The 911 Interview

A picture that says it all!
A picture that says it all! | Source

"Mom. Where were you....."

During a history class at a college over an hour away from home I got a text from my oldest One. "Mom, he has to do an interview with you about 911!"

On the way home, in between grabbing a bite to eat and buying gas, I called my boys and we 'conducted an interview' over the phone. It was getting late and I still had two hours to drive to make it home.

"Mom. This is about 911!"

I must have been quiet for a few minutes, because he asked me if I was still on the phone. "What about it?" "I have to ask you questions for a project we are doing for 911."

I thought about it... "OK. What's your question?"

"Mom, where were you when 911 happened?"

The Interview

I didn't have to think about it! I remember so many details about that day. But I can't remember all my dates and names for the history test I was studying for!

I was 'on Base' in Texas. We were 'playing' around; like I like to call our 'exercises'. We had a few 'chalks' of passengers we were about to deploy to some made up locations. Some were working the cargo yard and I was working inside the passenger area. I was hustling around directing people, collecting paperwork, completing tons of forms, answering questions, listening to complains, drinking one of many cups of coffee...

"A plane hit the World Trade Center!" I heard it and kept walking. Eventually I walked by a room full of waiting 'passengers' and saw smoke coming from the tower. I kept walking. We had a tight timeline and tons of work.

When more and more people kept talking about it, I stopped and took a closer look....

The place that had been buzzing with energy, stress, hectic, chaos, fun challenges.....

....became completely quiet!

Occasionally a radio would yap; the guys outside had no idea at first. But news spread, orders came in, everything stopped!

Within a short period of time we were on lock-down! The Base became sealed like a air-tight can! We couldn't even step outside the door! Life had stopped; frozen in shock!

For six hours we remained locked up! Then the Mission changed from a game to 'Real World'! Anything that could be needed was packed up and readied; awaiting the call! Eventually we would send a lot of our guys to help or secure. And many other things.

Life didn't go back to 'Normal' for a long time. I think it was Kevin Costner in 'Robin Hood' who said that one fights harder when fighting for his own country.

I was asked about the impact it had on us. Besides many of the 'guys' going to support, we others faced hours long waits just to get on base, restrictions, long days, days and days and days of watching the horrible pictures on TV. We cursed, we cried, some threw up when watching people jump out of windows to their death.

I don't know how a Civilian would feel, but when you wear a uniform, there is a camaraderie not equalled too often outside of the Military. And those of us that chose to serve because we believe in what we do, it brought us closer together.

Its said that pressure only creates pressure! A soldier that serves his/her country and sees the dirty deed... will answer in kind! You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us! Especially when you have been in for a while and you 'grew up Old School'. The values of a old school soldier are much deeper and stronger! But don't underestimate the Younguns! There are some tough guys out there and I often watch them with pride!

How did I feel?

It didn't take pictures of kids having lost their parents to feel the pain! I think the worst would have been to have to wait and not know! I look at my children and know how a Mom feels that is waiting for her son or daughter to come home!

I was raised in Germany. We Germans, at least from my Generation, grew up respecting the police and other rescuers for what they do!

Having worked through many weekends, holidays, birthdays, nights, I think about the cops, fireman, other emergency personal that is working while we sleep soundly; or sit in front of the Christmas tree with our families. I always wanted to bring them cookies and more for Christmas, but I am a rather lousy cook and somehow buying it didn't feel right compared to what they do. I used to bring hot chocolate to the gate guards on base in the winter when it was cold. They keep us safe and deserved a little consideration. I was a Port Dawk (Aerial Porter) and worked cold and rainy nights on the Flightline! I worked High Risk Security on Frankfurt Airport and loved that little Korean gentleman with his small truck full of hot tee and soup. Little things that went a long way.
Who makes sure we sleep soundly at night and watches over us? The cops we curse for writing us a ticket. And yes, a little respect got me out of trouble a time or two!
Who will jump into a burning house to carry us out? Or climb the stairs in the burning Twin Towers to safe another life? The same firemen that often work rough shifts and get less time with their families.
Who will bring us back to life or save our life in some ditch on the side of the road? The ambulance personal and the doctors; doctors often working unbelievable hours!
Who free'ed the prisoners and my German ancestors from that uneducated upstart Nazi? The soldiers that to this day still lay in sand-holes, eating MRE's; dreaming about their families at home! Even after not seeing them for months or even over a year!

To see the Towers fall and know how many people must be still in there; including emergency personal... It makes me sick!

The loss of firemen, cops, rescuers, that died trying to save lives, is somehow greater to me. They jumped into hell, knowing what could happen; risking their own lives to help others! How many people do you know that are that unselfish! There is no greater honor!

Quotes

"Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: American soldiers in battle don't fight for what some president says on T.V., they don't fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag... they fight for one another."

Joe Galloway: [Narrating] In Saigon, Hal Moore's superiors congratulated him for killing over 1,800 enemy soldiers. Then ordered him to lead the Seventh Cavalry back into the valley of death. He led them and fought beside them for 235 more days. Some had families waiting. For others, their only family would be the men they bled beside. There were no bands, no flags, no Honor Guards to welcome them home. They went to war because their country ordered them to. But in the end, they fought not for their country or their flag, the fought for each other.

"Joseph Galloway: [narrating] Some had families waiting, for others their only family would be the men they bled beside, there were no bands, flags no honor guards to welcome them home, they went to war because their country ordered them to, but in the end they fought not for country or their flag, they fought for each other
Joseph Galloway: We who have seen war will never stop seeing it, in the silence of the night we will always hear the screams. So this is our story... For we were soldiers once and young.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [Hal Moore speaks to his men before going into battle] Look around you. In the 7th cavalry, we've got a captain from the Ukraine; another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians. Jews and Gentiles. All Americans. Now here in the states, some of you in this unit may have experienced discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the valley of the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And you won't care what color he is, or by what name he calls God.

Some Thoughts...

Despite my country's history, I was raised open minded. Between my parents and a awesome high school teacher, some things became unimportant.

I have to thank Karl-Heinz Moritz from my old high school for making us watch not only many movies about war and history itself, read books from some of the best historic authors ever; but for making us watch 'Enemy Mine'. If you haven't watched this old movie, you just can't understand!

My class was made up of 36 students. 30 of them were from different countries and backgrounds and only 6 were German. And no, I am not one of the six! My family came from somewhere in the East and its been said we have Eskimo blood somewhere back in our family.

We were a melting pot of influences, experiences, fun! I learned not to care what color you are, what religion you came from, if you were rich or poor. Within Animal Rescue I judge for character, not for bloodlines! Within Society I do the same!

One of my history teachers from college stated that all Nazis may have been German, but not all Germans were Nazis! I ask you consider the same when you look at those we face in conflicts today! Not every Muslim is a Terrorist! Not every Terrorist is a Muslim! Every country on this Earth has its share of Terrorists!

Changes are part of Evolution; of growing as a human being, a society; becoming a better world for all of us to live in!

One of the greatest men I met in Iraq was a old, tired Iraqi Grandfather. He had been spit on because he was working for the Americans. He spend 5 hours in line to get a tank of gas. His family only had 1 hour of electricity a day! Neither he or his children fought against the Americans, but they were treated often as bad as those that did! The money he made working for the Americans fed his family and many others!

Our future as a society will be a short and ugly one if we can't learn to respect each other. I condemn the bastards who killed all those people, but I don't condemn the countries they came from! I got bored in Basic Training and read the Koran and many other 'books of wisdom'. Like the Bible they have their issues, but I didn't see anything that could excuse what those men did! I watched documentaries stating the same!

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory."
- General George Patton Jr


Its not the weapon that does the deed, its the man behind it!

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aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Thank you.

John

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