9.11: Where I Was

Today is the tenth anniversary of the 9.11 attacks on the United States, the first attack on the US since the 1941 Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor. The choice of that year, sixty years after Pearl Harbor, and that date, exploiting the Canadian and American emergency number 911 so 9.1.1 could be repeated throughout the day, was callous and strategic.

In Canada, the attacks came as a shock and we sprang into action, helping our neighbour where and how we could. Certainly, our hearts, our prayers and our homes went out to our American friends. And so did our anger. For several decades, Canada had built a reputation as a peacekeeping force around the World. But 9.11 changed that and we went to war, taking our stand beside our allies against terrorism. For us, our role of peacekeeping returned to that of active fighting.

Canadians take the 9.11 attack on the US seriously and personally. Not only were many Canadians killed in 9.11, but we took a defensive posture over our friend on September 11th and fought alongside them since.

As a base brat and station civ, I was certainly personally affected by the attack. My Dad served in the Canadian Armed Forces and though he retired before 9.11, I felt a deep pang for all the soldiers who were deployed as a result of 9.11. My Dad served overseas under NATO command and during his service in Germany local terrorists, the Baader-Meinhof Group, threatened American and Canadian bases and personnel.

Needless to say, I am extremely proud of my Dad’s role in the defense of Canada, Europe and the World.

On September 11, I hopped on my treadmill, one year and a couple of weeks after my heart transplant, and turned on my radio. The first thing I heard was David Rutherford reporting that the United States was under an attack of unknown scope.

My parents were in the computer room. I ran in and relayed the news. They didn’t believe me until I convinced them to turn on CNN News.

That is when 9.11 struck my home, the day when the War on Terrorism began.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims and survivors of the 9.11 attacks. Today, the whole World remembers. And this Canadian mourns with you.

May you sleep well tonight, knowing you are not forgotten.


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