Friday, September 12, 2003
Well, it's actually not September 11 anymore, but I must write down my thoughts on the subject. I will do so by recounting my day two years ago.
posted by d |
It was a Tuesday. My high school was on a block schedule, so I had AP History, French 3, and Chemistry that day. I was a junior.
I almost always woke up before my mom, so I went in to wake her up. The TV in the room was left on, but muted. I saw what seemed to be some smoke and some buildings. I, still being rather half asleep, didn't think much of it. I kind of sat there watching it, until I saw the scroll underneath, which said something like, "World Trade Center, Pentagon, hit." I took it off mute and told my mom what had happened. She said, "that's not good." I went out to the dining room where my dad was already up getting ready for work. I told him what happened, and he came in and looked at the TV. We just watched in silence for a while.
My aunt called and told my mom not to send me and my sister to school. My sister didn't want to go to school, so she stayed home. I, however, did go to school. First up was U.S. History. My teacher for that was quite an interesting character. He's a conservative high school teacher in San Jose, California. In his class, we all discussed the attacks. The teacher explained some things about Islam to us. Though he's no great fan of Islam, and outside of class I've seen him actually speak against it by quoting horrible passages from the Koran, he seemed pretty fair in class. Noneof us really knew much yet, since the day was really just beginning, but that teacher did the best he could.
Next was French 3. My teacher for French 3 was perhaps the worst teacher I've ever had, and certainly the most obnoxious, anti-American liberal I've ever met. All of us students gathered around the radio to hear the news, but she turned it off with her remote control and told us; "Through the magic of school, we can tune out anything going on outside, and concentrate only of French. Later on that day, she asked a girl from Romania, "Feel at home?" It was then that I realized that people like her really didn't care. All the talk about unity and such was false, and the truly far left would never stop hating America.
After that was lunch, which I honestly have no memory of. I suppose I went to the library and tried to hear any further news. Regardless, after that I went to chemistry. Me, some other kids, and the teacher (a Danish woman) all discussed what was going on. Then the teacher assigned us a rather simple lap, so we all got with our lab groups. I was in a group of three, as were most people. We got around the table and did the lab. That classroom was right on the street, so every time a truck went by or anything, we all got worried. I found out that one of my lab partners mom wasworking in a tower in San Francisco. She was quite worried about her mom, and wanted to be done with the day so she could talk to her. There's something to remember. My lab partner's mom was fine. Think of some girl who's mom did die that day.
Think of someone who's mom or dad or brother or sister or husband or wife went off that morning and never returned. Really think about it. Don't just pass it off and say something about how sad it is. Really think about it. Think about what they were thinking that morning. Maybe the kids were going to go see Daddy at lunch. Maybe next week they were all going to fly to Hawaii. Maybe Mommy was going to make her famous cookies as soon as she got home from work. Just think about the little, trivial, beautiful dreams people have. Not big ones, just little ones. Think of the lives those terrorists destroyed. Think of the bitter sadness, the loss that can never be replaced. Think of that next time you hear someone talking about a "cycle of violence," or the "root causes of their hatred." They waged war on us. This war isn't about conquest, or oil, or even religion. It's about eliminating a violent, hateful system of thought wherein a little girl on her way to Disneyland on an airplane is the enemy. Wherein a guy sitting at his desk, perhaps working, perhaps wasting time with a computer game, perhaps thinking of his fiance and how they'll be married in a week, deserves to die just because he happens to be in America. Wherein a nation of free people of every race, ethnicity, and religion is "The Great Satan." People who would believe this are our enemies, and should be dealt with accordingly.
(I got a bit sidetracked there, sorry.) After chemistry, my school day was over. I came home and watched the news. My sister had catalogued all of the days reports, writing things like, "Another plane is known to be hijacked. Possibly heading for Washington." She had also made some little circular embroideries, featuring pictures of New York and the words like, "A day which will live in infamy." I can't really remember the rest of the day, but I remember the eerie lack of plane noises. You'd never know how much noise planes make unless they stopped flying. And we didn't know when they'd come back. For all I knew, there'd be another bombing the next day, and we'd be in a constant state of war right here in America.
I learned later that one of the women who died in the WTC had graduated from my high school about ten years before. That made me think. A person, a human being who had been right there at my school had also been there in the towers as they fell and as everything changed. Thinking about it, I was amazed. Someone who had eaten lunch in the same quad I ate lunch in, walked past the same old oak tree on her way to P.E., complained about some of the same teachers, done some of the same assignments, was dead in the attack. One wonders, did she ever sit, perhaps, in the same library that I sat in as she died, and read a book? Perhaps I've checked out a book she checked out. Perhaps she had seen some of my classmates, when they were young children living near the school. Perhaps she had sat on the same bench I sat on, looking across the quad to the gaudy western-themed mural on the gym wall, and wondered what her future would be like. I never knew her. I don't even remeber her name. It was on the little yellow slip of paper they handed us at the candlelight vigil, but I've lost the paper, and I'll probably never remember her name. But, I'll always know that someone from my school died that day, because some Islam-crazed freaks decided that her and anyone like her (namely Americans) had to die.
Never forget. Never surrender. America can and will prevail.
May God bless America and guide all her actions in the war.