Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001, when America changed forever?

Since Fox News features an article titled Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001, when America changed forever? — feel free, cher lecteur, to add your own memories to the comments section, both this blog's one and the Fox News section — I took an excerpt from an article written in 2005 and augmented on 2011's tenth anniversary, and posted it on the Fox News website. (There's a Like button at the bottom of each Fox comment, incidentally, should you appreciate what I wrote in my comment…)

On September 11, 2001, I was in France, having an afternoon drink (remember, Western Europe is six hours ahead of the East Coast) in the TGV's dining car, on a train heading north to Paris.

Cel phone communication is hard to come by on trains, but at one point I heard I had a message on the answering machine. I called the number to hear the message. It was my (New York-born) mother, and all the message said was to please call back: "There has been a series of catastrophes in the States".

Befuddled, I headed out into the corridor and called my parents, and after answering, my mom said I should talk to my dad. I listened incredulously as my father explained that planes had been deliberately flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and that both Twin Towers had collapsed.

Needless to say, I headed back to the dining car in another state of mind, totally closed off and unable to communicate with anyone.

(At one point, three or four members of some state-owned company (they may have been EDF) entered the dining car.  Although they discussing the day's events, they were obviously heading to Paris to demonstrate against the French government, and during their conversation, I overheard one of them making a joke (sic). With a snicker, he said "Ils l'ont fait exprès pour saboter notre manifestation" (They [obviously meaning the Americans] did it on purpose, in order to sabotage our demonstration). Alhough the others barely laughed at what was obviously an instance of sophisticated humor (smiles were in order, though), the comment should give a better idea of the real state of friendship harbored in Europe towards America then the presumed one extant in the myth of the squandered sympathy.)

I was too emotionally drained to react to this comment, and anyway without a radio and a TV set to get a better idea of the situation, the extent of the terrorist attacks was hard to believe. I had listened to learn more, and had certainly not expected anything but empathy for Americans.

Anyway, another two hours went by without news, without images of any kind, and when I arrived at Gare de Lyon, I rushed home faster than I ever have before, arriving drenched with sweat just in time for the 8 o'clock news. That night I hardly slept, as I stayed up in front of the TV all night long, wishing, wishing drastically that the news wasn't true.

For the next couple of weeks I wore a bandanna with the Stars and Stripes everywhere I went.
(This comes from a No Pasarán post [posted] on the tenth anniversary of the attacks…) 
Speaking of Fox News: see the video montage of Obama administration statements on Syria (thanks to Instapundit, who calls it nothing less than "absolutely devastating")