It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

Summary: Back in 2001, we collectively said, "We will never forget." We haven't. This is the first of our series on the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.

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"Turn on your TV."

It was Heather, one of my editors, calling me early on the morning of September 11, 2001. I'm not a morning person, and Heather never called me before coffee, so my sleep-addled brain knew something had to be happening.

I sat up in bed, reached for the remote, turned on the TV ... and like so many Americans, suddenly felt the world shift from a pre-9/11 world to what we've come to think of as a post-9/11 world.

We all know the stories, the shock, the heartbreak, and the anger.

It's been ten years since that morning.

Much has changed. We live in a world of Facebook and Twitter, broadband and YouTube, a world where anything you want to know is a mere Google search away.

It's been ten years since that morning.

Much has not changed. The site of the World Trade Center is still a construction zone. Amazingly, disturbingly, oh-so-American-ly, politics got in the way of the design and the memorial and structures are still not complete.

It's been ten years since that morning.

Osama bin Laden is dead. Yet, America is still embroiled in the longest running war action we've ever been in. Our soldiers are still dying to protect our freedom.

It's been ten years since that morning.

Terrorism has jumped the digital divide into cyberspace. Every American is mere milliseconds away from every cybercriminal on the planet, America's security has been shaken by a Web site called Wikileaks, and groups of anonymous miscreants torture our corporations and government agencies for the LOLZ of it.

It's been ten years since that morning.

September 11: Ten years afterHere on ZDNet, we are beginning our coverage of this important anniversary. I will be running a series of articles, what I the "9/11 Diary". I lived in New Jersey in 2001 and then, like now, I ran a small publishing company called ZATZ.

Shortly after Heather woke me that morning, I sat down at my computer and wrote. I knew that our many readers, here in the U.S. and throughout the world, would be trying to make sense of the events of 9/11. I was trying to make sense of the events.

I wrote about the attacks again the next day, and the day after that. By Friday of that week, shell-shocked though we were, we decided to try to go back to business as usual.

A month later, 9/11 weighed heavily on our minds. Other scary events were taking place, including a flood of Antrax-laced letters sent to Post Offices throughout the East Coast. My little, small town Post Office was one of them, and so, for weeks, all our mail showed up in little plastic envelopes.

By November, everyone was trying to get back to a normal life (with the terrible exception of those families who'd lost loved ones). I wrote my last commentary about the events of 9/11 and got back to my somewhat normal routine.

Those articles, the ones the week of 9/11 and the two follow-on pieces are the "9/11 Diary" and I'll be posting one entry each day, leading up to 9/11/2011. You should know that they are raw and -- other than to meet ZDNet's formatting needs -- they are unedited. They reflect how I felt then, and, to some degree, how I feel today, although these days, my opinions are more nuanced and seasoned, given all I've seen of government and America's challenges over the course of the last decade.

Back in 2001, we collectively said, "We will never forget." We haven't. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since that morning.

Read the rest of the 9/11 Diary series:

See also:

During our 9/11 retrospective coverage, I invite you to post your thoughts and remembrances, but I also request you remain respectful and polite. This isn't just a story of politics. This is a story of real people, their families, and their loss. Courtesy is demanded at a time like this. Thanks!

Topic: Social Enterprise

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Message has been deleted.

    SonofaSailor
    • Message has been deleted.

      T-Wrench
    • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

      Good! Trolls be gone.
      ScorpioBlue
  • I hope that..

    .. when you say "This is a story of real people, their families, and their loss." In addition to the US citizens, I do hope you also consider, that as a result of this event, the many 100's of thousands that have been murdered (and rising) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    root12
    • I agree; thankfully the murderers are gone now

      @root12 - You're right, there have been 100's of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of murders in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fortunately, the disgusting perpetrators of those murders -- Saddam Hussein and the Taliban -- have been taken down thanks to the efforts and bravery of our American troops, protecting millions of people from tyranny and giving them a chance at freedom. Now it's up to the people of those countries whether or not they choose to embrace that freedom. I hope they do.

      God bless our troops.
      Speednet
      • Yes, support our troops

        @Speednet

        ...by ending our endless cycle of war and bringing them home to their families.
        sissy sue
      • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

        @sissy sue - I understand your sentiment, but I'm glad you're not in charge.
        Speednet
      • I appreciate the graciousness of your response

        @Speednet
        But I side with John Quincy Adams when he said "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her (America's) heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."

        We were a beacon of freedom to millions before we determined that it was our right to go abroad seeking monsters to destroy. Are we still considered that "beacon of freedom" to the people whose lands our military occupies? I certainly hope so, for their sake as well as ours. But our government, with its enormous debt, no longer has the capital to rid the world of every evil.
        sissy sue
    • Message has been deleted.

      fibreoptik
  • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

    @root12 Hear, Hear!
    johnpall@...
  • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

    wait... how many years has it been?... since that morning... I didn't catch on the first 15 times
    fibreoptik
  • My phone rang ...

    Wife called me, said a tower had been hit. I turned on the tube in time to see the second impact, guess that settles it, wasn't another piloting error.

    No matter how bad 9/11 is made out to be it could have been far worse. Think Soviet suitcase nukes. In a way I was relieved 9-11 was only what it was. Such is the case of my being a Nuclear Vet.

    Thing that bothers me the most about 9-11 was the way the American public allowed their collective sanity to be hijacked by transparent manipulations that wouldn't pass a sniff test with someone who remained rational.

    Politicians have used 9-11 to wreak havoc on America and our values, what we stood for, to a far greater extent than any enemy of this country could hope to do.

    And thats the real result and fallout of 9-11. Mass insanity and self destruction.
    rmhesche
    • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

      @rmhesche
      Amen brother, I second and third that. Our fear let us believe whatever the Cheneyites told us. We lost our spine that day and haven't gotten it back yet.
      rcwally
      • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

        @rcwally <br>One of a very small handful of events that have occurred in my 50+ years where I can remember exactly what I was doing when it happened. Sad, sad day for America and the civilized world. Even sadder the way it was crassly subverted by the president and his cronies. So many young Americans died needlessly chasing the mythical WMD so that Haliburton and other large corporations could get richer and plunder Iraqi oil.<br><br>I continue to mourn what was lost on 9/11 and in the following decade. America's collossal debt is one of the most stark legacies of this dark period in the country's history. I hope it will not prove to be the start of the disintegration of a nation that has so often been a beacon of hope over the past 200 years.
        Peter Malcolm
    • Agreed

      @rmhesche

      Fear is incompatible with freedom. We either choose to be afraid and beg the government to protect us (which is like the chickens asking the fox for protection) or embrace freedom with all its risks.
      sissy sue
      • We do need government for some things

        @sissy sue
        Private security guards can't do very much against airplaines crashing into the building.
        John L. Ries
      • We do need government for some things

        @John L. Ries
        Yes, you're right about that. But how much was government responsible for what happened on 9-11?
        sissy sue
    • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

      @rmhesche
      Oh, how I agree with you. The tragedy of 9/11 has been extended to our everyday lives, and the willful destruction of our rights.
      jasilvasy@...
  • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

    LOL! Still talking about the time the US killed their own people blaming terrorists?
    GuardianBob
    • RE: It's been ten years since that morning (9/11 Diary)

      @GuardianBob - Yep, MIHOP.
      goatini