For some reason 9/11 seems more relevant this year. I suppose our country just seems a little more fragile these days. Lot on my mind right now. I think it'll help me just to put things into words. Like everyone else, I experienced shock, fear and rage that day. Mostly rage. I really wanted to hear reports of mushroom clouds over Tehran and Damascus.
On 9/11/07 my mom died. Complications from cancer. I was right there in her room all that last day. Wasn't until an hour or so after her passing that I even realized what day it was.
Back in high school (1987), I did really well on the ASVAB. Not long after taking that test, a uniformed Marine officer strode purposefully into my classroom and whispered to my teacher. My teacher pointed at me and my friend Doug. "OH ****!!" was all I could think of. "John, Doug, you're with me!" so we followed him. "Which way to your counselor's office?" So we led him there. "We need your office. Excuse us." The counselor said "alright" and left in haste. Face reddening, tendons in the neck sticking out a la Buzzcut from Beavis & Butthead, the recruiter started yelling. "2000 Marines held Guadalcanal against 10,000 Japs! If those had been 2000 regular army, right now we'd be eating sushi and bowing to the emperor!" He even banged his fist on the desk as he said "You two are the kind of men we want in the United States Marine Corps!" Yeah, I just about soiled my linens.
Then a few weeks later the Army recruited talked me into visiting his office. He had his feet up on the desk and was reading a car magazine when I arrived. "Let me find you file. Hmmm, looks like your overqualified for anything we do in this man's army. But in the other room there are a bunch of videos. Look through them and see if anything catches your eye." I watched about half a vid about being a tank gunner before I got up and left. I never even talked to the Navy and Air Force recruiters. The two extremes of what I'd already experienced with recruiters pretty much soured me on the whole thing. Now I go to church with this guy. Super cool dude. And the kid down the street who was my best friend from elementary school all the way through college is now a freakin' Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force! I now really regret that I never served in the military. During my 20s, I figured, "Aw, one of these days I'll just enlist." But I never did. Circumstances of life made me put it off and put it off and now I'm too old to do much about it. If you're in your 20s and reading this, don't pitterfutt around with your goals. Whether that is education, career, relationships or some kind of service. You'll find that another year has gotten behind you, and it happens fast.
Last night I noticed on AoS that Allahpundit from HotAir had done a series of twitter messages regarding his first-hand 9/11 experiences. Powerful stuff. Exblogitate has a compilation of his tweets that is a little easier to read. Check it out.