It was another Tuesday six years ago when I stood in dumb horror, watching the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn and collapse on a TV monitor at the Lockheed/Martin plant where I was working. At the time I was an SAIC employee and SAIC was a subcontractor to LM-STS on the WARSIM program. The LM-STS facility on the east side of Orlando has large TVs scattered around the plant and around the office areas to keep everyone informed and to help in general communications.
On that day I was upstairs in building E1 in my cube, working on some sort of WARSIM issue (what I can't recall). A co-worker by the name of Rich Fuchs called my attention to one of the monitors in the area, and asked "Have you seen this?"
Once it sunk in what was unfolding I couldn't take my eyes off the TV for the next few hours, and neither could Rich. In fact (as I walked around during that time) nearly everyone was sitting or standing around the TVs or talking about what was happening. Nobody really knew the extent of the disaster, and we had no information until much later that it was a terrorist attack.
I remember that Rich and I went to lunch at a nearby Gators Dockside (a sports bar with lots of big TVs) to try and get away from the reporting, but Gators had every one of its TVs on the same CNN channel that was playing at the plant. So we ordered wings and ate a few, then went back to work to get away from Gators.
For the rest of the day (and the rest of the week) I walked around with a combination of cold fear and rage in the pit of my stomach, just waiting to see who it was and what would happen next. I'd like to write that I became a better American or a better person because of it, but who's to judge that? What I I can write is that 9/11 has fundamentally changed my view of the Middle East and Islam. And it's all for the worse. And absolutely nothing has occurred to change that view.
If anything, the bomb attacks on Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, coupled with the ongoing slaughter of Iraqi on Iraqi only hardens my views and attitudes towards that region, its religion, and its people. I can't go and fight, but I can support our policies towards the region and our troupes in that region, and I can help to pay for the bullets they use to kill those bastards who attacked us and continue to threaten us. I hope we eventually kill them all.