when the attacks of 9/11/2001 happened i was living in buffalo, in my first semester as a transfer student at UB. my landlady called me in the morning and said, “a plane hit the world trade center in new york city.” i said, “are you kidding me?” she said, “no, amy, go turn on the television.”
i turned on the television. i watched in horror as the news cameras rolled. and i saw the second plane, moments before the reporter did. i remember the dread, the fear, the terror like it was yesterday. i suddenly wanted everyone i had ever known with me. but i was alone in buffalo that morning. so i sat down in front of the television in the living room.
and in front of the television is where i remained. i watched the news whenever i could, for weeks. i watched the first reports of the iraq war. i heard “weapons of mass destruction” and “al quaeda”and i feared for my life, my freedom, my family, and my world. i didn’t know what to do. i was confused, afraid, and mostly alone.
at some point my obsession with the news beacme unhealthy. i forced myself to turn it off, and i swore i would never watch the footage again. the explosions. the bodies. the wailing. the fear. but not watching it never took it away. it seared a permanent place in my brain, and i can’t get rid of those images.
today, i broke my oath. i found a youtube video of footage. part of me wishes i had not watched it. part of me is glad that i did, because it reopened a hurting place that had become a scar.
and i know that 9/11 has become a weapon of its own these days. “it’s a hoax”, “it was done by the government”, etc. you hear that a lot, especially living in ithaca. but i really don’t think that’s the point. the point is that people who didn’t deserve to die were killed in mass quantity by someone who orchestrated the tradegy that was 9/11. and those people, and their friends and loved ones, should not be forgotten or overlooked. they should be in our hearts and in our prayers. and as soon as i typed that, i realized that it spreads so much farther – to the soldiers, to innocent civillians, to everyone, everywhere.
this is a broken and hurting world we’re living in, still.