Saturday, September 10, 2011

Windows on the World

I dined once at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center.  To be honest, the food was average, but the night-time view was nothing less than stunning.

After I looked out the back window that day, I tried to call Carrie but couldn't get through.  It stayed that way all day.  I ran and got my camera and headed up to the roof.  After getting a few shots there, I went outside and walked down Noble Street and turned left, heading south along the East River.  There's a line of factories there between the street and the water that trails off as you head south.  I was less than a hundred feet from
clearing the wall of the last factory to obtain a clear view of the towers when a worker from a warehouse on the left side of the street went running back toward it, yelling, repeating to his co-workers, "Did you see that building fall?!!"  When I cleared the wall I got a few quick shots of a yellowish white plume of dust and debris blossoming next to a single WTC Tower.

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, linked above, Folsom resident, Kari Flickinger makes the comments in regard to the U.S.'s reaction to the 9/11 attacks that, "We're like a little kid who didn't know what to do."  I agree with Ms. Flickinger's implied aversion to an ongoing state of war.  I think that it's fair to say at the very least that our presence in Iraq lasted quite a bit longer than necessary if it was necessary at all.  As I've pointed out in an earlier post, though, I think the more important point is that certain extremist rhetoric did nothing but throw unnecessary fuel on the fire, creating a world-wide state of hostility.

Other than that, though, I think the U.S. actions, particularly in Afghanistan and more recently Pakistan, are well warranted.  For the long run, I agree with Ms. Flickenger's idealistic notions about a world without war.  I really do.  Nevertheless, I find her comment ironic in that it reeks of immaturity.  In short, when some punk--or punks--sucker punch you from behind, you don't let them get away with it.  If you do, they will surely do it again.  I know this from experience.  Ms. Flickinger should count herself lucky that she is not embroiled in the fight against these extremist fanatics.  Perhaps she's forgotten the handful of terrorist attempts that have been foiled over the past ten years.  Yep, the shoe-bomber wasn't the only one.  The other one that comes to mind first was the fella headed for LAX from Canada with a trunk full of explosives.  Remember that one, Kari?  Perhaps if 10 years ago a 747 had slammed into the Trans-America Building or the Golden Gate Bridge, Ms. Flickinger would be singing a different tune.



  1. I do happen to be a singer, JPaul. That quote was somewhat out of context, but it rings true in my mind. I was asked for my opinion on 9-11 twice. One time I was eighteen standing on the street in my small hometown on the west coast, and then, again, ten years later. I imagine being in the action changes minds. As someone who has experienced a multitude of dramatic events in their short lifespan, has traveled to other countries and engaged conversation regarding America's actions with young people in coffee shops and old italian women who live on mountain tops, I can say without question, that I agree that decisive action is often highly effective when dealing with the play-yard bully. But, my point, which was somewhat misconstrued, dealt more in that America was responding as a child to a play-yard bully. We have great minds in our country that we are not putting to use, and it shows when we rush headlong into the fray. It shows our age as a country. I have no answers for the right path to take, I simply think that the snowball effect of fear tactics used to drag America through numerous wars in the name of an unseen, unknown enemy was wrong. It saddens me that so many young people went to war without the full understanding of what the fight was even for. And it frustrates me that 9-11 was used as a political chess piece. I've lost many close friends in the past few years, and that day so many people lost their friends, husbands, wives, children. Each with a face and story. I felt that the political tactical exchange did not do those lost the honor they deserved. Also, I suspect we are closer to the same side than you realize.

  2. I take it this reply is from Ms. Flickenger. I appreciate your reply, but I'll say that to compare the events of 9-11 to dealing with a schoolyard bully is much more trivializing than the fact that it's been used as a political wedge for various reasons. It's a little more complex than getting picked on on the playground. I also appreciate that you've been all over the world, etc. Congratulations. I lived in New York City for 6 years. You learn a little about the world there, too.