This morning I looked into the clear sky and noticed only a single contrail of one plane. That’s the closest I have seen the sky to plane free since 9/11 and 9/12 of 2001. The quiet of the world as everyone stayed home with their loved ones and no planes flew (technically one flew with an antivenom but I digress) was unsettling. No noise of trains, cars, trucks, planes, or helicopters. No squealing children in the streets or yards. It seemed as if even the animals took the days off. An eerie silence and calm reigned those two days. There was a peace hidden among the terror.
The goal of terrorism is to bring about societal change through violent means. We should have lived 9/12 as we lived 9/10. Instead, we reacted in fear. We have now raised a generation in fear. Kick a dog every day and what happens to that dog? Raise kids in fear, surrounded by cameras and security theater and ask if there is not a correlation to acts such as school shootings. As the generation who has never known a pre-9/11 United States joins the ranks of our lawyers, legislatures, and politicians, how will that fear be manifested in our laws and the impact upon our freedoms?
9/11 was horrific. I still feel the emotions of that day in my chest. It was on a level similar to the emotions that raced through me as I witnessed the Challenge disaster. I will never dishonor the valiant people who gave such sacrifice on that day and those which followed. I will always pay reverence to those lost in the attacks.
I will also never forget that our society was forever changed. The terrorists won.