It’s a weird day to be reflecting on the attacks of September 11, 2001.
I’m on dog, cat, hen, and house-sitting duty this week, a regimine that wraps up today when PB and the gang return from a jaunt to the Garden State. I wanted them to arrive home to a spotless kitchen and dining room, so I was in severe cleaning mode. And so I was listening to Howard Stern, which is running the usual holiday “History Of” shows. As such, they broadcast tape of the Stern show from that day.
Even if you’re not a regular listener or if you think Stern is nothing more than a mysoginist with a penchant for dick jokes, you’ve got to sit down and listen to this broadcast.
When historians seek a historical documentation of this terrible event, the more astute ones will most certainly stumble across this tape. To listen to it is to relive it, in real time, with real reactions from some of the most vital New Yorkers there are. There are comments from these folks that are incredibly prescient, some naively so. You experience it all in reviewing this broadcast, the fear, the anger, the outrage, the uncertainty, all of it.
Through it all, Howard and regular callers like Joey Boots and Crazy Cabbie strongly emote these feelings and advocate a swift and certain response by the United States. I felt the same way at the time myself. Still do.
The United States began its land war in Afghanistan in October 2001. We’re still there, and the intense yearning for justice you likely had and that are voiced so elegantly through the Stern broadcast is still elusive. We followed with an invasion and war in Iraq that was even less effective. There are many, many reasons to despise these godammed wars. Primary among them in my book is that none of it has ever delivered justice.