Remembering Nine Eleven
I remember the day clearly as it was a picture-perfect day that day. There were no clouds in the sky which was a pane of unblemished blue. The temperature was somewhere between high-sixties and low-seventies and on that particular day; there was barely a cold breeze to remind you that winter was only right around the corner. It was the kind of day you’d normally want to savor and enjoy by playing fetch with your dog or holding hands with the person that you love at a nearby park or perhaps right there on my college’s concourse. But not on that day, as there was nothing to celebrate if you were an American, a New Yorker, or a human being. Something was clearly wrong, because in the distance of only ninety miles or so south of my college campus, the sky was undoubtedly falling.
I'd just gotten out of my early English Literature class at the time, which was precisely at 9:15, when I first caught wind of the fact that two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. The first plane that hit the North Tower could’ve well been a freak accident, but when the second airplane hit, the probability of it being a mere accident was thrown out the window because all around me, college students were scattered and running in all different directions while on their cell phones desperately trying to get an answer or hear a familiar voice or some reassurance that everything was going to be okay, that things were going to be all right:
“Mom? Did you hear from dad? Oh my God, mom! Is he still inside?”
Students rush passed me and were filing inside one of the larger lecture halls that was equipped with a projection-screen television. Students and faculty alike were horror-stricken while watching live footage of the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center engulfed in flames and smoke. There was an uncomfortable silence as I stood watching the shock and confusion of what was taking place right before my eyes. It was too horrible to not be real.
“All other classes will be canceled today,” one of the professors announced inside the lecture hall. His voice was shaky and his eyes were distant and every one of us there had turned to look at him when he spoke. He then slowly turned and left the room.
“I can’t believe this is happening!” a girl said. The guy who was sitting next to her then turned and put his arms around her to console her as she began to sob. A couple of people in the room began crying. Many of the people were covering their mouths to suppress their emotions. Due to the fact that it was uncomfortable for me to stay in the lecture hall, I turned and left the room.
A Tribute To Heroes
Upon walking out, I’d completely forgotten what I had to do that day. I originally had a class at 5:30 that evening, but of course that class was canceled along with every other class that day. A part of me felt lucky that none of my friends or family worked or worked near what would become Ground Zero. Another part of me felt guilty that I felt this way. I silently wished that all the students and faculty there at my college (who by then were in danger of losing a loved one) to find some sort of closure so as to relieve them of the anxiety they were feeling. I didn’t know what I would've done were it me under the very same circumstances. I ventured to guess that I would be anything but calm.
I looked up at the sky that was a serene blue and felt the warming rays of the sun and shook my head.
It was joke that wasn’t at all funny and indeed in
bad taste: How could such a tragedy befall us on such a beautiful day? While thinking about this, my peers were evacuating in different
directions to get to their cars. I stood watching as an ache began to spread from my heart to my throat.
There was nothing that I could do.
There was no way that I could help, because as soon as the second plane
hit the South Tower I knew--along with everyone else around me--that we were being
attacked and that this was no mere accident in any stretch of the imagination. We were now at war and in this age where just
about every developed country had nuclear capabilities, I feared that this was the beginning of the end. I thought about the lives
that this would affect, about the innocent being slain, about the many young
soldiers that would be now be sent to war in response to such a vicious attack
to die for our cause, because a Superpower such as the United States would not
allow this to occur without taking action, as it was too proud and too powerful not to.
More blood needed to spilled to even up the score that was thus far:
Terrorists 1, Americans O. It pained me
to think this and really did feel that we were on the cusp of Global
Annihilation. There will be much more
suffering to come.
“Nothing good will come out of this,” I said out loud and to no one in particular.
My history professor once told me that in war, “Truth is the
first casualty.” I believed this
wholeheartedly when first he told me this so many years ago, believed it soon
after the attacks of 9/11 and believe it still while writing this. There are still many questions that loom
about the events of that unforgettable day, but what will never change is the
fact that many lives were destroyed that day, including men and women with
families—policeman, fireman, soldiers, civilians...Perhaps more lives will
continue to be lost in response to the attacks.
Some of the questions that I have to ask are, “Can all of this pain and
suffering be avoided? Could so many
beautiful lives been spared? Is there no
end to the threat of terrorism?” All of
us need to wake up to this dark reality and realize that we can’t believe
everything we see or hear. The stirring
in my heart tells me that things aren’t what they seem. The attacks of September Eleventh will never
be forgotten by me nor many others. It
will be a day that will remind me just how cruel this world can be when it is
at its very worse. And in response to these attacks, September Eleventh proved to me how America can come together in one patriotic voice and call itself a proud nation without fear. My only wish is for peace and for the bloodshed to finally end.
No, I won't never forget.
2001 A Tribute To Heroes Concert
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