Editor’s Note: The essay below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated.
It’s hard to get Garry A. Busby to take a break. This 46-year-old honest and hardworking man lives in Frankton, Indiana, with his wife of 26 years, Desi. They have a 21-year-old son, Ryan, and 19-year-old daughter, Betsy. Garry farms and also runs a donut shop in Anderson, a neighboring city. He enjoys antiquing, working with his hands and spending time with his family. He is a dedicated member of the Florida Station Church of God. Garry has traveled throughout the United States and hopes to soon visit Brazil. Because he works nights, Garry was at home on the morning of Sept. 11. He wrote his essay Sept. 27.
September 11th I awoke later than normal and was getting ready to go outside to work when my son called from Ball State University and told me to turn on the TV. He was very shaken by what was happening. It was an epiphany for him; he has never been so close to a tragedy. You see my son was in New York City and Washington Dulles airport just the morning before with long layovers on his way back from Brazil. He could have very well been a victim, saved by one 24-hour day.
As I was watching the TV, I could not believe my eyes as the second plane crashed into the second tower of the World Trade Center. As it became obvious this was not an accident, the anger started to build in me. I kept asking myself, “How could anyone or any group intentionally kill thousands of innocent people and endanger millions more?” While wishes of revenge came to mind, I struggled as a Christian with thoughts of killing other people, no matter how evil they seem to be. I am thankful for our President on how he has handled this catastrophe. He has united the nation and kept cool, calm and collected.
It has been an emotional roller coaster. At first it was shock – the scope, the magnitude and the planning of the attack. Next anger – how dare someone plan to kill so many innocent civilians. After the anger, I felt great sadness as the efforts to rescue survivors ended with the loss of many rescuers, both professional and amateurs losing their lives. I then felt pride and patriotism. It was refreshing to see the people of New York City, who I always envisioned as selfish and uncaring, pitching in and helping one another with love. It goes to show us how God can make good things happen out of tragic events.
It’s nice to see people take pride in their country again. I have not seen this many flags and signs of patriotism in quite some time. I have also been quite disappointed in some of the events that took place in our state of Indiana. The greed and selfishness of some of our citizens have appalled me. The panic buying creating long lines and some entrepreneurs’ greed by charging unrealistic prices (especially gas stations) really depressed me. It makes me wonder if the attack was on a larger scope if the country would kill itself out of greed and fear. Wake up America!! Other countries go through this kind of terrorist attack (usually on a smaller scale) on a regular basis. We have to realize the freedom we enjoy is the envy of the world.
No matter how much we help other countries, it is not deeply appreciated. Although some countries have expressed their grief and support, how many have sent relief workers or money to help? We are going to be resented and thus targeted by terrorists. You don’t realize how good we have it in the United States until you visit another country, especially an underdeveloped, impoverished country – it’s a real eye-opener.
My hope is that those events will make the citizens of this country and all democratic, freedom-loving people realize that freedom comes at a cost. Are we up to the challenge to fight for our freedom? I sincerely hope so. We cannot afford to be complacent and assume we will always be safe on our own soil. I also pray that the recent movement toward church attendance will start to reverse the moral decay that has plagued our country for some time.
God Bless You and God Bless America.