Stay away, Joe
Stay Away, Joe was an Elvis movie about a half-breed who returns to the reservation. Maybe Senator Elizabeth Warren should watch it and learn something.
"Stay away, Joe." Yes, stay away from the 9/11 celebrations, Mr. President.
The 20th celebration of 9/11 is sort of like an anniversary party for a couple that announced their breakup last week. What are we celebrating?
On the morning of 9/11, I watched on TV as the second plane hit one of the towers. I remember sitting at the office, and everybody was watching the TV in the boss's office. At lunchtime, eating was a second thought because everyone was looking at the TV screen. I remember calling my wife and hearing that she was picking up the boys from school. Later that evening, I got a message that the opening of fall baseball was delayed because too many parents did not want their kids outside. Finally, what about that eerie feeling of looking up and not seeing all of those planes normally lining up to land at DFW Airport?
It was a horrible day, as Fred Kaplan remembers:
Everyone was in a state of horror. I talked with several people walking away from the disaster, some coated with ash. One man, a Xerox executive who worked a block from the towers, told me he’d seen “pieces of fuselage and body parts falling from the sky” and “strewn all over the street.” This was the first moment I realized that the weapons in the sky hadn’t been small prop engine planes, perhaps rented by saboteurs; they were passenger jetliners, hijacked by terrorists.
The subways were closed down. Cellular networks were mangled. I walked uptown toward the apartment of my Globe colleague Elizabeth Neuffer (a tenacious reporter who would die two years later in Iraq). The streets were empty and quiet, except for the sound of news broadcasts blaring from car radios and bars. At each one, and there were several on every block, dozens of people gathered around to hear the latest. Rumors were rife that planes had also attacked the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Capitol. (One of those reports was true.)
What we saw that day was police officers and firemen walk into the towers. Many did not make it out. They did their duty.
Days later, we saw young men volunteer to defend their country. Some of them died over there.
Of course, let's not forget the families or the "let's roll" warriors.
What in the world is President Biden going to say to these people? As he speaks in New York or at the Pentagon, the Taliban will be celebrating the victory they never won in Kabul. They will use the U.S. Embassy as the backdrop for their speech of how they defeated the army of young men that President Biden will attempt to memorialize.
Stay away, Joe, because nobody wants you there.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
Image: Gage Skidmore.
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