This week marks the 12th anniversary of the day the world changed forever. Of course, I’m referring to the day on Sept. 11, 2001, when four airliners were taken over by some cowards from Afghanistan. We call them cowards today, as that is the only description befitting the men who took the life’s of more than 3,000 innocent human beings.
On that day in 2001, I was still in bed, sound asleep, when the phone rang. I believe it was around 6:00 a.m. My good ex-wife, Dori, was on the phone sorta screaming at me to turn on my TV, which of course I did, and the rest is history. It was a Tuesday, and that was the day my editor liked to get my weekly column. Of course, I sat transfixed to the screen. At the end of the day, I sat down and wrote the following column, getting it to the editor late that evening. Every year, I try to print that original column, just as it was printed on Thursday, Sept 13, 2001. Here it is, with an additional article about Bob Anderson, and his shows this weekend at the Italian American Club:
As I was preparing to write this column, the worst catastrophe to hit America since December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, was taking place. The date of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, will be remembered forever in the minds of those who witnessed the New York City and Washington D.C. explosions. For the millions of us who watched in disbelief on television, it will forever be burned into our memory.
The last time I was personally involved in a situation even similar to this, was the day President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas,Texas. At the time of that event, Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, I was a sports reporter in Los Angeles for Copley News Service, and was in route to the office, when the Motorola radio in my car (supplied by Copley) came alive. My boss, the editor, was telling all reporters to report to the nearest office for special assignments. I turned the radio dial to KNX (an all-news station), and heard for the first time about the shooting in Dallas.
As a reporter every one of us went into automatic mode, as I am sure the men and women who covered the events of last Tuesday were working on. The death of a single person, no matter how powerful or important, could never, in my mind, compare to the loss of the thousands on Tuesday. There will be, for sure, heroes galore coming out of both cities. (Remember, when this was written details about United Airlines flight 93 were still unknown). In my mind, and I’m sure everyone who were watching the events as they unfolded, the heroes are the men and women of the “First Responders,” who rushed towards the towers, and unfortunately never came out of the black cloud.
I can still remember exactly where I was, when as a young boy I was laying on the floor in the front room reading the funny papers on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. My folks were listening to something on the radio when suddenly my mother started crying, and my dad turned up the volume on the radio. It was right then that we heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. At least our nation knew, within minutes, exactly who had attacked our country. It was a sneak attack, do not get me wrong, and it was cowardly. But, not as cowardly as the one that took place Tuesday. When Japan attacked they attacked military targets by military means. Sure, there were innocent civilians killed in the attack, and of course, hundreds of men and women in the various services were killed that day. But, what we must remember, and I’m sure we will never forget, at least Japan did not sneak aboard civilian airplanes, and purposely kill thousands of innocent people.
Whoever was responsible for ordering those men (and perhaps women) to take control of those planes, and aim them at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, may think in their minds, that they are heroes. However, I would venture to say that 99.999 percent of the world would disagree. It does not take much effort to be a coward! The idiots who obeyed those orders may have died thinking they were heroes for their cause—whatever that cause could be. But in reality they too were and are the worst cowards the world has ever known (Of course today we know the full story).
This is the third major event during my lifetime, which unfortunately, I will not be able to ever forget. I hope and pray I never have a fourth.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
As many of you know, Bob Anderson, will be appearing this weekend at the new Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, where he will perform his very special dinner club show, Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. I would just like to remind you to call 702-457-3666 for tickets, and or dinner reservations prior to or following the show. Show tickets are $25.00. It’s going to be one heck of a great show. I guarantee it!