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9/11: The First Day of the Endless War

September 11, 2014

I woke up at noon on September 11th, 2001. I had passed out around 3am after a particularly rough game of Shot glass Checkers with my deranged neighbor. Our respective girlfriends had been with us up until the point he started raving about burning down the bakery down the street because they got his bagel order wrong that morning. At any rate, I woke up bleary eyed and in no mood for nonsense. I hit the kitchen and started making breakfast when the phone rang. It was Missy’s mother and she was jabbering about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the End of the world as we knew it. I started to get the fear due to her ravings and the inches thick layer of Tequila that was coating my brain. In a panic I yelled, “The 60’s are over, you lost, get used to it!” I then threw the phone out the window where it smashed into about 300 different pieces. Missy rushed out of the bedroom and asked me who had been on the phone. “No one, a religious fanatic, some weirdo gibbering about the end of the world. Don’t worry though, I killed the phone, they won’t be calling back.” She responded by shaking her head and wondering why she put up with me in the first place. A few moments later, I heard her turn the television on. A few moments after that, I heard the sound of sobbing. I turned off the stove and rushed into the other room where I laid eyes on the destruction that was New York. I stood side by side with Missy, watching confused as they played the footage of the first plane hitting the tower. I watched it over and over again, thinking at first that it must have been a malfunction. I couldn’t believe that some asshole would purposely fly a plane into a building full of people, let alone two.

A few hours later, after the story had been made clear, I went outside and smoked a cigarette. I looked up to the sky above my apartment and watched as a few fighter jets from Selfridge Air Force Base patrolled the skies. All commercial flights had been cancelled, leaving the skies empty. The silence around our complex was deafening. Everyone was either at work or huddled together inside their apartments, too afraid to come out and face this new hideous reality. The only other person who dared brave the outdoors, was my neighbor Danny. He came up and joined me on the balcony. “This changes everything CJ, we are going to go to war any day now, and it will never end.” I lit up another cigarette, took a drag, and realized that he was right. We didn’t get attacked by some Out in the Open enemy, we were attacked by an idea. Our enemies were faceless. Was it Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? All of the above? Or was it another false flag like the 2nd Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to the Vietnamese war? I took another drag and looked out over the balcony at the rubble that was once my cordless phone. Suddenly the ravings of Missy’s mom made a whole lot more sense.

I stayed up for nearly 48 hours glued to the television. I was trying to soak up any information that would help shed light on who or what we were going to war with. Unfortunately, this was war, and the first casualty of war, is truth. After the first day, a lot of double speak made it’s way into the news. The only constant, was the cry of the War Hawks. Someone had to pay for this, and by God they better be prepared because we are going to bomb those poor fuckers back to the stone age. By all indications, it looked like Osama Bin Laden was hiding out in Afghanistan laughing at the destruction he caused. Needless to say, I was shocked when we went to war with Iraq instead.

It has been 13 years since that horrible day. Saddam Hussein and his two rape happy sons are dead, Osama Bin Laden is dead, Iraq has been obliterated, Afghanistan was a failure, and we are now bombing 7 different countries. We are still at war with “The Idea” that caught Americans by surprise on that fateful fall morning. The names have changed, but the goal hasn’t. First it was Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, then it was the Syrian terrorists, now it’s ISIS. Tomorrow it will be someone else, a faceless idea given life by a country that has spent 214 of it’s 237 years in existence at war. War is what we do, it’s what we will always do.

When I think of 9/11, I think of it not as a tragedy that killed thousands of Americans, but as the first shot of a War that will go on forever, and THAT is the true tragedy of 9/11

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