I found out that the World Trade Center had been struck after walking into my Logic and Reasoning class. It was my freshman year of college and my first day of class. The room was empty except for two girls who were, like me, looking around confused. A fourth student, a guy, runs into the room and says breathlessly "The World Trade Center's been hit!"
"Don't say that!" one girl says.
The other girl says, "That's not funny."
"No. It's true," the guy said with a big smile on his face. "It was hit by some airplanes. It's on TV now." To be honest, it was his smile that convinced me that he was telling the truth. As someone who's always smiled or laughed hysterically after learning something horrible, I recognized his crazed reaction. Embarrassingly, I never really knew a lot about the World Trade Center, but I knew this was a huge deal and practically ran back to my dorm room.
In my dorm room, with one of the guys from my Logic Class, we watched in disbelief as they played the video footage of the airplanes hitting the towers. They played the video over and over and over again on every news station. The guy (I forget his name) told me about how he's from North New Jersey and grew up seeing the Twin Towers every day. He said that he even lived in New York and had a ton of family there. I related to him that my sister had just moved from New York this year and that she was up there a week ago getting some things done. This was a person that I barely knew but we became friends based on this shared tragedy and it was like we were coming to terms with how we were all connected in some bizarre way, to this horrible event.
Funny thing, I was really numb that day. For some odd reason, as far as I could see, I was fine. I didn't shed a tear. I wasn't hindered from doing anything I wouldn't normally do. Everything was just . . . normal. Of course, I was upset about the towers and sad for the people that lost their lives, but I don't remember being scared and I even remember being a little happy that class was cancelled. It wasn't until later that I realized that 9/11 had changed my life forever.
One day, I don't remember when exactly, but an airplane had been flying overhead. And I freaked. out. I'm talking about crouching to the ground, closing my eyes and putting my hands over my ears. Freaked out. It was then that it hit me. My life would never be the same. Before 9/11, I would have never been afraid like that. In fact, I'd always been excited to see an airplane flying overhead. But after September 11th, every couple of years, I would have dreams about airplanes flying into my home or the homes of friends and family. It was like all of the pain and devastation that had hit so many people all at once on that one day, took years to reach full capacity in my conscious mind. And I was finally feeling the pain and anger and sadness that I'd seemingly lacked on September 11th 2001.
So, that's my experience. I haven't had the airplane dreams in a while but I still get a horrible sinking feeling when I see a low flying airplane (or even a high one, sometimes). It's just a part of my life now. Just as the increased security at airports and the constant "threat of terror" that finds its way into political rhetoric. These are things that are now just a part of our lives as Americans and the fact that I remember how things were before it got this way, gives me some serious pause.
I believe that one day, we (and I mean mankind as a whole) are going to see the light. Life without violence, or warfare or terror anywhere in the world. Days of destruction and hatred will be over and war will be a thing of the past. Tragedies such as the one that happened on September 11th are a sobering reminder that we haven't gotten there yet. But it will forever serve as a wake up call that will lead to our enlightenment. And in that sense, everyone who lost their lives did not die in vain. My prayers go out to them and their families as well as the friends and families of everyone in the world who has lost their lives in an unnecessary tragedy.
So now that I'm actively writing in my blog again, I've decided that it's important for me to start getting back to actually reading blogs again. Unfortunately, upon checking the old blogroll I realize that all of my favorite writers haven't posted in over a year. (It's like we all went into "blog hibernation" at the same time.) Either way, I need some new sites to follow. So if anybody is reading this . . . if anybody is out there . . . please, give me some suggestions. I would love to know "what's hot on the skreets" right now. For the time being, I will continue to send out subliminal messages to the likes of my fellow hibernators who have yet to reemerge from their caves . . . come baaaaaack!!! lol (okay, not so subliminal). Either way, thank God for the ones who have continued to write - see my blog roll - you guys are gangster!