Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing during the attacks on 9/11. Many of us don’t like to remember, though, since the event was so tragic.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since it happened. I remember going to breakfast by myself in the morning, and casually hearing that there was a fire in the Pentagon. At that time, I imagined it was an accident — caused by something like a cigarette in a garbage can or something similarly harmless. As the day’s events unfolded, I learned that it wasn’t.
I wrote two journal entries on 9/11/01, and they’re radically different:
SEPTEMBER 11 2001
My alarm didn’t go off this morning as planned but I still managed to wake up when I wanted to.
Breakfast. The only meal in which the N-wing cafeteria is peaceful, because there is practically nobody there.
I like it this way because not only is there no line for the food, there isn’t a crowd of people surrounding the omelette station. I made a killer american cheese and canadian bacon omelette, had some corn pops, and some orange juice.
I’m sure it’ll help me get through my three classes today.
Many hours ago I believed today to be a typical day. A day that would fail to vary from yesterday or tomorrow by much more than the people I saw, the food I ate, and the classes I attended.
I’ve never understood acts of violence.
Terrorism has shattered our expectations as to where we’d hope human compassion would draw a line.
Stockton cancelled classes and held a service for those who fell victim to the acts, and my friend Sandra led us all in prayer.
She said we can only pray that our loved ones are safe, and know that those who lost their lives have gone to a better place.
I remember feeling scared and confused after word had spread about the planes hitting the buildings. I didn’t have a TV in my dorm so I spent the day holed up in someone else’s, everyone glued to the ongoing news coverage. My friend Megan was scared for her dad who worked in New York City, directly across from the World Trade Center. I remember people getting upset, everyone trying to contact their family, and a select few saying things like they’re “going to war” to “find the ones responsible.” I remember people rushing off to donate blood in fear of a shortage.
It was a bizarre experience unlike any other I’d had before. I remember people comparing it to the Kennedy assassination, and suggesting that we’d remember today’s events for the rest of our lives. They were right.
I don’t like thinking about 9/11. I often believe that the majority of the nation is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, myself included. Although we say “Never forget,” it’s hard to truly remember because it’s so sad.
I think it’s important, though, to acknowledge how it’s been ten years since it happened. I hope that everyone who lost someone has had time to heal. I hope that all of the brave heroes who rushed to aid the victims look back on the day with pride, and without regret. And I hope that eventually mankind will accept one another in spite of our differences.
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