In September of 2001, Milton and had decided to take a quick road trip over to Yosemite. The Bay Area is in such close proximity but we had never been there as far as I could remember. We decided we would drive over on September 11th and stay in a motel outside the park and then visit the park the following day. We were all packed by the time we went to bed on September 10th.
Milton woke me up on the 11th and wanted me to come in and look at the t.v.. I was a little irritated as I always am in the morning before I have had my coffee but he had a lot of urgency in his voice so I obliged. By the time I started watching, the first World Trade Center tower had already come down. I watched in disbelief along with millions of other Americans. I had been to the top of the World Trade Center previously with John Perry. It just seemed impossible that anything could bring these towers down into a pile of rubble.
We already had reservations. We were ready to go. We were in a bit of shock. The best thing to do when you are in shock is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and proceed. We headed out and started driving away from the Bay Area. I kept looking toward San Francisco, wondering if I would see some catastrophic event, like a bomb going off.
When we arrived at the hotel, we turned the t.v. on quickly and stayed glued to the screen for hours. The next day we would visit Yosemite, in all of it’s natural beauty and calm. I don’t think we could have been anyplace more perfect for mourning the grief and loss we had felt the day before. The main question in my mind at the time was “Why?” That would continue to be the question in my mind for some time to come.
The Bush Administration had obviously failed to protect the country. Eventually, it would come out that there had been warnings that were ignored. Bush and Cheney had been already planning to have a war with Iraq. All they were looking for by the time of 9/11 was an excuse to start that war in Iraq. The American people were duped into a war for oil by lies about weapons of mass distraction. Dick Cheney would make billions of dollars for his former company, Halliburton.
The question of “Why” we were attacked would be complicated but those of us on the left continued to look for those answers. Those on the right, manipulated by the corporate media and the Republican propaganda channel, Fox News, had no interest in what had been the real motivation for the attacks. They were caught up in a frenzy reactionary nationalism and hate.