The last 2 years, whenever I hear someone say, “It’s September already” or “where did the month go?” I respond with, “Nonsense. This plague has made time stand still. 2019 was 5 years ago.” The virus seems like it’s never going away, and the government seems to have decided that the only way to make it go away is to ramp up the police state. I do not feel like time is flying by.
At the same time, I do sense time flies when I look at the calendar. I remember the unfolding of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, very vividly. To celebrate my wife’s 35th birthday, we were going to take a short trip to Orlando and go to Disney World. Our flight was scheduled for the next day. I had taken the entire week off work. I got up that Tuesday morning, made myself some breakfast, and sat down on the couch and turned the TV on, not sure what I was going to watch. The TV was on the local ABC station, and they were covering breaking news. “There appears to have been some sort of explosion at the World Trade Center here in New York,” the reporter said. I looked at my watch. It was right about 9 AM. It was all downhill from there. It was reported that the “explosion” was a plane crashing into the building. The cameras captured the second plane crashing into the other tower. The first tower collapsed, which I didn’t see live. But I was watching live as cameras captured people jumping out of the second building’s gigantic hole. I also saw the second tower collapse. It was just a sick feeling. I stayed glued to the set all day, along with telling Netta that we weren’t going anywhere the next day, as the FAA had shut down the entire system. I was able to get a refund on the trip, and with the trip cancelled, I went back to work the next day.
There will be memorials all over the place this weekend. Most college and NFL football games will begin with 9/11 tributes. Think about the college crowd. Most college football players are 18-23 years old. Almost all of the players that will observe these tributes were either too young to remember the attack or weren’t even born yet. In that sense, time has definitely passed rapidly, because I remember that day like it was just last week.
President George W. Bush said a few years ago, “September 11 will eventually be just another day on the calendar with a few special mentions, similar to what December 7 (Pearl Harbor attack day) is now.” That’s probably true, as people born after the attack grow up and assume leadership positions. I just hope it’s not dismissed as no big deal, because it certainly was – and is.