Not too long after the murderous bastards of 9/11 brought down our twin towers and crashed into the Pentagon in an orgy of violence, President Bush was meeting face-to-face with the troops he would soon order into harm’s way.  We see that in the undated photo above, supplied by former Delta operator Geo Hand.

Say what you will about Bush; he was good at getting out and mingling with the troops (once they had been through a magnetometer and patted down a couple of times). The photo below was taken not incredibly long after he decided to invade Iraq.  I have a couple of good stories about his Secret Service detail that I’ll squirrel away for another day. As you can see in the photo below, they very carefully scrutinize anyone who gets within arm’s length of the President, especially when that person inadvertently and quite accidentally makes what kind of looks like a finger gun pointed in his direction.

Meeting President Bush
Secret Service Agents closely check out the shady-looking guy trying to shake the President’s hand. Photo courtesy of Guy McCardle, Jr.

Where Were You On 9/11?

The instant that second plane hit the tower, I knew my life would be forever different. I didn’t know how at that point, but I was certain that it would be. And I was right. It was like getting sucker punched in a bar fight and then thinking to yourself, “Dammit you stupid bastard, now I’m gonna have to kick your ass.”  

The Commander in Chief was going to be calling up his best ass-kickers in short order, and the kicking was not going to be done on US soil. Of that much, I was certain. I looked over at my 13-month-old son smiling widely in his high chair as he played with a toy, and knew his life would be forever changed as well, but in a different way.

As I sat silently with my wife, watching the endless replays of that horrific scene, we both knew our time together became infinitely more valuable.

To make a long story short…I returned home for good on August 4th, 2004, three days before my son’s third birthday.

We stood on the precipice of a future marred by the specter of that day. The events of 9/11, grotesque as a nightmare, real as the morning sun, changed us. And America, like a wounded beast, roared back into the world, forever scarred, forever altered.