Monday, September 11, 2006

reflections

I didn't want to remember that today was September 11th. Perhaps I felt insenstive or guilty or maybe I just didn't want to relive those memories. Then I read a re-posting of a column Dave Barry wrote on September 13th, 2001 on his blog and the memories and thoughts people left in response. And everything can flooding back to me. Here's what I remember.

I had just started my freshman year of college. I ran out of the house that morning to take a test, and as I walked out to my car after I finished, I ran into a good friend. She asked me if I knew what was going on, realizing that I had been at school all morning, and told me to go straight home and turn on the TV. All I got from her was something about airplanes. I remember looking up at the sky before getting into my car, the early morning blue seeming eerily silent. 5 minutes later, I walked into my house to see my dad standing there, watching the television, tears in his eyes, in utter shock. He quickly gave me the run down of what had happened, the first tower had already fallen, and in the 10 minutes that I just stood there in disbelief, unable to move or take my eyes off the TV, the second tower fell.

Once I was able to somewhat function, I tried to get ahold of two people. One was a father of a dear friend who constantly traveled. I wanted to make sure he was on the ground somewhere and safe. He was suppose to have come home that morning, but had decided to fly home the night before. I sent an email to my friend Sophia, a friend from high school who had recently moved up to New York City to attend NYU. She quickly responded back, describing to me the sound of a low-flying plane they heard in class, and then silence. She said she couldn't see out of her window because of all the dust and debris. I was glad that they were both okay.

I remember feeling something at the pit of my stomach, something aching, that didn’t seem to go away. I remember waking up that next day, listening to the news radio program my alarm clock was set to, and hearing everything all over again in disbelief. It really did happen. Yesterday wasn’t a nightmare. I drove to work that day and passed a flag at a car dealership flying at half-staff, and I sobbed. That Sunday at church, we stood and sang "God bless America", and all that came out of me were tears.

I remember my little, deaf and mentally retarded brother asking me later that week why I was crying. I asked him if he knew what had happened. He said/signed to me that airplanes had hit the buildings and that they buildings had fallen. He asked me if there were people in the buildings. I told him yes. He looked at me confused, trying to comprehend everything, and then asked if they had died. I told him yes, some had, but that some did make it out. He didn’t understand, and his simple and innocent conclusion to our conversation was that the planes needed to go around the buildings. I told him yes, they needed to. I longed to feel his innocence that day.

I remember watching "The Late Show with David Letterman" the Monday after that very long week, and being glad that he was back to make me laugh, even if it was only due to the stupid "Top Ten List" that night – "Top Ten Things that Almost Rhyme with Hat". It was appropriately hilarious.

I don't have any great words of wisdom to share, just muddled thoughts. I will say this, though. I love this country, I love the people who live in this country and make it the wonderful nation it is. I can't understand the evil hatred that some harbor against us. I can't even imagine it. With so much of this hatred still in the world today, let us try to replace it with peace. Let us love each other more fully. Let us share what we have with others. Let us be good people of the world, our countries, our communities, and our homes.

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."
- Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

2 comments:

  1. I woke up that morning to my mom telling me that a plane had just hit one of the twin towers. Without hearing any other news from any radio or TV station, I knew that it was the wrok of terrorists. Call it intuition, call it a lucky guess. But in any case, the morning was spent at work going from examining down and feathers on the nanoscopic scale to watching the small TV Darlene had brought in to work. So how would this affect my mission? Would I be able to leave on time? I had a friend who was in a plane on the runway prepared to leave for his mission in Switzerland that day at 9:00 AM. Needless to say, his flight was postponed despite its advanced stages of takeoff.

    I love this country too. Yes, it has tons of flaws, but the more I learn about it, the firmer I become convinced that it was instituted by God for the benefit not only of its inhabitants, but of all mankind.

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  2. Hope you don't mind my bursting into your blog here.

    I'm just glad to see another 9/11 post out there somewhere. May we never forget!

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