9.11.2005

The Obligatory Nine Eleven Post.

I was in eleventh grade in a sub-suburb of DC the day the planes flew into the World Trade Towers. Many of my classmate�s parents worked in DC and we were really a stones throw from Camp David, so even though we were not NY we certainly were within range if they had decided to send a small army. I remember they just locked us in and we sat and watched television all day while kid�s parents called them on cell phones that no one was supposed to have, but everyone did. People with parents working in DC tried to get in touch with them, the day went on. They cancelled after school activities and sent us home on time.

I went home to my father and mother and my moms good friend, a professor at a local college, her daughter had just graduated that spring and had gotten a job in NYC- across from the world trade towers. The professor could not get in touch with her daughter even through the evening, so she was heading up to NJ in a panic and praying fairly hard I imagine. She left her dog with us. It turned out the girl was right across the street from the WTC and saw people jumping from the towers, she got out and managed to call her roommate that evening so the roommate finally got in touch with the mother.

The PA crash was also scary because for us it was also not that far from home. We were surrounded it seemed.

I don't think it really scared me that much though; I was sort of invincible at that age. That is all I remember except the stories Vanessa told about the bodies falling from the tower and her vomiting and trying to call family.

I know my parents had the television on that day when I came home from school which was odd as television was not a big thing in my home; it was rarely if ever on during the daylight hours.

My whole class was sure we would eventually all be nuked anyway and it really didn't seem to affect or matter to us; it just seemed like a possibility of daily life and we went on our way.

That is it.

Of course I felt bad for the people who had died, but felt, even then, that there were thousands of tragic deaths every year in this country and worldwide and although I understood this was different the deaths were no more or less tragic to me than others. I don�t know if being sixteen made the difference. I don�t remember this in the same way as many people do. I feel bad for everyone that was traumatized by it but I can�t fully understand that because it did not traumatize me.

It did affect what my world would be like afterwards though. I think it was the �we against them� thing that got us. It got us subsequently into a big mess as maybe we wanted so badly to get back at someone, anyone, that even the wrong one would do and we evidently threw ourselves into reality shows as our reality was not so hot any longer.

The truth is there is no we, there never was, it was all a fallacy. The hurricane if nothing else proved that.

28 Comments:

Anonymous weirsdo said...

I remember going to my class at the community college where I was teaching and scrapping the class and arguing with the obnoxious a@#hole who said, "Nuke 'em all, and let Allah sort 'em out."

9/11/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

The world certainly did change after that. Two weeks before 9/11 I had a flight to FL but stopped in Atlanta to see a friend. I didn't realize until after the trip that I had been carrying a 4" swiss army knife that I had found at work in my carry on the whole time. Try that now.

Its frightening when we start oppossing other countries and making enemies.

After the tradegy, I had been working at Kinko's as one of their document creation specialist... I can not tell you how many funeral announcements I had created due to the crash of Flight 93 (Newark to San Francisco that was also hijacked but never made it to its intended destination).

Another note on the impact of that day - when I traveled abroad 2 years ago to Mexico and Europe, I kept my American identity to myself. Easy to do when you have dark hair - everyone assumed I was a Spainard and I let them for my own safety. Sad sad sad to be afraid to come from a depised country and the unpredictable reactions you may get.

9/12/2005 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

Found you through Doug (Ambrose); nice, well done.

9/12/2005 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Dead! My 9/11 story is so flippant I've resisted telling it. At that point I was in my 7th and next-to-last year with a south Asian girlfriend whose parents liked me but not her being with me so much. She had gone home to Georgia to visit them and some time between when the planes hit and the first tower fell she called me as I was leaving for work and said breathlessly "We're under attack!" My response was "Good grief! What are your parents saying about me now?!?!"

9/12/2005 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

(*snicker* that's funny, Doug)

It's amazing how we all remember that day and the days following like it was yesterday. I remember I had just come home from the hospital after having my 2nd girl in NJ the day before. I remember my brother, Strider, calling me from work and telling me to turn on the tv and tell him if what he was hearing on the radio was true. Much of my family and friends worked in downtown NYC, my mother-in-law in 1 WTC (I had worked in 7 WTC). Thankfully (ironically) she was working there in 93 and experienced the WTC garage bombing, so when she felt the building shake from the impact of the plane she said "I'm outta here" and started her way down 58 flights of stairs. She made it out, eventually got through to me, and I became the conduit of her survival status that day.

9/11 brought solidarity to our nation which we sorely needed and would sadly need again. Katrina has had the same affect. However, this time we're ralling against our President because this pro-lifer was anything but to the poor victims of Katrina's wrath.

9/12/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous jake said...

Don't remember exactrly what I was doing. I was in class anf there was a lot of televsion watching the whole day.
You're right the we are one thing was obviously faulty even though for a time the 9/11 made it seem so. Nice write.

I liked your last post but wasn't around in time to comment. It was written in a very interesting way.

Queen of the semi colons and natter of the mind made up?
Who knew?

9/12/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Coyote Mike said...

I was on my way to work at a bookstore when I heard about it. I was listening to Bob and Tom and they were being all serious and I didn't know what was going on cuz I don't watch tv in the morning. Then, when I get to work, everyone is crowded around the TV. I just couldn't watch it, so I went and stocked my books, but I kept coming back.

That afternoon, I went to see my mom. She had heard from my Uncle who lives in Manhattan (central park west). He was fine and doing food and water runs for his employees.

A woman who works with my mom came up with this statement about it. "They are all up in Heaven now with Princess Diana." She is a bit flighty, and was serious, but it did give us a laugh that we needed.

9/12/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I guess being in mid-America we all had a much different experience than those out east.

I couldn't imagine being so close to it all.

9/12/2005 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Rio said...

i was a junior in high school too. i think on the west coast it was rather surreal. im fairly certain it was business as usual with a few rumors as to what was going on outside califronia. my mom lived in NYC for tens years before she knew (had) me so she wanted to go and within the month we flew out there and did a road trip from DC to NYC. it was amazing to see how everyone came together after, california didnt feel it that way, i think the same goes for the hurricane, its inconceivable for those of us on the outside.--i never realized we were the same age, now i get why doug thought we were the same person. a little slow on th euptake i guess.

9/12/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Weirdso: Lots of obnoxious assholes around I bet.




Leigh: Tis so. I have traveled a to Europe and South Amercia a few times in the three years following the attack and was a bit more conscious of it all than I had been previously.

IMDedd: Nice to have you, I'll have to check you as because quite frankly, I love dead men.

Doug: Silly and paranoid but so you eh?
Sar: I'm not so sure the solidarity did us that much good or maybe next time we can still keep our brains about us.

Jake: I knew.

Coyote: That princess Diana thing was funny. Sometimes one has to take the funny and envelope themselves with it.

MJ: It's true I think as even over the years as I talk to people from places in the Midwest; the impact on them did not seem to be the same. The hurricane is, I think, having more of an affect nationally than the terrorist attack.

Rio: Yea we're the same age, older than we look, younger that we act but damn strait gorgeous. I feel you have a purer spirit than me though.

9/12/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Coyote Mike said...

She was so sincere. We laughed, some laughed and cried, and she didn't even think about what she said

9/12/2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger breasier said...

I think 9/11 is one of those things where everybody remembers what they were doing. It's our JFK assasination, sugar.

I only wish I didn't have to remember that day and all those people dying in front of the whole nation.

9/12/2005 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I would agree with that assumption Alice. Not that 9/11 didn't change everything also in the Midwest, because it very much so did, but that where I live, we have a whole lot more in common with people from Louisiana and Mississippi than New York. So I do agree with ya. Especially considering that we are much more likely to be hit by a natural disaster than a terrorist attack here.

9/12/2005 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

MJ, I think the midwest changed a lot after 9/11. Now you have to wait in line for like two hours to fly over it.

9/12/2005 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger transience said...

just read all your stories. i live at the equator and i caught the tragedy on the telly. i was barefoot and i had just finished whipping up in the kitchen when i saw the first tower fall. a terrible awe filled me. and then i was never the same again.

9/13/2005 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

...there were thousands of tragic deaths every year in this country and worldwide and although I understood this was different the deaths were no more or less tragic to me than others...

Amen. There are tragic deaths everywhere, many of which are caused by our government. But since many in America fail look past the flag....our foreign policy of trashing other peoples (all 3rd World of course)...our "us vs them" mentality...religious right fanatacism...Oh you got me started, and I only came by here to say hello and thanks for writing at my blog! Hehe.

I'm putting up a link to your site.

9/13/2005 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger Rio said...

purer spirit? i highly doubt that, lately anyway. ive been up to no good and down to all bad. i guess i wouldnt have it any other way and i can only hope you feel the same.

9/13/2005 02:30:00 AM  
Anonymous pia said...

unfortunately had bush bothered to read or care about the intelligence data 9/11 might have been averted.

I know many people who worked in the Trade Center; like Sar's mother in law they all survived, but it felt very personal

my mother was the first person I know to actually ask (me) if it was pay back for everything we have done to other countries.

i didn't want to think that and in many ways still don't.
9/11 will always be a sacred and sad day to me.

That doesn't mean I can't say IMPEACH BUSH, and mean that with every breath that I take.

You are one of the most intelligent, caring and inquisitive people I know.

I love how you look past it to see everything we have done; but I also think that one day you will see it as a stand alone horrible event.

Wrote a post on Bring it on! about katrina and the radical right that's getting much laughter from the right

9/13/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bennet said...

I am not a "God" fearing type, and neither do I rely on the God principles but like anything I don't rule out everything. I just sort of figure it's better to at least know what cards are on the table.

After the hurricane I was numbed by the fact that the world outside of the south seemed to live on oblivious not that there is anything wrong with that. Some how it just doesn't seem balanced and I know it's not suppoed to be, but don't we usually think life some how should be?

9/13/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous joeg said...

If I had a blog I�d link you too, and believe me I would be very discriminating as to how many twenty year olds I would link to.

I think you are wise as well as funny if not a little too serious for a twenty year old who is supposed to be having fun and partying on down.

I was on my way to a new job after working for a few years in the Midwest. I�m from Chicago and had been working there for a couple of years. I was heading to Logan the next day but as it were I ended up leaving a few days later and spent that evening at a bar with friends watching the television and getting drunk.

The people I was at the bar with, for the most part, had gone to college in the east so it seemed to affect them more than the people who were from
Chicago,however all were filled with some kind of hideous awe.

9/13/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

Alice,

Your story seems to be echoed by many that lived in the area you did. What is sad is how many share the same story. Just like in New Orleans, these events don't target one group of people, one race, one tax bracket, but everybody.

I agree that 9/11 made us feel that we needed to take action, but perhaps if we had taken action starting from 1993 on during terrorist attacks, we wouldn't have been salivating to turn our might on someone.

9/13/2005 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

And to Craig I would add, maybe had we not armed, funded, created, gave intelligence to and allied with bin Laden in the 80s during Reagan's administration then we wouldn't have been salivating because 9/11 would not have happened. The same is true for Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with 9/11 and yet we attacked him any way.

If we are going to take action from the "start," then that start is with Reagan, not 1993. He created this modern world that we so struggle with today.

For conservatives who claim that Dems always want to pass the blame, y'all do a good job of it too.

9/13/2005 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Coyote: I imagine so, so why not laugh. I like crazy people anyway.

breasier: I think most people would wish the same.

MJ: Yes well you can keep your old tornado things because they bug me.

Doug: That is for sure and they make us take off our shoes too.

transience: So many points in life after which we are never the same again though.

finnegan: For some reason your name makes me want a cold beer and I don't really like beer.
I love linkage it makes my vain inner little monster feel special.
rio: one of these days I will be up to no good and down to all bad but as one night of bad seems to put me behind for weeks I dare not bad it up too much.

pia: I imagine being from NYC and being there at the time there is no other way to be and still be human. The inquisitive part is right for sure.
Bennet: You are one of two people I have linked from Louisiana. I 'm glad you are ok.
I happen to think that life should be balanced which is why it often seems so wrong.

Joe:
Hideous awe is a good way to put it and getting drunk was about as apt an anything else I imagine.

Craig: the fact of what we could have done ten even fifteen years ago had no bearing on the fact that someone used this attack to their own end. I know you are sensitive about this but no one ever said the hurricane targeted one tax bracket; it did however make the two Americas very obvious. To the world as well which was a slap in the face to this nation. ;)
Do come back hon, we don't bite.
( bares teeth and hides fangs)

Wow MJ: you kind of snuck on in there while I was writing this. ;)

9/14/2005 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Sometimes I'm fast. Not usually though.

That and I just like giving Craig a hard time :)

Of course it's hard to argue with the fact that the "start" was with Reagan.

9/14/2005 01:11:00 AM  
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