I'm admittedly not a change-your-facebook-profile-pic-to-a-flag kind of person, but it doesn't mean I don't care... It means I don't buy into the hype that if someone REALLY cares, they'll follow these abstract social protocols. No, no.
When the planes hit the towers, I was in bed, with my new husband. It was our one month anniversary from our wedding and we were probably on the naked side more than the clothed side, so when my mother called me, (much earlier than I'd usually be awake, as I worked late) I was irritated. She sounded odd, told me to turn on my tv. I asked what station, she said it wouldn't matter.
We got up and moved to the living room, and turned the tv to CNN once we saw what was going on. They seemed to have the least repetitive view, with constant view of the tower that was smoking while someone reported. We were watching when the second plane hit, when the second tower fell, followed by the first. We were watching when the pentagon was hit. When the plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
We both had to work that night, but nobody was in the stores. Nobody was out to eat. I worked at Target, back then, in the little Starbucks area, and my husband was a server at Chiles, I think? Feels like ages ago.
What I remember is knowing I didn't know anyone there, but not being able to imagine the pain of those who did. The pain of those who saw it happen. Saw the bodies falling from the broken windows. Saw their city in ruin.
As much as it pained me, however, it angered me to see this was being used as an excuse to go to war. To cause more pain, more hurt for more families. An excuse. It was clear then as it is now. Then to discover we were all lied to. The powers that be DID know there were threats, and did nothing. They knew this was coming, they knew it could happen, and they sat idly by. To go to war? For that excuse? I speculate, but I don't know.
And here we are, 10 years later, having the same conversations. My children (8 and 6) learned about 9-11 at school on Friday. My son was home sick, actually... my daughter went, and came home with a full sized flag. She wants to hang it in her bedroom. But she didn't understand what they were saying happened, so I pulled up some of those youtube tribute videos set to music for the kids to watch. I didn't want the ones with the screaming people and close-up views of the jumpers... I wanted the ones that showed the towers, the pentagon, the scorched mark upon the earth where the plane landed.
They stood behind me at my computer, watching, eyes big. They weren't born yet, but I remember it, and that was a big thing to them. Like the JFK assassination was for me, knowing my parents were there. Like the moon landing. You can feel the history in certain moments.
In any case, I remember, and I still am sad for the families affected. But I, for one, will not allow this to take over my life. We were attacked once, and it was bad. But how many times have other countries dealt with similar attacks? How many families did we rend with our bombs? Our guns?
An eye for an eye, that's what it feels like. And the world? It's going blind.