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

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.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

"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.

Here 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!

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