Just a little story:
It was a little before 9AM, a beautiful morning ... I was out of the shower & dressed, just finishing up my last cup of coffee & geting ready to head out to a 10:00 meeting down in Westport, anywhere between a 20 & 45 minute drive depending on traffic, planned on missing most of the traffic by leaving after rush hour ... looking at the clock, I figured I was in good shape timewise.
I had the news on. A report comes on that a plane may have hit a skyscraper in lower Manhattan, I took a seat on the couch to see what was going on ... I had the remote in my hand .. was about ready to turn everything off & head out.
There was a live feed showing smoke pouring out of one of the towers ... not much more information, some speculation that a small aircraft lost control & hit the tower ... maybe a minute goes by ... I see a plane come into frame & then disappear into the 2nd tower ... then a huge ball of fire & smoke.
I couldn't believe what I just saw .... I sat there wondering if it was some other footage of the initial impact ... but smoke was still pouring out of the 1st tower hit ... the footage was being replayed, slow motion, full speed ... dozens of times. I still had the remote in my hand, I remember putting it down on the coffee table ... I could not take my eyes off the TV.
Knowing my brother worked in lower Mahattan, the Wall street subway station was his stop into Manhattan from his home in Brooklyn, I pick up the phone to give him a call, to see if he knew what was going on ... "All cell circuits are busy" was the message ... I tried over & over again ... same message.
Then the report turns to the Pentagon ... another plane crash ... I am thinking WTF!!! I am still trying to reach my brother ... nothing but the same message. Then the 1st tower comes down ... I notice the clock on my cable box, alomst 10AM, I had been sitting there for about an hour, seemed like 10 minutes.
My phone rings, it is my sister ... she is hysterical ... asking if I knew what was going on, another call coming in ... I click over, it's my mom ... she sez she can't get ahold of my brother, I told her I was trying too.
It was the next day when he finally reached my mom & dad ... he was ok, he got off the subway maybe 10-15 minutes before the 1st tower went down ... once it went down, he and a huge crowd fled accross the Brooklyn bridge on foot ... he was pretty much still in shock when I talked to him.
The impact of that day for those of us around NYC is hard to explain ... for many of us, this issue has nothing to do with the political banter around "for or against" the building of the mosque ... nothing to do being liberal or conservative ... it is much more personal.
For me, it is just not right ... I don't feel the need have to explain why it is not right, especially to those who only see the politics behind it, those who believe if I oppose this building at this location that I am somehow intolerant ... that's a joke.
Why not put a Nazi memorial in Tel Aviv or on Normandy beach, or a Japanese cultural center in Pearl Harbor .. or a US atomic bomb historical research library in Hiroshima? Any of these ideas would demonstrate just how tolerant and far we have come? Well you wouldn't ... 'cause it is just wrong.
There really is no logical or legitimate argument for the building of this victory mosque at this location ... yes I said a "victory" mosque, because that is exactly what it will be viewed as to those who buy into the most extreme interpetations of Islam ... those who cheered & danced in the streets the days following ... actually celebrating the fact that so many people, just going about their day-to-day lives, were wiped out ... for what?