Memory of 911
were there at the time of, say, JFKs assassination will tell
you they have distinct memories of certain moments that they will
carry with them forever. It may be something trivial, like the dangling
thread on the bright yellow jacket worn by the woman standing beside
you. It may be something said or something seen. But it imprints
and it sticks with you.
I, too, have
such a memory. Of September 11, 2001.
It is a small
thing and may be something that stands out for entirely innocuous
(or simply irrelevant) reasons.
But I have
background. I was at the time an editorial writer for The Washington
Times you know, the Moonie-owned paper in DC thats
quite possibly a front for the CIA and is most definitely a mouthpiece
for the neo-con right. (On the latter: There was a fax machine in
the office that used every day to spit out memos from
the now-infamous Partnership for a New American Century and Bill
Kristol, which often became the basis for the following mornings
editorials. The Jerusalem Post was another favorite source for material.)
that morning, not long at all after the planes hit, I picked up
on something that may be nothing or might be something:
The higher-ups at the paper were already using the lingo thats
still the lingua franca today. 911. Not, the attacks on the Trade
Center or something natural like that. Just the
now-familar acronym-scree, 911 like you used to say when
you talked about calling the cops. I though it odd then and I still
think it odd today, a decade later. How is it that 911 became
coin of the realm so speedily? It was to me as though
part of a very deliberate and carefully engineered PR program, prepared
in advance and rolled-out on schedule.
911 has too
much of the brand-name about it for my tastes having done
some copywriting, too, you see. Too much, at any rate, to have become
so common so quickly. So almost instantaneously the agreed-upon
terminology, like a parrot call.
How did this
come about? What made so many people (well, people in a position
to guide the discussion along certain channels) latch onto the date
vs. the event itself?
What was so
special about Tuesday, September 11?
is not known as 12-7.
Is it not odd?
Well, it was
to me still is. I dont why my ears perked up, but they
did. I kind of made a mental note to myself, then put it in the
background of my mind as the days events unfolded. We
the editorial writers were shocked and scared and busy as
hell that day. No real time to think much more about it. There were
more pressing things on the mental menu, such as What Next?
may have been the only one thinking about it the sudden appearance
and equally sudden acceptance of 911 as the new shorthand for Everything.
Perhaps I still am.
Well, so what
am I trying to say?
really sure. I have my own suspicions about the events of that day.
In particular, I have questions about one of the major events of
that day that is almost never discussed anymore and wasnt
much discussed even then the strange collapse of WTC Building
7. I dont know what happened there, but I sure would like
to know. I do know that on the one hand, we have been told that
the Twin Towers collapsed because structural steel steel
specifically designed to withstand the impact of a four-engined
commercial jet (Boeing 707) was weakened by a blitz of jet aircraft
impact (which, crucially, blew away vital fire-protectant insulation)
and the subsequent inferno caused by jet fuel, which softened the
now-unprotected vital core supports, leading to the collapse. But
then, on the other hand, we have WTC7 which was not hit by
anything other than falling debris, suffered no high-temperature
jet-fuel-fed inferno, yet still pancaked to the ground in what sure
looked to me like free fall.
It has not
the lessons of 911!
Remember the lessons of 911! GWB and Rudy Giuliani and most
Republican pols since then erupt like bullfrogs with 911! whenever
its clear no discussion and certainly no questions
are wanted. We cant forget the lessons of 911!
It has been
thus ever since that day; for me, no more than two or three hours
at the most after the first plane hit.
Maybe it doesnt
mean anything. But maybe it does.
I wonder whether
well ever find out.
with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.
[send him mail] is an automotive
columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
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