Suddenly the reassuring voices on the radio were interrupted by a bulletin that an airplane had collided into a World Trade Center Tower in New York City. Having lived in New York in the late 1960s and watched the initial phases of construction of the WTC this announcement quickly caught my attention. I awakened my wife to share the news with her. She didn’t seem to want to be awakened, or even very interested in my early comments about this tragedy and how I feared the death toll of such an accident could run into the tens of thousands. Her calm evaporated when news came that a second plane had crashed into the South Tower.
That got me quickly out of bed and into the living room with the television. Today, 10 years later, those two massive towers ablaze still burn in my mind.
Seeing the laborious birth of those two majestic towers in person and then watching their sudden death on television was a poignant witness to me of just how brief the existence of something one believes to be permanent. Almost immediately the talking television heads were giving garbled accounts of what appeared to be Islamic extremists attacking the heart of America.
From many years living in the Middle East and being friends with many Muslims I sat in horror watching my world slowly implode. Many things which I believed, and had always wanted to believe, crumbled and died that morning. Later that day WTC Tower #7 mysteriously joined her taller sisters in an imploding death and a burning hole appeared in the side of the U.S. Pentagon.
As these two stately and colossal towers burned and fell, the bright flashes of their implosion made me know that, sadly, extremists amongst Muslims did not share the peaceful beliefs of my many friends.
I also was impressed that the desire for power and control is not limited to any one group of people.
Beware power and those who covet it. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We see it now among our own government officials.