Friday, September 11, 2015

Where I Was

In a weird way, I love hearing peoples' stories about "where I was" when _____ happened.  Be it a shooting, an earthquake, or any other global catastrophe, I think it's fascinating to see through someone else's perspective how they experienced this time in history.

On 9/11 I see many people post about where they were when the towers were hit, but for me and my cohort, most of us were pre-pubescent kids with no idea what was actually taking place.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was asleep when the first tower was hit, as many on the west coast were (5:46 AM). I remember my mom waking me up for school earlier than usual and telling me something terrible had happened to the World Trade Center in New York. I didn't know what a World Trade Center was but it sounded very serious. I wiped my eyes, climbed down from my bunk bed and stumbled towards the blue glow coming from my parents' bedroom. My dad was laying on his belly across their bed, propped up on a pillow just inches from the TV, unmoving and fixed on the screen in front of him. I tried to understand what I was watching, but at 11 years old, I really could not comprehend what was happening or how this would come to impact the following years of my adolescence and now adult life. It was then that we watched the second plane hit the second tower (6:03 AM). "Oh my God, Robin, they just hit the second one." That's when I knew it was a big deal, because we did not take the Lord's name in vain in our house, ever.

This summer James and I had the opportunity to return to New York City (again!) but this time we budgeted time and money for the 9/11 memorial museum--a truly amazing experience that moved me to tears (and that does not happen often).  The collection of artifacts, photos, video footage, phone recordings, and personal testimonies amassed there are incredible.  You can spend an entire day just reading about all of the found items and recollections from the people in the city on that day.  I cannot imagine being there or what it must have been like.  I read in the paper today that heroes of 9/11 are now facing an all new terror--the fact that most of them are beginning to get sick and develop breathing problems due to inhaling so much toxic ash, dirt, and debris during that day and the weeks to follow.  This is so sad, but had they not acted, who would have?  True heroism.

One of the most powerful and upsetting parts of the museum was a small TV screen looping the airport security footage of each of the different terrorists passing through security that morning, several of them entering together at the same time.  They exchanged smug looks with each other before grabbing their bags and heading off into the terminal.  This made me SO SICK and ANGRY.  I truly began to HATE these individuals.  To think that they were moments away from committing such a heinous act, and so happy about it, made my blood boil.

Perhaps because I subscribe to the true religion of love I will never understand what possessed these men to commit these acts "in the name of [their] god."  As much as I don't agree, I can understand why so man Americans hold grudges against all Muslims, no matter how impassioned.  I do not plan to make this blog political, but I will say today that I hope our next president, whoever he or she may be, will do something to stop radical Islamic terrorists from committing these types of devastating crimes against our country and its citizens.  If we are not able to learn from our past, how will we ever learn?

God Bless the USA!

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