2011 08/09

I remember

I had just poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and decided to sit down on my mint green micro-suede couch to watch a few minutes of the Today Show before heading off to my office in the Middle School.

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Damn it, I spilled some chocolatey milk on my shirt when walking from the kitchen to the living room. I’ll have to change before I leave. That sucks.

Huh, they must be interviewing some actor who has a new movie releasing this weekend. Looks like an action film. Maybe another Die Hard or Bad Boys. Funny, I don’t remember hearing about any new films like this coming out but I’ll gladly go watch Will Smith again!

{just a brief moment later}

Wait, this isn’t a movie. This is real. Maybe another country having war issues? No, this landscapes look too familiar.

OH MY GOD! That plane just few right into that building!!! Oh no! This is some terrible accident!!!

9/11 Ten Years Later

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It only took another moment or two for the voice of the reporter to come across as the scene played out on the screen. I don’t recall if it was Matt Lauer or Brian Williams. I just remember hearing a voice.

Planes….Crashing….Attacks….New York…Terrorists….

This was no accident.

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I grabbed the phone.

Tim, are you at the studio? Is there a tv? Turn it on! Something terrible is happening!

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I sat. I watched. Disbelief. Sadness. More planes.  More crashes. A field. The Pentagon. Those planes were commercial airlines. Those planes were carrying people. Were.

My bowl sat on the coffee table in front of me. Still half full of warm milk and soggy Cocoa Puffs.

That building was now crashing to the ground. Falling. Dust and ruble. Oh dear God, please let that building be empty! Please let them have gotten out in time. Please let the area around it to have been evacuated already.

It wasn’t. They didn’t.

9/11 Ten Years Later

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I did not go to work. I sat. I watched. I watched as they replayed the footage of that plane hitting the building. Over and over again. I watched as I saw smoke rise. The things I saw in that smoke made goose bumps run up down my arms. Still. Now.

I listened as the reporters mentioned words like Terrorist Attack. A group of people called the Taliban. Al-Qaeda. A person. Osama Bin Laden. Had I heard of these people before? This person? Why were they attacking us? Why New York City? Why those buildings?

Are we at war? Are we safe?

I watched as injured people made their way across camera shots. As firefighters, police, and EMS workers wiped the dust and soot from their faces. As tears streamed down faces. As people searched and pleaded for information about their loved ones who could not be found. Tears streamed down my face. I was helpless. I was scared.

9/11 Ten Years Later

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I did not lose someone I loved that day. I knew no one who was on one of those planes, in one of those buildings, or caught in the surrounding area. But I felt this profound feeling of sadness because I did lose something. I lost the naive bubble I was living in. I was only 22. I believed I was safe. I believed I lived in a country where nothing horrible could happen. Not like this. I knew now that I was no longer safe. That there was not an indestructible bubble around this country. That there bad, horrible, evil people out there. People who wanted to hurt this country. People who wanted to hurt Americans. We had enemies.  And these enemies had no value for human life. Not theirs. Not ours.

My world changed that day. Everything changed.

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Ten years later and I remember.

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And I will always remember.

9/11 Ten Years Later Remembrance Badge

*photos are courtesy of www.uncoverage.net and nymag.com

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