Where Were You 10 Years Ago Today?

Ground Zero, taken from where the towers used to stand

Obviously today is a day of reflection for all of us, and a day of remembrance, mourning, hope and many other emotions for those closest to the tragedy.  I was in Arizona that day, just getting up to start my day when I turned on the TV to see the first tower up in smoke.  I was transfixed to the TV and at a complete loss for what to do.  It was surreal having a complete feeling of helplessness while watching it all unfold minute by minute.  I’ve spent this morning scouring social media and online news reading and absorbing countless stories from those who lost the most that day and thought I would share a few of the most impactful from my point of view.

  • The one must read story about  a town most impacted by 9/11 and events over the past decade:  “Hit Hard by 9/11, a Piece of Queens Struggles to Let Go”
  • An interactive map that lets you pinpoint and comment about where you were on 9/11.  Thousands of entries from everywhere on the planet.
  • A ten year interactive timeline of the evolution of ground zero, complete with pictures.
  • An article about the complex algorithm that was used to order all 2,983 names on the ground zero memorial.  It certainly wasn’t alphabetical, rather based on the complex relationships that existed among the victims.  Really interesting.
  • Jeff Jarvis, a survivor of 9/11, is at the memorial site today tweeting live about his observations @jeffjarvis

Bin Laden Dead. Now What?

Wow, what a historic day yesterday.  It will be one of those moments for me, like the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster or Princess Diana’s death, where I will remember forever where I was and what I was doing the moment I heard the news.  I was gathered with friends, including Sudhir “Suds” Kandula, to watch the finale of “America’s Next Great Restaurant” in which Suds was a top 3 finalist when the NBC News Special Report interrupted the broadcast.  Unfortunately, Suds came in 2nd place, but the Bin Laden news was an epic prize for all of us.  A particular sweet justice for all of service men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade.

I’ve been amazed at the pace of information flow, particularly on Twitter, regarding the Bin Laden situation.  Twitter stated that at the beginning and end of President Obama’s speech, there were over 5,100 tweets per second on their network.

I’m certainly not qualified to talk intelligently on the subject of what Bin Laden’s death means to global terrorism, so I’ll instead share a few of the most interesting articles I’ve come across in the last 24 hours.

However, I will say this – I for one don’t believe that Bin Laden’s death spells the end of Al Qaeda or that Al Qaeda becomes so fractured and disorganized that it becomes completely ineffective.   If there is any organization in the world that should have a detailed succession plan in place for leadership, it would be Al Qaeda.   Setting emotion aside for a second, Bin Laden created an evil but effective worldwide organization that operated efficiently in a decentralized way – and did so at the same time that all superpower countries built their own organizations with the sole purpose of destroying Al Qaeda and killing its leadership.  Can you imagine operating an organization under those terms?  He was a ruthless mass-murderer, but he was not stupid.  I fear that in some respects Bin Laden may be more powerful dead than alive, at least in the near term.

Here are links to several interesting, and differing points of views on what Bin Laden’s death means for the world and the U.S.:

  • The Special Ops Team that executed the mission against Bin Laden.
  • Maps of the Bin Laden compound, in unbelievable detail.
  • An alternative and somewhat brutal point of view on Bin Laden’s impact on U.S. Government and U.S. citizen behavior entitled “He Won“.
  • Debate among New York Times columnists on the impact of this historic event.

What do you think Bin Laden’s death means for Al Qaeda, global terrorism and the U.S.?

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