Commentary: Hold the conspiracy theories for one day

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We recently recognized the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

To put that in perspective, Facebook didn't exist and the Groper in Chief had to issue his insults face-to-face because Twitter didn't exist either.

But how about perspective with a little deeper meaning? I remember watching a news story about the wife of a firefighter who had just had a baby that morning, then found out that her husband died trying to save lives in the Twin Towers; that child turned 16 on Monday. That child grew up without its father, knowing a senseless act of violence took its father away. That father died without knowing that his wife gave birth.

Nineteen men boarded planes loaded with the fuel necessary for a cross-country trek. A total of 2,977 people died in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania as a result of those men boarding those planes. At that point, nobody could have ever imagined that someone could think about this horrible act, never mind following through on it. So, when I exited my doctor's office and turned on my flip phone (yup, no smart phones either) and voicemail notification after voicemail notification started to fill the air around me like I'd hit a Vegas Jackpot, I got worried. I was only in there an hour, after all — did something happen to my parents? My wife? The kids? I couldn't get into my voicemail fast enough. I stood on the steps of the doctor's office, listening. In each progressive voicemail, my wife got a little more panicked, a little more distressed. I rushed home and got in front of the TV at 9:03 a.m.; I didn't know then it was 9:03, but I do now, because that's when the second plane hit the Tower. I remember my wife screaming, "We're under attack! But what does that mean? They're attacking innocent people, they're killing civilians — bookkeepers, janitors, stock brokers, bankers, insurance people ... why would they attack them? They are after all just innocent folks. Thousands and thousands of innocent folks." It wasn't long after that the South Tower collapsed only to be followed by the North Tower about 30 minutes later.

I remember calling our son who at the time lived several blocks away and often found himself in those towers. Phone communication was basically shut down and it was hard to get a hold of him. But we did — he was still sleeping and he flipped on the TV just in time to see people jumping 100 stories to their deaths to avoid being burned or asphyxiated to death. I remember hearing the bodies hitting the ground, sounding like cannon blasts. In the days to follow, I recall Ground Zero burning for days and I remember thinking to myself "Will it ever go out?" I for one will never forget the chilling interviews done with the first responders who were tearing their fingernails off digging through the rubble trying to find survivors. I remember the triage centers that were set up awaiting the injured, and nobody was showing up. I remember every horrid detail about that day. I will never forget it as long as I live. It was a dark, dark day in American history. This was a declaration of war, which was executed by cowards against people who didn't expect it and could not have defended it.

But what makes me bring all of this up again? Well, here it is: When we post things on social media, they can hurt. When we take a moment to post that the Sept. 11 attacks were a conspiracy theory on the anniversary of the attacks, then I honestly believe that you're not tethered to anyone's feelings (or maybe you just don't care). I'm not saying that you're not entitled to your feelings and I'm not saying that you shouldn't let your voice be heard. I encourage it. But on the actual day when nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken, maybe it would be best to hold off for the day and post it on the day after. Because you never know who could be reading it. For all you know a 16-year-old who grew without a father could see it. What the hell is up with that?

Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. E-mail him at fish@wkvt.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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