Typically I end this column with a quote pertaining to the subject matter of the article. Today, I am going to start my column with a quote from David Letterman. On September 17th, 2001, the “Late Night With David Letterman” show returned to the airwaves barely a week after September 11th, 2001, when 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets and flew two of them into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to take control of the airplane before it reached its Washington D. C. target.
Of the many quotes that I have heard or read regarding the events of September 11th, 2001, the following quote from David Letterman has stuck with me for the past decade. He said, “As I understand it-and my understanding of this is vague, at best- another small group of people stole some airplanes and crashed them into buildings. And we’re told that they were zealots fueled by religious fervor-RELIGIOUS FERVOR. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will that make any sense to you? Will that make any goddamned sense?”
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing that day? I do. Every generation has their seminal moments when they can recall exactly what they were doing and where they were when huge moments in history were taking place. For my Mom and Dad and their peers it could be V Day ending World War II, or the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or when John F. Kennedy was shot. For my older brothers and sisters it might be when Elvis or the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan. For me and many of my peers it was when Paul Henderson got the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series. Whatever the event, there are moments that will linger in our consciousness forever. 9/11 was certainly one of those moments for me.
It is not an understatement to say that the world was forever changed on that day. Some pundits would question whether 9/11 was as world-altering an event as the mainstream media make it out to be but how could it not be?
Whether you’re a conspiracy theorist that thinks that the George W. Bush administration orchestrated the whole thing in an effort to secure oil reserves in the Middle East, or you’re a world business traveler dealing with the newer intense security measures in the world’s airports or you’re a Muslim wanting to just lead a quiet good life without being looked at like you were personally responsible for the heinous actions of a relatively small radical group associated with your religion, the world has most definitely changed.
“102 Minutes That Changed the World” is a two-hour documentary that provides a rare and intensely personal look at the world-changing events that took place on September 11th, 2001. 102 minutes is how much time passed between the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center and the collapse of the second tower. The documentary is an evocative memorial to the 2,603 lives lost and a reminder of just how much our world has changed since that tragic day. It’s not easy to watch, but if you get a chance to view this documentary please do. 9/11 is one more monumental life-changing event that we should never, ever forget.
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls and the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001.