Remembering 9-11: Let’s Roll

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Members of an earlier generation remember exactly where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated. For a later generation, it was 9-11.

Lest we not forget, there were those of the Greatest Generation who lived through both. The World Trade Center in New York City went down that day as did part of the Pentagon and a plane crashed in Pennsylvania, destination unknown. Thousands died that day. Traffic and public transportation gridlocked or deadlocked. Phone lines overloaded. Calls could not go through.

Washington, D. C., where I worked, closed effectively. Congressional staffers would spend the next several months working at undisclosed locations.

Congressional committees, which usually examine just about every topic under the heavens, could bring themselves to look at little that did not involve aspects of the attacks on September 11, 2001. The assault occurred in the morning and most D. C. offices closed before noon, including the one I worked in on Capitol Hill. Nevertheless, I could not get home to my family in Virginia until mid-afternoon.

Since then, young people on college campuses have tried to hold 9-11 memorials, much to the consternation of campus administrators who would rather forget that a foreign power committed this, yes, evil act. Nevertheless, we would all do well to remember the words of the doomed passengers who stopped their hijacked plane from reaching its target: Let’s roll.