Having been blogging for less than a year, this is the first 9-11 that I have had the opportunity to blog my recollections.
I live on the west coast. Those who know where Palmdale is know that its about 90 miles from any beach, but still comfortably in the Pacific Time Zone. On that morning, I had just woken up and turned on the radio to KLOS out of Los Angeles for their Mark & Brian radio show. They're normally a pair of funny guys, but their tones that morning got my heart racing before I even comprehended exactly what they were talking about. By that point, both towers had been hit and collapsed, the Pentagon was confirmed as a part of the same attack, and it was not yet established that the crash of flight 93 was also part of it. I went through a few of my morning routines on auto-pilot and went to my parents's house since I didn't have a working TV. It took me about half an hour before I had what could be described as a coherent thought, and it was, "Someone is going to pay for this, and I hope to God that its the right people."
So far, the right people are paying. The Taliban has been busted back down to be a warband again, and no direct sign of Osama bin Ladin has been proven for years.
And now for current events. We have the first presidential election since the 21st Century's first day of infamy. The charge has been made that the Republicans have politicized 9-11. While I do feel that that day was something transcendant that threw the boundaries of humanity and inhumanity into stark focus, it can not be escaped that in that time we looked to our leaders for guidance. Anything that the President does is political in that it will impact whether he or his party hold onto the office come the next election. To say that the president can not hold up his actions on that day as a political plus for himself is like saying that the class valedictorian should not brag about his SAT scores.
It is also fair for the opposition to point out where the presidents actions on that day and the days following were not up to snuff. The Seven Minutes are a legitimate point if one would have preferred the president to be standing over a telephone looking concerned rather than not spooking a bunch of elementary schoolers. But then the point that it is better to stand over a phone looking concerned is better has to stand up to the idea that if the President had to make decisions for things to happen that far down on the chain of command then things are really FUBAR. Rudy Giuliani has my respect and the respect of many of my friends from that part of the country for his handling of the crisis. The important point is that he did so on the city level, asking for state and federal assistance where he recognized that his own resources might be insufficient. Where some people might see that President Bush did not do enough, I see that the federal system of emergency responses worked well.