John Corson's Blog

for September 11, 2021

It seems everybody is being asked to answer the question(s) of the day today: Where were you and what were you doing 20 years ago when you first heard of the attack on the World Trade Center Towers?

This day of infamy, more so that the attack on Pearl Harbor, is truly infamous. As for me, it certainly changed my perspective on the human spirit in more ways than one.

First, it made me think that not all religions, or certainly not all interpretations of religions, are peaceful or have a peaceful perspective. Islam cannot be viewed as a religion of peace, but there are many sects within Islam that are peaceful, or simply do not promote conflict, war and death. There are some that do and their interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith as urging or mandating war with infidels, jihad, and death to those who convert to other religions, or what they call apostasy and is punishable by death without any other way of interpreting their holy texts. Christians who commit apostasy will be condemned to hell and judgment and punishment is made and given by God. To Muslims, judgment and punishment is carried out by man, i.e. Muslims, not God. Therein lies a huge difference.

To some Muslims, Christians and to a certain extent Jews, are seen as people of the Book, meaning they have their origins the same way as Muslims and with the same holy texts that created their religion. The Jew, the Old Testament; Christians the New and, Muslims, with the Old and New Testaments seen as sacred, but surpassed and replaced by the Koran. So, basically, to many Muslims, Christians and Jews can only be, at best, second class, or at least subservient to Muslims. To the militant Islamists, Christians and Jews are heretics at best, infidels at least and are worthy of either enslavement or death.

This view was adapted by twenty extremists who took their marching orders by the Islamisist Osama bin Laden who saw, not only a "Christian nation" or rather a nation of more Christians than not, as the infidel, but an enemy of Allah as a whole. Nineteen of those 20 died on four planes that were hurled into the two World Trade Center buildings in New York, the Pentagon and one intended for the White House was crashed by Americans charging the cockpit where four Islamists had commandeered the plant and they crashed it in the fields outside Shanksville, PA.

Where was I when it started? What was I doing? Well, I was at home, about twenty minutes prior to my leaving for work. I was checking my e-mail and looking for some ideas for programming my automated overnight classical music show on WHRO-FM when one of my step-sons called me and asked if I had heard anything about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I didn't have either the TV or radio on, so I said that was news to me. That was around 9:05 am and thinking he was saying that a private Pipe Cub or something that was small and not a passenger plane, I didn't see the urgency in turning on the TV to find out. I would probably know more when I got to work.

Upon arrival, there were a few people (fellow employees at WHRO) coming into the FM studio where the programs was coming from a network feed and no live announcer was on duty, and they were watching the big screen over the console. There I witnessed this billowing smoke coming from the North Tower and the announcement that it was confirmed that American Airlines Flight 11, but they were also showing over and over the video of the second jet, United Airlines Jet 175 smashing into the South Tower. When I arrived at work, both towers were already hit, but when I entered the building I was only aware of one and still did not know it was a jet plane.

While standing in the studio with about five or six others, I noticed everyone's mouth was wide open, Heather Mazzoni, the radio manager's secretary at the time was blown away! Next to her was Bonnie from the business office and she was crying and shaking. Dwight Davis, one of the announcers then said: We are under attack. Across the hall is the other FM studio (WHRV) where Chuck Adams was still hosting a national news feed and he came out with an extremely strange one-sided smile and said, they aren't using bombs now, just jets.

Well, my immediate question is who is attacking and who are the "they" to whom Chuck was referring. I did have work to do, voice recordings to make as the day's duties weren't cancelled yet and I proceeded to go into the small production studio to do the voicers for my automated program for that evening. After that, and while I was entering the voice track information and the CD tracks to be played through the system that night, Neal Murray came in to tell me the Pentagon was attacked and there was a report of a fourth jet having crashed on its way to Washington, DC. That was all I needed to hear to stop my work in its tracks and other than finishing the entries about an hour later, I stayed glued to the news feeds and TV until I heard the confirmation: It was Osama bin Laden, or a jihadist group affiliated with or under his command.

I, like almost everyone in that building (nearly 85 folks in all) were united on one big front: We are under attack and we needed to find the culprit(s). The feelings I went through on that one single day were many. I felt scared, wondering that since the station was located just two miles away from the Norfolk Naval Base, if we would be attacked there, scared that there would be a few dozen more attacks in and around the country. Worried about what our response would be and how immediate we would retaliate. I was very concerned that we would not find the culprits for a long time because it was apparent that a country or nation wasn't attacking. By late that afternoon, and long before President Bush addressed the nation, I could say with certainty that an ideology attacked us and unknown adherents to that ideology carried out jihad against this nation.

Other feelings that ran through my mind  and heart included hatred for those who would do such a thing. Revenge was another. I remember telling Raymond Jones that if Ronald Reagan were President there would be "swift and effective retribution," a phrase he used referring to any future acts of terrorism Iran may try. I truly believe Afghanistan would certainly not be the same today and the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be a memory thrown into the dust bin of history.

After President Bush addressed the nation that night, a couple more emotions and feeling welled up within me. One is, will we be going to war and will my sons (not already enlisted in the Navy) have to go. Where will the war be fought? How will this war be different? Will the ensuing conflict bring China and Russia into it, taking sides against us?

But the most overwhelming feeling was for the families and the still unfounded hundreds of people in New York, those who were missing in Arlington near the Pentagon, the families of those who went down in the jet in Pennsylvania. I truly felt so torn up for those families and friends as they were pacing the floors, crying, fearing and talking through their fears about loosing their loved ones.

I was not the same since that dreaded day twenty years ago. I remember hearing the words of a CIA analyst just the other night on TV say that he said this to a couple of his co-workers at "the Company" but never dared utter it until now: "This country will never be the same again." He went on to say: "Freedom was under attack on 9/11 and slowly freedom died. I believe Osama bin Laden has won in the long run. We are no longer free as we are under constant surveillance, subjected to such things as the National Defense Authorization Act and the never blind eye, never deaf ear of the NSA and Homeland Security." As the American public increasingly cries for more security, it does so at the cost of liberty. The more we want protection, the more we ask the government to take care of us and are willing to give anything and almost everything up to it.

Since 9/11, we were and never will be the same again. I will also say that since Covid-19, wherein we have given up even more precious freedom in order to be protected from this pandemic, we will never be the same as we were before March, 2020. Will masks be a permanent fixture on our faces? Will we be required to have vaccinations, with boosters every six to nine months to ward off any variant that may come our way? Will we be forced to cloister within the walls of our homes, shut away from society (or what was once society) on a more permanent basis?

9/11/2001 was the beginning of the end of Liberty, the United States, the Constitution and the Republic. What remains? These are the questions that remain and I believe the answers are forthcoming and just around the corner.

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Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.