Today’s Monday Mission is one of a more serious nature… I agree with Promo that it is appropriate for us to discuss our feelings about the events that took place a year ago, before we get deluged with the media’s idea of how we should feel. This is a tough one, but I wanted to vent. Read on if you wanna know more…
1. Where were you and what was happening in your life the moment when you first became aware of what was happening at the World Trade Center in New York City last September 11th? What was the first thing you did when you heard the news?
I think I will not be alone when I say that I can remember that day like it was yesterday (although that sounds cliched). Since I was living in Hawaii at the time, it was already many hours (five or six) before I heard the first mention of what had happened. It was about ten minutes to eight. I had climbed into my car to go to work, like any other day. My radio was always set to the local NPR station, so immediately, I start to hear frantic reports and talk about airplanes crashing. I didn’t know the whole story yet, so I kept listening as I drove. As I listened more, I slowly put the pieces together… two planes had crashed into each of the World Trade Center towers? I couldn’t even fathom the idea. I started to shake.
My cell phone rang, and K was on the other end.
“What is going on?” were the first words out of his mouth. No greetings, just fear and confusion were on our minds. He had just turned on the television, which he often did in the mornings as he got ready for work. Apparently, he had also received and email that had said something to the effect of “In the wake of today’s events, the office is closed today”, with no further information. I filled him in on the details, and he was crushed. Kevin had lived in New York many years ago, and it hit him hard to see this happen.
I continued to drive to work, and went immediately to the lunch room to watch the news for the rest of the day.
2. When those truly responsible for the attack are apprehended, what do you think would be the most fitting form of justice?
This is a tough one. I don’t want the anger to speak, and say that they should be hurt just as much as we all did. But who is to gauge how much pain that really is? I think that revenge is not necessarily the key to fixing what was wronged. I think that education and understanding is. People that commit such horrible terrorist acts seem to be so grossly misinformed about the world around them. I want to see dissolution of these organizations, and to educate their children properly… not to hate, but celebrate peoples’ differences. I can’t really say what to do about the adults already set in their ways… some sort of surveillance is definitely in order.
3. How do you think the history books should present the 9-11 attacks? Should it be included for all future generations? How can we truly convey the shock, the outrage, the emotions and pain of that day to the children of our children?
I don’t think you can truly convey the intensity of the feelings that resulted from these events. You can only try. As with most history books, the story will most likely be solely factual, and will try to be unbiased and straightforward. I think the feelings about what has happened will be passed down through their families, for the most part.
4. Did the events of 9-11 bring about a change in the way you live your life?
You know, for many months afterward, I was a changed person. I valued every moment, and cherished all the times I had with my loved ones. I called everyone I was close to and told them I cared about them. This was a time that everyone was shaken to the realization that this can be over at any time.
As time went on, I returned to normal, I guess you can say. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll admit that I was tiring of brooding all the time. A sense of normalcy is definitely good. I was happy that I was close to the people I cared about, and that soothed my soul a bit.
Sometimes I forget, but every once in a while, it hits me. Hard. I’ll be hit with waves of sadness about the people that have perished, and begin to think those somber thoughts again. But the good thing that does come out of these thoughts is how much I really value my life and the lives of the people close to me.
5. A year later, do you find yourself feeling more secure than back then? Or is it just a matter of time before something else happens?
I can’t say for sure. I think the extra security precautions are fine, although they are a minor annoyance. I believe that everyone in the airline industry is taking the jobs a little more seriously. Same goes for law enforcement. But, you know, the possibility of terrorism and violence is *always* out there. We just do whatever we can to be prepared for it.
6. What, if anything, will you do to personally reflect on the tragedy?
I will most likely spend some time in silence, and light candles.
7. What image will you always have in your mind when you recall the events of 9-11?
The images of people holding up the posters, pleading for their loved ones, were incredibly saddening. The desperation and anguish in their faces as they clutched their pictures of their loved ones were just heart wrenching. I couldn’t take it well. A more disturbing image that resounds in my mind is of people jumping the towers. It boggles my mind to think what was going through their minds at those moments… and we’ll never really know, just speculate.