate-filled, religious fanatics fueled by false promises and visions of grandeur hijacked four commercial, passenger jet airliners, each commandeered by a qualified pilot ... the hijackers then crashed two of those airliners into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers located in New York City, the first (United Airlines Flight 175) struck one tower and minutes later (American Airlines Flight 11) slammed into the other ... the third airliner (American Airlines Flight 77) smashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia ... the fourth (United Airlines Flight 93) in which the flight crew and passengers wrestled with the hijackers in an attempt to regain control of the aircraft, crashed into a field in the vicinity of the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania ... all 246 people aboard those four doomed airliners died instantaneously ... and 2,605 men, women and children perished either in the Twin Towers or on the ground near them ... another 125 lost their lives in the Pentagon ... among the total 9/11 fatalities were--343 New York City Fire Department firefighters--23 New York City Police Department officers--and 37 NYC Port Authority Police Department officers ... an additional 24 people reportedly remained listed as missing and presumed dead ... only an estimated 18 people managed to escape in time from the South Tower before it came tumbling down ... with countless remains having never been found, the exact number of deaths associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have never been officially determined.

One of the darkest days in American history has came and gone ... much darker than that of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 ... that which occurred on September 11, 2001 was wholly different, it's evil and portentous effects significantly far more widespread and all-encompassing in nature ... on 9/11/01 America stood at the threshold of utter destruction ... the obliteration of the World Trade Center involved so much more than the senseless loss of thousands of precious, innocent lives and some lofty structures, it nearly brought about the total annihilation of trade and commerce worldwide ... as with the Pentagon, within it's thick walls resides the center of command and control for the entire defense of our nation, had those walls failed we would have been rendered virtually defenseless ... more importantly, along with those toppled buildings America's longstanding illusions of safety and invincibility had also crumbled ... our weaknesses and vulnerabilities were at once layed bare for the entire world to see ... a world forever changed ... and whether misdirected or not "The War On Terror" was launched.

Now that blood-stained rubble has been removed, and toxic dust all but blown away by fleet winds of time ... as rebuilding at Ground Zero moves forward ... my hope and prayer is, may our sore wounds quickly heal and our deep scars soon fade, but let us never forget the heartbreak and emptiness every humane and civilized person felt that awful day ... may our confidence be steadfast and our resolve unwavering that America's defenses remain ever vigilant, strong and capable, but let us never forget the fear, uncertainty and sense of helplessness that permeated every fiber of our society brought about by those who envy and hate us ... may God grant each of us grace to forgive those who administered such a barbaric scourge of death and destruction upon the blameless, but let us never forget those heinous acts of savagery so that we never allow nor enable any individual or group, whether by our ignorance or indifference, to ever again cause America to experience darkness such as that of September 11, 2001  ... most importantly, may God carry us in the palm of His hand, and continue to watch over, guide and bless us as a nation founded upon His sovereign principles, and may we never deny, reject nor turn away from His eternal providence ... America had a great fall ... yes, America had a great fall ... threescore men, and threescore more ... can't place America as she was before ... such are our shattered illusions ... 

"Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred." --Psalms 25



--sja

11 comments:

PJ said...

Hey SJA! VERY, VERY Touching tribute. No, we will never be the same, but we must remember that GOD IS IN CONTROL. That thought is the one thought that keeps radiating through my mind, it's the only thought that keeps my spirits up with what all is going on in this country today.

God Bless you SJA, and I am soooo glad you are back.

PJ

sja said...

God bless you too PJ ... and thanks again!

Ellen said...

Thank you for remembering to keep the promise we made in the shadow of that historical time here, and that is, we promised to never forget. Your words paint a very accurate picture of such a cruel and hateful day. May God indeed carry us and watch over us because of our roots back to Him. Thank you for such a humbling & breathtaking reminder.
xoxo,
Ellen

sja said...

Thank you Ellen ... but sad to say that from the looks of things around this country many have forgotten ...

BOB said...

That's why we're here ... to make sure they don't!

Well done!

sja said...

Thanks mom ami!

Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc said...

Thanks for reminding us!

sja said...

You're very welcome Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc ...

Barbara said...

Etching is a huge word during this time of remembering.
We all, I would assume can recollect where we were and what mundane thing we were doing at that horrendous time.
Wonderful post----sad time.

sja said...

Yes Barbara ... nearly indescribable ...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.