By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Sept. 11: Another date
that will live in infamy

SOMEHOW, even with the great tragedies in New York and Washington, life must go on. I was awakened from a deep sleep about 3 a.m. yesterday by a friend who never seems to sleep, alerting me of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and watched with fascination, along with much of the rest of the nation, as the story played itself out. Dan Rather on CBS referred to the two planes, each hitting and eventually crumpling the towers, as the "Pearl Harbor of Terrorism." We heard Pearl Harbor referred to time and time again by various politicos and pundits, calling to mind philosopher George Santayana's famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And even those of us who will always "Remember Pearl Harbor" are still subjected to terrorism. And I recall mentioning to my friend on the phone as the two towers were aflame that it was amazing that they were apparently built so well that they could not be brought down. About that time, the first tower collapsed to the ground, followed soon by Tower No. 2 ...

OVER on ABC, Peter Jennings also called it a second Pearl Harbor. The resemblance of sneak attacks was just too similar to dismiss. Oddly enough, when a local newscaster came on to announce what was open and what was closed in Honolulu yesterday, the Pearl Harbor Memorial remained closed. Rather again invoked Pearl Harbor, misquoting FDR as saying it was a "day of infamy," when he in fact called it "a date that will live in infamy," and suggesting Sept. 11 will go down as another infamous date ...

Lady Liberty

STRETCHED out in the wee hours, watching the horrors befalling New York and the Pentagon in Washington, one scene on TV stood out so vividly that it is inconceivable to me that Time or Newsweek or both wouldn't use it as a cover photo. It was a scene of the smoke-clouded Manhattan Island, while standing in the foreground on its own island, holding aloft her torch to show the way for all Americans, was the Statue of Liberty. It was a clear message that no terrorist should miss. Liberty will continue to shine and as President Bush put it, we're experiencing "effectively an act of war," and he promised to "hunt down and punish" those responsible ...

THE terrorism was obviously well-thought-out. NBC's Tim Russert reflected that all four of the planes, which were hijacked within minutes of each other, were East Coast to California flights. As Russert so eloquently put it, "The bastards knew they had a planeload of fuel." ...

Give 'em

FORMER New Yorker Lisa Gomes was so moved by what she saw on television yesterday morning that she took her lunch hour early so she could join those giving much needed blood at the Blood Bank. You may remember Lisa as the fiddler for Irish Hearts, who'll be performing at the behest of Irish-born Hilton Hawaiian Village G.M. Noel Trainor as part of a prisoner of war fund-raiser Friday night in the Shell Bar of the Village. You might want to take Lisa as an example, and instead of fiddling around, go to the Blood Bank and donate blood needed by those first to shed theirs in our nation's newest Day of Infamy ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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