Remembering 9-11

Today is a very infamous day in American history, the destruction the Twin Towers and the loss of over 3,000 innocent victims. A cry went forth, “we shall never forget”. Sadly, already the memory grows dim for many Americans. We must remember there is a certain religion that hates everything about America and Western culture in general. Not all Moslems are bad, not all Moslems hate America. I often see Moslem families in airports as I travel, except for the ladies attire they look like any other typical middle class Americans, laughing, talking, taking care of their kids and texting on their cell phones.

Not all Moslems are bad, but the religion of Islam is… there has always been conflict between America and Islam. This dates back to colonial days when Islamic pirates boarded American vessels and slit the throats of the American crew. Our marines were fitted with leather collars to give them at least some protection. Hence, still today our marines are called leathernecks. Islam has never been a religion of peace, as some would like to portray them.

All of us have memories of that fateful day. Mine is especially vivid. I was on a return trip after almost three weeks in Asia. I had made stops in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. After changing planes in Korea, I was over the pacific headed to Los Angeles. I had just looked at my watch and thought in about five hours I would be at my hotel, looking forward to dinner at the Proud Bird Steak House, two blocks from my hotel. Suddenly I felt my plane began to turn. The pilot announced we are returning to Korea, the LA airport is closed. There was no further information.

When we returned to Seoul we were met with armed military, TV’s were going. While I could not understand the language, I recognized the Twin Towers. Korean airlines placed us in a small hotel about five miles from the airport. We were in a small village with a few stores and a couple of restaurants, but I had no Korean money and no way to communicate home. They did provide us three meals a day but other than that, I was stuck.

My staff had no idea where I was; thankfully, I shared a room with a businessman from Los Angeles. He called his wife, had her contact my son, and give him my location. When the head of the Korean Baptist Convention contacted our office to offer condolences, they informed him of my location. He and a couple of friends drove out from Seoul and took care of my every need for the next five days. On the sixth day, I caught the first Korean Airlines flight to LA.

Flying has changed forever on that day. No more just boarding a plane, you must arrive two hours early, prepare for long lines, security checks and X-ray machines, and this was not the only change. In many ways all our lives are changes forever because of 9-11.

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