September 11, 2001 : The day when the world completely changed. It was a day of complete, utterly unspeakable horror not seen outside movies. It actually happened, in real life.
Real people died. Real people were faced with terror, whether they were on the ground, in the buildings, on the planes or so many miles away (like me), in other countries.
I was in 5th standard, in Chennai, India. I had a English literature exam the next day and it was evening when my dad returned from work saying, “It seems there has been a big accident in the US. Switch on the TV”, which we did. We switched from Sun TV to BBC to CNN and so on, not able to believe our eyes at what we were seeing. Atleast, that’s how my parents would have felt.
I was just 10, so while I knew some deep shit was up, I did not realize the intensity of it till Broadband Internet invaded my home 5 years later.
Then came YouTube, where I saw so many videos of 9/11. These included those shot by people in their houses in Manhattan as the planes crashed. Their reactions are startlingly emotional and depressed me a little. It’s there for you to see. I wont link it up here and force you to see it.
I also saw the news reports of that day, with reporters trying just make head or tail of what was happening, as they kept switching from one eyewitness to another. The eyewitnesses were naturally alarmed and shocked and this showed in the way they spoke. People were screaming, people were crying, and random strangers provided solace. I can imagine everyone at their wits end, trying to make sense of it all, going “DID ANOTHER PLANE JUST CRASH? OMG THE BUILDING COLLAPSED OMG ITS GONE OMG OMG ALL THOSE PEOPLE SHIT SHIT SHIT”.
Then came Wikipedia. I looked up all the facts of 9/11, looked at all the conspiracy theories and all the counter-conspiracy theories debunking the conspiracy theories. I looked up what happened, and how it could have been prevented.
The worldwide condemnation of 9/11 was intense. I learned how the French summed it all up by saying “Nous sommes tous Américains” or “We are all Americans”. I learned how even Iran condemned the attacks and held a moment of silence at a football game. I learned how Ireland, Israel and the US were the only 3 countries to declare a day of mourning. The US removed the post-1999 sanctions imposed on India after its quick condemnation of the incident and offering of all possible resources to the Americans.
Clearly then, I have quite a lot of facts in my head. But all that will never equate to losing a loved one that cruelly or dying that horrifyingly. Or surviving and knowing how you easily could have died if it were not for something else.
This is one reason why I call bullshit on all those fatalists out there, who might say, “It was their fate”. No it was not. Try to explain how :
1. Brian Clark and Stanley Praimnath survived
S. Praimnath worked as an executive with one of the many offices in the WTC. He worked in the South Tower, which was hit by United 175. Infact, he worked right above where United 175 collided. He even saw the plane headed towards the building. Try and just visualize that.
You wake up in the morning and do your stuff and go to work. You then get set for another day of work. Then out of the blue, you hear a crash in the building next to you. You shit your pants and try to leave, but you are asked to stay in your place. Then you see a huge jetliner coming right at you. It then crashes and the wing just misses you.
He hid beneath the table and hoped to hell he would just die instead of suffering, and called out for help. He was rescued by Brian Clark.
Brian Clark was also above the impact zone and started moving with other survivors down the surviving stairwell. They met a couple of guys who were trying to go up in their rushing need for fresh air. A debate ensued – whether to go up or down. Brian was distracted by the calls of help coming from near where he was standing and he went to explore. By the time he found Praimnath, his group had moved on, and Praimnath and Brian started moving down.
They made it out of the building 20 minutes before it collapsed. They were 2 of the 4 survivors from above the impact point in both the Towers.
Both lost a majority of their coworkers. Is this fate? You survive, after going through a near-death experience, but lose all your colleagues? If it is fate, then why did fate not prevent them from even showing showing up for work? Why go through all that hell?
2. Rick Rescorla died after helping most of Morgan Stanley survive.
Rick Rescorla was a British-born American citizen. He was inspired by the American soldiers in Britain during WW II and moved to the US. He served in Vietnam and won a lot of honors for his service. He worked for Dean Witter, a company that was soon to merge with Morgan Stanley. After it did merge, he was appointed as head of Security for Morgan Stanley, which was operating out of its office in the North Tower.
He was unhappy with the security at the World Trade Center simply because of its visible significance to enemies of the United States. He felt it represented everything – capitalism, power, affluence; and was hence deemed as a soft and easy target for any attack. This was proved right when terrorists exploded bombs in the basement of the towers in 1993.
He then attempted to convince Morgan Stanley to move out of the WTC to New Jersey, where costs were cheaper and the risk was substantially reduced. Morgan Stanley refused, owing to lease agreements, but agreed to let him conduct mock evacuation drills every 3 months.
Not only did he predict the 1993 attacks in 1992, he also felt the WTC could be struck easily from the air. This was also proved right on the morning of September 11, and he proceeded to evacuate all employees of Morgan Stanley and other employees out of the building.
After actually evacuating, he went on to help extract more people out of the burning tower, but then the tower unfortunately collapsed and Rick, along with his assistant, died.
What kind of shitty fate is this? He survived WWII and Vietnam and he died because some insane fuck drove a plane into a building?
Just to add to the chill factor : Rick was not actually supposed to be IN NYC during 9/11. He was supposed to be preparing for his stepdaughters wedding. On how many levels was this shitty?
3. Hilda Yolanda Mayol lived to die 2 months later
Picture yourself in a building on fire. You run out safely, thanking God for your survival. You stay put until you decide to take a break for forget it all. You want to fly somewhere else and just relax before you can start your life again. But then you die when your plane crashes.
This happened to H.Y.Mayol, who barely survived living through the ordeal of the burning towers that collapsed on her, only to die when her AA Flight 587 crashed in Queens in November that year itself. I remember this crash clearly, because I was all “WTF again??”.
What kind of bullshit fate is this? You live only to die later? That’s stupid. That’s just inconsiderately and unbelievably stupid. All this makes me feel bullSHIT like Final Destination can totally happen in real life.
Moving on from all that : Whose fault was it?
If you ask me, it is the fault of the American intelligence community, who, as Wikipedia informs me, failed to act on Operation Bojinka. Not only are the American intelligence agencies not ineffective, I’m sure they would have caught a whiff of anything against America on the American mainland itself, long back. It flummoxes me as to why they did not prevent this.
It is the fault of US foreign policy, because of their foothold in lands that are traditionally Muslim. This is why Osama, that crazy fucker, turned against the US.
And obviously, most of all, this is the fault of rich, insane bastards like the now-thankfully dead (and I hope rotting in all hells everywhere) Osama bin Laden.
Not only has he introduced the age of paranoia in the world, he tarnished the reputation of Muslims worldwide. Logically, there are bound to be a few rotten apples in every basket. But the way the world appears to perceive Muslims now is that of being a fully rotten, fanatical, crazy community. That’s not true. That’s like accusing all Toyotas of being useless just because a few had some mechanical issues. You cannot generalize. And especially not reverse-infer : Terrorists claim to fight for Muslims. This does not mean all Muslims are terrorists.
So it’s good that he’s dead. I hope Seal Team 6 killed him after a lot of torture. Infact I hope they did not kill him, because that’s what he wanted/wants right? He wants to die and be seen as a fucking martyr in the eyes of his dopey useless pathetic followers.
So I hope he’s alive. I hope they reconstruct the Twin Towers and I hope they throw him from the terrace of that, because that’s human spirit.
You could ask me, “Dude were you there? Why are you so bothered about 9/11, you were only 10” and I wouldn’t have a perfect answer for you. For one thing, you should just check out the vidoes on YouTube to get a partial sense of what people experienced on that day. I’ve checked some of them out. They are disturbing and depressing as hell.
I relate to the fact that these are humans dying and these are humans reacting. Whether or not I was actually in the US on that day is irrelevant. When a life is extinguished so cruelly, you can do little but empathize and wonder what they did to deserve that. That is precisely what I am doing now.
I may overthink everything unnecessarily and distress myself, but the least these innocent souls deserve is to be thought of, and pitied. You can’t just forget them because what happened to them depresses you. Atleast I won’t.
Rest In Peace, victims.
Rot in Pieces, Osama and other fucking terrorist scum pieces of moronic fungus-brained shit.