Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Awake is the New Sleep

New York City  March 2002

 "One of the lessons of 9-11 is that evil is real and so is courage." Former President George W. Bush

The World was BUSY , it was before 9a.m. EST and the world was busy, going to their jobs, bustling all around, it was 2001, Sept 11 andI was sleeping............ my daughter had gotten off to school and I was sleeping, so comfortably in my bed. 

It had been a long night the night before, I had been working on the website, settling some squabbles between a few of my "forum" moderators, finding some freebies and deals for my newsletter readers. I was also probably completing a few household chores that I completed at night while my little girl was tucked in her bed and the phone wasn't ringing.  And then Sleeping.

My husband at the time, Tim, woke me up gently shaking my shoulder sitting on the side of the bed saying "you need to wake up and watch this."   I rubbed my eyes and sat up and watched a burning building was on the screen, smoke billowing in the air, reporters were speaking in a manic voice,  and sirens were heard loudly in the background.  Paper and smoot were all around the people that were running around the city ......... that was not sleeping any more.

I listened and watched , we were both immobilized , I was watching what I thought was an accident...... a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in New York City and they were afraid it would crash down. They were certain there were fatalities already and many more to come.   And then it happened.........AGAIN........... right in front of my eyes an airplane full of passengers crashed into the other tall skyscraper that stood right beside the one that was already burning.  The "Twin Towers" of New York were imploding, exploding and quickly became the grave-site of just under 3000 people.

It was more horrific than any hollywood movie , more horrific than the footage of other terrorist attacks I had seen from other countries, it was actually more horrific than those old burning building news clipsthat I had been traumatized watching as a child.  Technology allowed me to see so much more and for the realism to be so much more chilling. America was there, in New York with them, no-one was sleeping any more.

Terrorism. It had invaded our lives and created a new type of Patriotism and even a new type of Racism (or religionism depending on which way you see it).  We quickly became familiar with many new names of the good the bad and even the ugly.  A nation that ignored much of the "goings on" in the government became experts and everyone had an opinion or two or three.  We gave blood, we flew flags, we volunteered, we sobbed, we rallied, we joined the service and we cheered.  We all looked for ways to help, to grieve and to heal.  We were virgins, our innocence, our un-terrorized soil was ruptured.......... and we were left to see and feel with different eyes.

Eyes that made us become a nation that was paranoid.  We were scared to fly on airplanes, afraid to take subways, afraid of another attack and were afraid that this time we  (personally) were going to be a victim.  We learned about this white powder called "anthrax" and many other "weapons of mass destruction." We looked with suspicious eyes at every middle eastern person that walked into our pathway or sat beside us on the plane.  Why shouldn't we have, the terrorists that had done this were in our society, not looking like the "monsters" or "boggeymen" that haunted us but looked rather normal....... some even married  with children, average "guy next door."    We were told to go on ,  "business as usual" or they would "win. We started to hate , we started to hate the beautiful Mosques and buildings that once symbolized peace and beauty, we now looked at them as symbols of hatred.  Many of us became political experts and express(ed) opionions about what could and should be done to solve the world problems.

I watched as we "reacted" to most threats, yea , after the fact,  tightening security everywhere, every public gathering.  We were and are spending outrageous amounts of money in our military, security, public gatherings etc etc.  We are falling in "social graces" along with our "social status" as well.  

We cheered as the bombs fell, the statues were broken and the buildings on TV burned over the years in retaliation.  We have sent many troops and servicemen to several locations to "get the job done."  We have engaged in warfare and the eventual rebuilding of lives.  We have lost many Americans and Killed many foreigners in our attempts to level the playing field, make it right, avenge, revenge and make sure our own deaths and building destruction did not happen in vain.  We have built many memorials, paid money to the victims, organized and reorganized and set up alert systems that this country never had.  We have thwarted many terrorist attacks all over the world.  We have not "slept" since.
New York City 2002

10 years have passed and the patriotism is there but it has waned, our anger is there but it has waned and our sorrow is there........and maybe even intensified.  Each year we "remember."  We memorialize and think back to "where we were" at the time the world was changed.  We still look for ways to put words and actions together to remember those that were killed then and fallen in the wars that still continue today , 10 years later.   We say we will "never forget"  ............what exactly does that mean?  I THOUGHT it meant remember that life is precious and that we should stay UNITED.  The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA but I have a feeling that most of America thinks it means something completely different.We fight among ourselves as a divided nation STILL based on "issues" mostly individual issues and weather you are an R or a D or belong to the tea party or the coffee party, the black and the white,  spewing out insults to one another and disrespecting our fellow man.   I love to see the posts on Facebook , Blogs, Twitter and everywhere else that the zealots can find to post their armchair graffiti about how they know how to run the government better than those "in power" do.  I wish that they would collectively get their butts on the ballots so we could get some of them in office, what are they waiting for?

This morning ............I am not sleeping............ I remember 9-11,  I remember it in the loss , the devastating loss that we had and still have.  I remember the way we banded together to grieve, to mourn to avenge and to make right the wrong of a few ........... a few bad men.   I remember and support our troops that we have lost along with our innocents that have been in the way.    I remember to to act, act every way that I can to help those that fight, and those that keep the peace, to help those that need help and those that want help to keep our nation united and healthy.  I remember not to sit in my chair and judge those that are trying to help, but rather to jump in with both feet and help them out too, when I can.

I am not watching all of the TV specials or attending any memorials this year, but I know that there are many of them.  I'm sitting in my house, drinking coffee remembering .............remembering how everyone was so solid, so determined to be UNITED once again........... and thinking about all of those that do not have the courage to stand "united" and wishing they would just "go to sleep."

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
~George Orwell~

1 comment:

Susan said...

very moving Anjie...and very well written.