Wednesday, September 12, 2007

- Requiem

I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in Ms Gauthier's Gifted American History class and the period had just started when the teacher next door came in. "A plane hit the World Trade Center!" she said. We turned on the television to see. One of the towers was burning - it looked like it was wearing a belt of fire. The test we were taking that day lay forgotten.

Then, as we watched the television, the second plane hit.

I know we all have our particular memories of that day, but sitting in the back of the classroom, next to my friend Matt, the silence among us is what I remember most. It was a dead silence, that lasted about 15 seconds, but watching the debris fall from the other side of the building, it was in slow motion.

Our teacher turned off the TV, and faced us, pale. "We....We have a test today. Time starts now."

We took our test and turned the television back on, and watched the fire trucks, the police cars, the ambulances, responding to the scene.

We watched the towers fall.

It's been said that 9/11 was my generation's Pearl Harbor or Kennedy Assassination, and I'm inclined to agree.

* * *

When I stopped in at my mother's this morning to play with the dog and get some free breakfest, I remarked to her that this was the first year that's gone by that the wounds 9/11 left on me haven't felt like they've been rubbed with salt. I don't say this to suggest that the passage of time has eliminated the pain and rage I felt that day, sitting in my orange chair at my black desk, useless, hopeless. Time has merely dulled my choler and hurt, made it almost bearable.


I've seen some horrible things at work, been a part of some hopeless situations. I manage through these because I can. However, I still have trouble watching the attacks played again and again on television. Something twisted in me that day the hasn't been set right, that has healed broken. However, the memory of those killed in the attacks will live on through all of us. We are all survivors of those attacks, and we are all tributes to the dead. I would challenge myself to remember that. I live on in the place of those victims, and I'm going to live life to its fullest.

I'm not going to go political on this, but I think this country has a lot of problems that we aren't addressing. But I also think that we are the greatest county in the world, bar none. And I'm proud to be an American.



Ben said...

Understand what you mean.

When it happened, I was in college, and in the hall they put a giant screen to watch the news. We were shocked (and I'm not even american), disturbed. On this day, we were all New-Yorkers.

Though, my teacher (Business Management 101), wanted to give a class anyway. She didn't.

I'm from Qu├ębec, CAN. We speak french here. The word Bless in french mean Hurt. So that day, we all tough about the sentence "God Bless America" who mean something totally different here.

That was before Al Qaeda, before the confrontation, before the lies.

Anonymous said...

I hafta say that I feel the same way you do.

I feel as though nothing will ever be the same as before that day. And it is similar to Pearl Harbor for the younger generation. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I had just graduated from high school, started my first year of college and I was sitting in the parking lot getting ready to go to class. Instead of our lecture, we watched CNN.

Seeing all the footage, photographs just seems to reopen the fury in me. The sadness. It's almost as if there is this empty part in my heart, that sometimes I forget is there, but it's like the scab has been pulled off and it's been exposed all over again. I feel so helpless.

They had a special on the history channel over the weekend, and I had to turn it after seeing people's bodies jumping from the building. One lady had said it was similar to them choosing their fate instead of letting it be chosen for them.... so they jumped to their death.

On another blog there was a talk show about it, a man had recieved a phone call from his brother. He told his brother how relieved he was that he was safe, and his brother said he wasn't. He was still in the building in a conference room and he just called to tell him goodbye and he loved him. His brother begged for him not to get off the phone, but he said he was in there with other people and they had to share the phone. His mother came home to find a message on her machine saying the same. I just couldn't imagine. But the mother said something that stuck with me, and will until the day I die.....



Ribeye of your Dreams said...

I was out hunting for a job when I found out about it...was living with my ex-partner. I walked to a comic book store that I had an interview with, and when I got there, the owner said he wasn't opening because we'd been bombed. I didn't know what he was talking about, so I walked back to the apartment, and turned on the tv. I watched for a couple of hours, told my bf at the time about it, and a few hours after that, I was dumped and kicked out for another man. I ended up staying at a friends house and watching it all with them for the next couple of days until I moved back home.

born_yesterday said...

i was listening to bob & tom
it's not often they say "folks this isn't a joke..."

Loving Annie said...

Good Sunday afternoon the 16th to you MedicMarch ! How are you doing ?

You said it beautifully about 9/11... It was our generations' Pearl Harbor - and Kennedy assasination... And in a way, we may never really wholly recover from the emotional shock of what was done to us as a nation that welcomed all into our melting pot, our democracy and land of the free...

Thank you for commenting on my Mhmmm Yes blog, b.t.w. -- 3 times since August 1st ! You are a dear.
I left you a link in today's 'thank-you's.

*cyber hugs and smiles*
Loving Annie