Michael Lodge, NCPM, CRTP - Nationally Certified Professional Mediator - www.lodge-co.com - PH 305.824.2963
Every year on this date, 9-11, I always have the memories what where and what I was doing on that day. I still replay it in my mind. I can hear my conversations as it was happening.
It was just a day, time to get up, get in the car and head to work. I lived in Orange County California at the time and I had to head up the freeway to Long Beach, California. A good 45 minute drive. I had just bought this car from the Los Angeles Police Auction as a commuter car. I think I had paid about $500 for it. It had no radio in it. It had a body, and engine, a seat, and sometimes the lights worked. It was the perfect commuter car for the Los Angeles traffic.
I got in the car and headed up the 405 freeway to Long Beach. When I got to my office building, that overlooked the Queen Mary ship, I noticed that people were checking the underside of my car at the entrance of the building. That was strange, no one had done that before. I drove down, got my parking spot, headed to the elevator, and pressed 14. When I opened the door of my office I thought it was strange that no one was on my floor and in my office. I was it. I sat down and started to work. I always got to the office early, I liked to start a fresh day with no phone calls. I started to work and soon there was a knock at my door. I opened the office front door and there stood a police officer. He immediately said, you need to leave the building, the building has a bomb threat. Leave your office unlocked. So off I went, we could not use the elevators, so down the stairs and 14 floors. There were a few of us that met in front of the building, the firetrucks were there, the bomb squad was there. They began to search the building. Then I heard it as someone in the group said, "I wonder if this as anything to do with New York?" I asked, what about New Yrok. Then they told me the story. I was shocked.
Finially, the bomb squad cleared the building and we were allowed up in the building. When I got to the office the phone was ringing it. I picked it up, it was the owner of the company. He told me that they were shutting down the office for the day, have anyone that reports to the office to go to a restaurant that he named. He told me I could leave. But before I left I checked the news on the internet where I saw the pictures and videos of everything that was happening. By the way, the building had a bomb scare every day for 7 days. For 7 days I walked down those stairs, 14 floors, once a day until they finally caught the guy calling in the fake bomb scares.
I drove home as fast as I could. I turned on CNN when it use to be a news station, and I sat in front of the television all day and all night. Watching as the building fell, people jumping out of the building, glass falling to the streets, people running from the dust of the falling buildings, people wondering where their relatives were, and the police and fire departments trying to do their jobs and save lives. 9-11, a day that I will never forget. A part of history where hate for Americans was so great the two buildings fell, a plane flew into the Pentagon, and one plane crashed. Each incident killing innocent Americans. And that is when we really understood what Islamic extremism was.
We all have our stories of that day. Some of you were not even born yet. Some of you may be out on the streets today in riots against America. We have extremism in the United States wanting to do just as Osama did, ISIS did, Taliban did, and the list of terrorist organizations that hate America. So when you march in the streets chanting "Death to America" what do you think the rest of America sees in you? We see hate, we see terror, we see extremism - with the same names as Osama, ISIS, Taliban, BLM, Antifa, KKK, and all the hate group out there. That is what America sees and hears because we remember 9-11.
The best part of being an American is that we remember, we take note, but we also love fellow Americans. When people are hurting, we are there. When a hurricane or tornado destroys communities, we are there. When people are hungry, we feed them. When they are cold, we cloth them. When Americans hurt, all Americans hurt and we try and solve the problem. When something happens to our nation, no other country comes to help us. No, Americans take care of each other because we were taught to love our neighbor. That is the American spirit. That is America. Remember 9-11 and then love your fellow American greater. Don't isolate yourself, reach out, love your neighbor. That is America..
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.