Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word


9-1-1, It Could Have Been You — (October 2001) "A Day That Will Live In Infamy" ...no longer will those words only bring to mind images of Pearl Harbour. Whether you were alive during the Pearl Harbour bombings, or simply saw the Hollywood mega-movie of last year, those words were meant for that tragedy. However, after the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 which took out the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York as well as a piece of the Pentagon, those words will no longer stand alone.

The morning of September 11th, I could barely get out of bed and called in sick. I expected to spend the day in bed but I definitely didn't expect to spend over 12 hours glued to my television set surfing from station to station with my laptop beside me constantly refreshing CNN's web sites. All for updates. All for more information on what had happened. All in an effort to track the events.

As the scope and magnitude of the tragedy struck me, I could barely comprehend the insanity which led to it. When I first saw the images of the plane striking the second tower, my heart sank through my stomach and tears welled up in my eyes. The shock of seeing something I couldn't even begin to imagine in a movie, actually being played out in real life, left me speechless. When the videos from people on the street began to make the airwaves and closer and more detailed images appeared, the shock intensified and I could only watch my screen in horror.

It could have been you. It could have been me. It could have been anywhere. THAT is beyond frightening.

You didn't have to be a resident of New York to have been affected. The folks in the highjacked planes weren't. Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time was all it took. Why? All because a small number of men decided they wanted to get the attention of a large number of men by killing innocent people. Bravery or Barbarism? How about stupidity? How about selfishness?

I don't care what your problem is, you don't take your beef out on the innocent. If you want to protest the high cost of bus fares take it up with the transit authority, don't blow up buses with people in them. Sure, that example doesn't convey what these so-called "soldiers of god" were doing or their reasons for it, but how is it possible that ANY god would condone killing the innocent to spread its word?

I spent the entire day in shock. I spent the entire following day in mourning while trying to get work done and keep abreast of breaking news. Like so many others, I tried to contact friends to ensure they and their families were fine. And still, I couldn't get enough information. I felt helpless. Everything felt hopeless. Nothing I did felt like it was worth anything. Why should I be caring if my code is functional when so many bodies lay strewn all over the place? What did anything I do matter in any way? I should be helping, I should be doing something, ANYTHING, that could help someone. I felt like I was simply wasting my time and my life.

I don't know what scared me more. The fact that I couldn't come to grips with it all, or the fact that there are so many people around me for whom all this means nothing. People who simply shrug their shoulders with an "oh well" attitude and could care less about such issues and who are much more content to dwell with their petty arguments and corporate power struggles.

Insanity.

Was it over? What kind of retaliation would the US take? What kind of retaliation would be taken on the US in retaliation for their retaliation? Would it ever end? Would the world ever know peace? How can hatred live so long in so many?

I started writing this piece only days after the tragic event. And still I know that we will be thinking, talking, and praying about it for months to come as more and more details are uncovered.

Those of us who are alive today are lucky to have survived. Whether we were anywhere near ground zero or not makes no difference. With fanatics practicing random acts of violence (whether planned or not), no one is safe. It could have been you, and it could have been me. Unless we manage to wipe terrorism off the face of the planet, next time, it could be.

The days and weeks following the events would find me constantly re-assessing my life and my role. I found myself back in the familiar territory of "what's it all about?" and trying to ground myself again after such a violent exposure. I'm still having difficulty with it.

I had finally reached somewhat of a crossroad and (Canadian) Thanksgiving Weekend I spent the entire morning and early afternoon baking in preparation for a family meal. Chantale and I were hosting our first Thanksgiving Supper and were very excited about it. As the time was approaching and we began to lay out the table, we turned on the television to read about the first wave of attacks the US had launched against the Taliban. There we were again, sucked into the reality of a world gone insane.

We're still wondering when, and where, it will all end...

Eagle Crying


(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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