I was in my kitchen in Orange, VA with NBC’s Today Show playing on my little tv as I cleaned up the dishes. My daughters (ages 14 and 13) were beginning their homeschool work for the day in another room. I heard Katie Couric and Matt Lauer report that it appeared that a small plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Or was it an explosion? They talked to a witness, wondering what was going on. I called the girls into the kitchen and we watched as the second tower was hit. One of my daughters said “wow, nothing like this has happened in my life”.
We watched history happening throughout the day – schoolwork and anything else set aside – and listened to the reports of the other two planes crashing into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. The footage of the planes crashing into the towers was played again and again, and the people were running and the smoke was billowing and it was all so horrible.
I went to class that night (microbiology) in Charlottesville and the instructor dismissed us, finding it impossible to teach.
At the time, my oldest son was serving as a reservist and was in Fort Dix, NJ – preparing to leave for a deployment to Bosnia. Since that day 12 years ago, my two sons have served 12 deployments between them. I am a mom who is proud of their service.
Strong opinions about whether we should be wherever are voiced all over the internet and on tv. I am not one of those people with a strong opinion because it can be difficult to KNOW. I struggle with what is the right choice because I do not know the future.
I do know it’s much easier to form an opinion on the right decision in hindsight. Many will be writing books decades from now about what should have been done or how things could have gone better. Lest we get too smug and know it all, here’s what was printed in an encyclopedia about Hitler – published in 1931:
From Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia – Volume XV – Haggard – Hovey Copyright 1931
Entry found on page 395
Hitler, Adolf (1889–)
German political leader, born in Austria, but a naturalized Bavarian. In November, 1920, he organized a movement in Bavaria based on the Fascist movement in Italy. His followers wear gray shirts and brassards with a swastika in a white circular field on red. They were said to be armed with blackjacks. Hitler stood for a strong, united Germany. On Nov. 8, 1923, he and General Von Ludendorff seized the government at Munich, but their power lasted only a few hours. Ludendorff was captured first; Hitler was taken on November 12. They were tried for treason in April, 1924, and Hitler was sentenced to a short term in the fortress at Landsber, Bavaria.
That’s ALL that was written about him in this “antique” encyclopedia. But now we know the rest of the story.
Before we knew what had truly happened, reporters wondered and we watched not knowing :