Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An “Outsiders” Perspective of 9/11

I wrote this on September 10, 2011. While my personal situation has changed, it still gives resonance to the forever effect 9/11 will have on me emotionally. I promise to write happy things soon, but this is in honor of the 12th anniversary of the day that changed our country forever.


Two things that I did not do in college: wake up early unless I had somewhere to be and watch the news – except on September 11, 2001. That morning I was up, walking around my room, and had turned on a news show for background noise. I don’t remember what my agenda had been for that day, or why I was awake at 8:30am, but in that time before the planes hit the towers, I was given a few minutes of innocence and calm before the world ended – for some metaphorically, for some literally.

As I watched the smoke rise from the first tower, I was mesmerized. So much smoke and dust, how are those people dealing with it? Thank God I’m not there. Wait, is that Washington, D.C.? Why are they showing some fire at the Pentagon when NYC is obviously more important right now? Stupid politics. Go back to showing pictures of NY…oh my God, oh MY GOD, NOOOOO!!! THAT WAS A PLANE. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Somewhere in the midst of what was happening, I called my father with nervous energy and actually joked with him that the world was on fire and he should turn the TV on. It still wasn’t confirmed that the Pentagon fire was connected to the attack on the World Trade Centers, or the plane crash in Pennsylvania, but everyone knew. What we didn’t know at the point was that the United States’ impermeable shield of freedom had been shattered.

My memory is not strong. I can remember numbers and functions and equations, but I can’t always remember faces or names or emotions. However, my memories of that day are not purely mental. I feel it in my heart.  As I sit here on the evening of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am thankful for the life I have been given. I am blessed that the pictures I have in my head of that day are from the television and not from images I saw in person.

So what’s an outsider’s perspective of 9/11?  There were no outsiders on 9/11. I’m a single, 29-year old banker living in Delaware because I was scared to move to New York to pursue a fashion career. I’m a woman who prays even harder every time I get on a plane because maybe my plane will be the next one chosen. I’m an American who hears unidentified booms and automatically thinks “bomb” instead of “fireworks”. I’m someone who did not lose anyone, or know anyone living there, and feels guilty that I grieve for my innocence when so many others lost so much more.

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