Tuesday, while I was on the Sacramento River, people were dying and I didn’t even know.
While I was busy cursing my misfortune that a low-pressure front had slowed the salmon bite, people on airplanes were smashing into the sides of buildings where thousands of other people worked.
While I was feeling the sting of a beautiful king salmon lost boatside, people were being crushed by millions of tons of debris. While I was driving home from the river, feeling frustrated by a slow day of fishing for my customers, I turned on the radio and heard the news.
Immediately, I felt like a big, fat jerk. Most of the way home, I felt so ashamed and embarrassed for worrying about trivial things such as salmon fishing and the weather.
Then I realized, of course, that what was taking place in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania was no fault of my own. There was certainly nothing I could have done to prevent such a horrific series of events.
When I got over my embarrassment, it hit me that me being out on the river, earning a living the way I see fit, is precisely what this country is all about and why it is, bar none, the best place on earth to live.
Unfortunately, a little of that was taken away from us on Tuesday. My heart aches for the people who lost their lives and their friends and families who have to shoulder the brunt of the pain.
Watching the TV over the past couple days, the images I’ve seen seem so surreal. How the hell could this have happened? Take the events of Sept. 11 and make them into a movie or a book and most people would probably say it was too far-fetched to be real. I still can’t believe this is really taking place.
I’m just kinda going with a stream of consciousness here…I haven’t really thought about what I’m going to write. I’m just so sad and upset by this whole thing.
I’m not really an eye-for-an-eye kinda guy, but whoever is responsible needs to pay in a big way. Whenever we figure out who did this, I’m for an all-out retaliation. Something big. Something that makes all the crazies out there in the world take notice. I know this is going to be a difficult task, as we’re fighting small pockets of evil rather entire nations as we have in previous conflicts. But someone needs to receive a big star-spangled kick in the teeth for this one.
I’m as mad as hell right now, as I’m sure you are as well. Feeling the need to do something about it? Well, leave the good guys of the armed forces to do their jobs … they’ll take care of the terrorists. As civilians 4,000 miles away, we can all do things like donate money to the Red Cross, give blood and send our prayers out to all those who were on the planes or in Lower Manhattan or the Pentagon.
Closer to home, remember to appreciate your family, your home, your freedom, your country. And light a candle for those who will never see theirs again.
TO HELP OUT: Mail a donation to the American National Red Cross, 470 17th St. NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To help out fallen firefighters and their families, mail a check to the International Assn. of Firefighters, 1750 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006. You can also send money to the United Way of New York City to help the families of the victims: United Way, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY, 10016. If you write to any of these charities, please specify that the contribution is for the Sept. 11 Disaster Fund.