She gets up in the morning and she still hears it, over and over and over again in her head. That last call. Right before he jumped from the flames to the pavement below.
She has third degree burns on 40% of her body. She is only 10. She is not sure why a fellow Muslim would explode a bomb in a Muslim city, killing and injuring other Muslims.
The CEO of CONTINENTAL MUNITIONS is resting quietly on his newly acquired yacht in the Gulf of Mexico.
Political careers were made and destroyed by it.
Millions of tears were shed for it.
People mourned and celebrated it.
Millions upon millions of words are written about it.
The chain of events is astounding.
The Ottoman Empire rose from the ashes of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. For 500 years it ruled Asia. An archduke is shot in Europe. WWI begins. The Ottoman Empire falls. France and England redraw the map of the Middle East. The Balfour declaration calls for a new Jewish State in Palestine. WWII gives rise to the American Century and for the first time the country cannot subsist on it's own oil alone. Oil is discovered in the Middle East. Israel is born in 1948. The CIA overthrows an elected democracy in Iran in 1959. At the same time an unusually pious young man is born to a wealthy Saudi builder. The Arab world throws off the yoke of Colonialism, only to find they are ruled by despots, autocrats and false idols riding the promise of "Arab Nationalism." Three wars are fought for Israel to survive. An Islamic revolution overthrows the puppet King. A superpower invades Afghanistan. Muslims pour in from around the world and defeat the Superpowr. The Superpower falls, along with the Berlin Wall. The West grows richer, democracy and the EU triumph. A tyrant invades for oil. The world throws him out. A permanent military base is set up in the Islamic Holy Land of Saudi Arabia. A movement born of the Soviet War takes root to oust the West from the Middle East. A bomb in February in the World Trade Center, a bomb in the embassy, a bomb at the USS Cole. 1996 sees the establishment of the "Project for a New American Century" headed by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz among others. Its charter calls for an invasion of Iraq. 19 men. 4 Planes. Then a war in Iraq, an overreaction of criminal and monumental proportions. A gift to Osama. The world order he WANTED. Bombs in Tel Aviv, a war in Lebanon. Afghanistan and Iraq being neutralized so Iran rises as the dominant power in the region. A country divided, a world divided, anti-American sentiment and...King George, Mad King George has the world he wants. Bush wins, Osama wins. We all lost.
I pray for those killed, I pray for their family and friends.
I miss the Towers. I truly believed that when the world as we know it ended, they would still be standing there for archaeologists of the future to speculate on.
They are gone, a piece of my city is gone, it seems reason and brotherhood are gone.
I stood on a rooftop in downtown Manhattan that day and watched so much disappear. I walked home with the dust of that day in my hair and in my soul.
Tolstoy understood, as evidenced in WAR and PEACE that it is not a man's action that creates history, but a million little events and a man's REACTION to one of them that creates history.
During the 90's we thought history had ended, that prosperity and peace and democracy would flourish in the world. It all ended sadly and fittingly in a pile of rubble.
But, we go on. We go on hoping, and dreaming and living, and working. All we can do is control our reactions to actions and we can make a new history.