I have no new blog for the time being.
I have no new blog for the time being.
Rest in peace, Steve Jobs 1955-2011.
Thank you for the insanely great products, the reality distortion field, Pixar, and your greatest creation – the Macintosh. You shall be greatly missed, Steve.
I was sitting at my workstation in a printing company in Dublin, Ohio, working on a pre-press job, which a client need a proof for review later in the morning. Outside was a beautiful sunny Tuesday. Nothing seem out of ordinary that morning. Traffic coming to work was normal.
Then my supervisor, John, immediately walked into the room, a bit aspirated about something and told me that a plane crashed into the tallest building in New York City. I asked which one but he didn’t know as he only heard it from a co-worker from the press floor and wanted me to check the Internet to find out. I scanned the news for a plane crash in New York and there was a breaking news report about a World Trade Center tower was hit by a plane. I thought it was some kind of a terrible accident. Witnesses on the ground were saying that they saw an airline slammed into the north WTC tower.
Then John and I looked at each other with astonishment. Then we figured to check back awhile later as we have some works to do. John went into the other room and I focused on finishing a job assignment. John got a call from our boss, Sue and informed that she’s on her way to work in an hour or so.
Less than 20 minutes later, there was a shout somewhere down in the hallway and John went up to check it out. I was still at my workstation, doing something on the monitor. Back in mind, I wanted to check the latest news on the Internet but I need to focus on finishing the proof and print it up.
About couple minutes or so, John zipped into the room, stared at me yelling that another plane hit the other tower! My eyes widened at him but I don’t remember what did I say to him in response. He beckoned me to check the Internet and my first impulse was to go straight to the Drudge Report.
The Internet was afire! The Drudge Report took awhile to access because of high hits from all over the country. But there was it: a picture of WTC Towers in flame and smoke. I think the headline screamed, “Terror! Airlines crashed in WTC Towers!” or something like that. Drudge Report constantly changed headlines with breaking news every now and then. John suggested a different news site to check out and typed in the address. We got to a grainy Web video of a news reporter talking about the other airline slamming into the south WTC Tower. Then I almost forgot about the TV in the breakroom, so I got up and headed for it.
Watching the news about what happened in New York City on TV in the breakroom was pretty surreal. There, for the first time, I was watching a replay of the airline slamming into the south tower. It was unbelievable but very deliberate and malicious in intent. This was no accident that two airlines slammed into the WTC Towers. This was a sheer terrorist act. The co-workers in the breakroom were just stunned and there were chattering from but I didn’t hear them clearly, because the TV’s volume was cranked up a bit (though it was captioning in real time).
I walked back to my workstation, saw John checking the Internet for latest news. We started to anticipate there may be more terrorist acts to come and we remarked about ten of thousands people being in the towers and hoped to get all of them out. There were still many airlines in the sky and how many of them may be hijacked. At the time we had no idea where’s the next target would be.
That would be answered about a moment later when we received words that the Pentagon has been hit by an airline. I yelled, “Holy Shit!”. This was for real. Hitting a huge military building like the Pentagon was an act of war. America was under attack.
Then later we were informed that another airline was hijacked but it was brought down somewhere in Pennsylvania. I thought the US Air Force did its job to shoot it down but alas, it was not. Later, I learned that the airline was brought down by some passengers and airline crew fighting the hijackers in the cockpit, as result the plane slammed straight into the ground, exploding and killing everyone. That took some courage and balls to take on the hijackers and knowing that death was imminent, the people on United 93 took the chance to save further lives from becoming a target of another terrorist attack.
Then the biggest shock: the WTC Towers collapsed and disintegrated! It was absolutely mind-blowing and incomprehensible. I remembered screaming at the TV at people running away, “Get out of there, people! Run! Jesus!” I kept thinking there must have been ten of thousands of people in the towers trying to get out. But through sheer lucks, quick thinking and fast feet and by the heroic efforts of the NY firefighters and police officers, more and more people got out in time. The dustclouds were frightening. I spent the rest of the day at work half watching the TV, checking the Internet, discussing with co-workers, and finishing up whatever I was doing.
I left work a little early in the afternoon (I did get the proof out anyway). On the way home, I saw few gas stations were filled up with vehicles lining up for gas. Panic buying. Gas prices jumped a bit too high (later reports revealed some gas stations were engaged in price-gouging). I got home alright and watched the news on TV for an hour, then I headed off to the gym in Easton (they had big flat-screen TVs, mine was a pitiful 20 inch Magnavox TV). When I got to the gym, the place was usually busy and packed with many people working out on most days, but on that day, it was almost empty. It was almost quiet. I worked out for over an hour, keeping my eyes on the TV news on and off, then I was done. I went to a local eatery in Easton and had dinner there. There were still people shopping or browsing about, but not many on a Tuesday evening. People were glued to TVs in some bars and restaurants. I went home (on the way, still seeing few gas stations still lined up with vehicles) and watched the TV for the rest of the evening, glued to what was really happened in New York City, Arlington, Va., and Shankville, Pa. that day.
That day forever changed me. As it did changed many others.
Many people lost their lives that day. Many people injured and suffered as result of the terrorist attacks. I saw President Bush making a speech to the nation in a live telecast, reassuring us that the terrorists may have dented and shattered the steel buildings but they have not dent the steel of American resolve. It was the perfect reminder that we Americans are a resilient people. We do not give in. We do not give up. We do not forget the victims nor we do not forget the cause that made America great.
Ten years later. We still do not forget the 2977 people who lost the their lives that day. We honor them. We fight for them. We live for them. For freedom and peace. May God bless the United States of America for the generosity, resolve, and love of the American people for all.
Perhaps the best American President in the U.S. History and a great communicator of the 20th century. Today, he would have turns 100. He died in June 05, 2004 after a long affliction with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Below is Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation in 1989:
(Turn on CC for captioning for the deaf).
Transcript of his speech can be read here.
This is, in my opinion, the best part of his speech and it fundamentally holds true for today’s and tomorrow’s conservatives about the American People and politics in America:
Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the People” tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. “We the People” are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the People” are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past eight years.
Today is the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
Happy Birthday, Marines! Semper Fi.