10 years later

Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in America’s history; a day I can still vividly remember.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 crazed hijackers overtook four airplanes and, in the name of a war almost no one even knew about, brutally murdered more than 3,000 lives.
Of course, when it was going on, I had no idea. I rarely, if ever, watch TV in the morning and I was sitting around reading some book. My girlfriend at the time called me and said America was under attack.
My first reaction was that what she was saying was impossible. I thought she was messing with me. But the shriek in her voice told me that this was real, it was happening.
I woke up my roommate and told him we were under attack.
“Shut up!” was his response. But I got him to turn on his TV and see for himself.
There we saw the World Trade Center, bellowing out smoke. I thought some drunk pilot accidentally crashed into it, then we saw the second plane hit.
This was no accident.
TV pundits were rattling off their skewed and off kilter observations. Was this the work of Saddam? No one knew at first. Then the name bin Laden started getting tossed around. I remember wondering who the heck bin Laden was.
The phone rang again and it was my boss. At the time I was working at a customizing T-shirt store in a mall. He told me that all malls were under some code red condition and that I should stay at home.
Our phone rang crazily as our neighbors were yelling out their windows and cars honked on the street. It was a breakdown of sorts.
Like many Americans, we were glued to the TV, wondering what happened and why. The first part was explained quickly, the why part would remain shady for a few days.
After a while, we stopped watching. We couldn’t handle watching people leap from buildings and planes smashing and bloody violence erupting everywhere. We needed a break from it and watched a movie to calm our brains.
We were going across the street to the gas station later that day, but when we saw people lined up into the street, snarling with fear about getting gasoline before the world ran out, we decided to go back inside. It was too weird for us to cope with.
I look back on that day, almost a decade ago now, and think about how awful it was. The scars burned into our collective brain remains, and not even the death of Osama bin Laden healed much of that.
I will never understand the blind rage and pure hatred that would push 19 men to commit such a monstrous and terrible act.
And I am still saddened by those actions. There was no reason those 3,000-plus people should have died that way. No reason at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close