I wanted to discuss September 11th and I was going to on Twitter but then I realized this is probably a better place for it. Not to mention this post will probably be over 140 characters. Its weird how one event can change your life no matter how old or young you are. Everyone has a story to tell especially when the story centers around September 11th, 2001. Mine doesn’t include running out of a collapsing building, rushing into a burning building to save lives, or overpowering hijackers on a plane. My view of that day centers around a naive, little girl who glimpsed at evil on TV shows or when her dad decides to chase after robbers (a long story for another post). That year I was just a third grader who helped plan a baby shower for her pregnant teacher and stole her sister’s copy of ‘A Walk To Remember’ to read for herself. When news broke of a plane that hit The World Trade Center, that little girl was sitting in the tiny nurse’s office waiting to be checked over. I remembered hearing the secretary and principal staring at the small television screen located in the principal’s office which was connected to the room I was in. I wasn’t paying too much attention, I figured there must have been a cool guest on the Today show or something. I was a little more focused on my throbbing forehead. While those planes were taken over by men intent on breaking American I was playing touch football in gym class. My touch football experience ended when my best friend jammed her front teeth into my forehead, she was either really into the game or I wasn’t into it enough. I vaguely remember my principal making an announcement over the intercom, I was too busy thinking about the day to come and my injury. My day was ruined when I found out what happened, not because of the destruction or the evil actions of those men but because my teacher told me that all planes were grounded. My uncle was suppose to visit that day from Florida. I was so excited for him to visit because we rarely saw him and most of the time he brought money or presents. I remember the disappointment and sadness especially when my other best friend’s mom pulled her out of class. I couldn’t play during recess because I was too distracted by the presence of real police officers hanging around the playground. We were told that they were here for us and to answer any questions about what had happened, I’m still not sure if that’s the truth. I think they were on standby just in case of another attack( I live about twenty minutes away from a large air force base). The disappointment was gone and was replaced with horror and fear. The sonic boom heard several hours later shock me to the core as I watched the footage of the attacks. I think after watching the planes hit the towers, it finally hit me. This would be one of those events that I would forever remember, it would be apart of me come September of each year there would be a darkness in my heart. This tragedy ruined lives, killed people, and destroyed people’s emotions, spirit, mind, and just everything. All of the sudden I was having seconds thoughts about everything. As an eight year old I was afraid to leave the house to go to the library for fear that a plane would crash into it. The following years and days leading up to September 11th until I really grew up I couldn’t watch any of the footage. Those images left a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. It was nauseating. My mom flew to New York on a business trip about a month after the attacks and immediately after I saw her disappear down the hallway to board her plane, I ran into the bathroom and sobbed. Not only was she getting on a plane but she was going to New York, everything was fine but I was absolutely terrified that something would happen to her. She wasn’t allowed within a two block radius of where the towers once stood, the rubble was still burning.
When I decided in eighth grade that I wanted to work for the FBI my first instinct was I would without a doubt work for the counter-terrorism department. I wanted revenge, still. Its the kind of person I am, I would love to drink the whole make love, not war kool aid but I’m too realistic. I don’t forgive and forget easily, I’ll forgive eventually but forgetting is impossible. To this day I wouldn’t have a problem pulling the nails off of each person who was behind the attacks. Five years later and I wanted to have a job where I could prevent terrorists from destroying lives and I wanted revenge. I wanted to be able to hurt people as badly as they hurt my country that day. I wanted to be apart of something that I knew was doing good and preventing other god awful attacks from happening. I wanted to not have families torn apart by these cruel acts of violence in the name of one of the most peaceful religions. For a long time I researched…I would go to the library and read all about that day. All about how Americans were failed. How the attacks could have been prevented. How bureaucratic bullshit made it so easy for those hijackers. How men were taught how to fly planes and not want to learn how to land them. I needed to know how this could have happened to us, America. The place of freedom where you should feel safe. I bought George Tenet’s autobiography detailing his time as the director of the CIA especially during 9/11. I read ‘The Cell: Inside The 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It’ by John Miller and Michael Stone and tried to figure out what was true and what was false. It was hard not because of the graphic material and the stories of 9/11 being fleshed out but because we should have been able to see this coming and to this day there still unanswered questions. I’m currently reading ‘The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.’ Even in this book there was a rush to find answers, to place a blame even within our own country and its astounding how much evidence was ignored in the process of searching for the right answers. For example the commission ignored important briefs and research completed by the NSA that connected the terrorists to Iran and such until days before the briefing was to be in the president’s desk. Maybe ignored isn’t the right word but they didn’t even bother checking it out until those notes from the NSA were small footnotes in their commission’s report. Its still important to me that I know everything I can. I think being so young did affect me profoundly because as I grew up I began to questions things more and 9/11 became one of them.
I’m sorry for this long rant. I’m wrapping it up.
I found this on Tumblr:
$200,000,000,000 spent after the attacks.
1,506,124 tons of debris were removed from the site.
3,051 children lost a parent.
2,819 lives were taken in the attacks.
1,609 people lost their significant other.
99 days the buildings continued to burn.
20 percent of Americans knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks.
1 day changed the world.
We will never forget. 10 years.
I’ll never forget. Those of you out there who lost someone on this day ten years ago, my heart goes out to you and your loved ones. I hope you’ve found some peace. God bless America. Oh and to all you terrorists out there I’m raising the bird in your honor.