Countless people today are talking about the significance of this date. I doubt there is anyone anywhere who does not know what today means.
I’m not sure what it means overall to me. I was working downtown in Oklahoma City when it happened. I heard about it from a coworker, after the first plane hit, and we went to the breakroom to watch.
At first, not to sound harsh, but it was only mildly interesting. It looked like a major accident, and so I was only watching it offhandedly while joking with my coworker. However, when the second plane hit, the change and shift in everyone present was more than palpable. We saw it live, like millions of Americans. The thought of anything being an accident was shattered, and shattered violently.
Someone crashed those planes deliberately.
Growing up in a military family, and my formative years being the 1980’s, with the threat of nuclear war discussed so often, the first thoughts I had were just that: War. I actually didn’t even consider terrorism, although of course it made sense when I thought about it rationally later.
I don’t really recall what the resulting days were like. I’m sure it was full of news watching, dialogue with family and friends, and a topic of many discussions.
The second plane hitting the second building, and that emotional realization of what that meant, is my most vivid memory of that day. Much more than the collapse, although that was just as terrible. Today, watching a documentary on the events, seeing that second plane hit, live back then, still fills me with shivers.
It’s been 11 years, I have no personal ties to the event other than being an American, yet the day affected me so profoundly. It was the sense of “We are not alone.”; not in an extraterrestrial sense, but as a person living in a nation, I was not alone. There are BAD GUYS. Bad people that can hurt us, hurt our nation, hurt even me in my safe little center of the U.S.
However, even though I knew I was not alone in a negative sense, I knew that I was not alone in a good sense, as we were finally united as a nation and people against a common foe. I don’t care one whit about the political ramifications, I just know that 9/11/2001 united us into a true United States, even if not forever, but just enough to be a whole nation with a singular purpose.
I wish that we, as a nation, could keep that wholeness, but I’m know we’re still in the same pickle politically that we have always been. It’s too bad, really.
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