Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Sept. 11 2001: Looking Back

One year ago, I was taking ISTEP in my homeroom at Reitz. Mr. Clark was taken out into the hallway by some other faculty member. They talked, and he returned with a solemn face and tone. "Four planes have been hijacked by terrorists. Two crashed into the World Trade Center towers and another cra..."

Wow. Was this a joke? Could this be true? The tales of turmoil in foreign places far away had spilled over into my world? Ah well, it couldn't be that serious. As we were dismissed from ISTEP, the atmosphere was full of excitement from most of the students. "Wow, this is weird." "Huh. Cool." "We're going to war!" "DAMN COMMIES!" were just some of the comments floated around. Everyone feared the worst but held out silent hope for the situation.

Until lunch. The cafeteria was still bussling with movement and chatter--but many students stared at the TVs. CNN. Twin Towers. Flames and collapse. Maybe the TV made it look worse than it really was.

Getting home, I watched NBC's coverage of hijackings. Then it all began to sink really was amazing, what the terrorists had done. Even fighting for a twisted cause, their plan was ingenious. For the cost of a few lives, they managed to take thousands of ours. Amazing. Incomprehensible.

Now, a year later, I find my view of the world's relation to the US permanently shaken. No longer is the US the great, perfect, well supported leader of the world. No longer does the US have an aura of invincibility. No longer are we all safe. On the other hand, some of my confidence in America has returned, as major terrorist acts have been prevented in the past year. Things are looking up.

So, where were you when you heard about the World Trade Center and Pentagon? On the anniversary of the hijackings, try confronting your initial reactions a year ago.


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