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Sunday, September 11, 2005 

The 9/11 Post

I figured that I would just write about my day on September 11, 2001. I'm not really sure what else to post, so this feels like a good idea.

I was awake in my room when the first plane hit. I slept on my couch the night before, but was too comfortable to actually stand up at that point. My clock radio alarm had gone off around 7:30 and I let it play. Steve Czaban, the DC area sports guy who is on with Bob and Brian, first alerted me to the events in NYC. He said to Bob and Brian to turn on their TV because the World Trade Center was on fire. I reached for my remote and turned on the Today Show. There in living color was a burning tower. When the second plane hit, I was floored. I knew that this was no accident. I watched as much coverage as I could but had to leave for school.

Most of the people in my first class had no idea what happened, so the few of us who did filled them in. As soon as that class let out, I went to the union because there a a bunch of TVs there. I walked in and saw the whole place jammed with people. There were so many people crowding around to watch the coverage that someone made the decision to turn the TVs off. No one could walk through the union at all, so I guess it had to be done. There was an announcement that TVs would be set up elsewhere in larger rooms and places not so in the way. By that time, at least one of the towers had fallen. Totally shocked, I just sort of shuffled off to my next class.

This class was a crappy Poli Sci course that I hated with a passion. The professor did do something smart though. She turned the TV on and put it on the projector screen. We just watched the coverage for most of the class. Then she decided that we should talk about it. Looking back, that's just really stupid. No one had any real idea what was happening, other than the situation on the ground there and at the Pentagon. I don't remember any of the student comments but one. This militant feminist, latte sipping, no-make-up-for-me girl that sat two rows ahead of me fired off the "blame America first" litany. According to her, this attack was just like the Gulf War, so we had this coming. She also insulted some senator (I think it was Hatch) who was on the phone with the news. He said something to the extent of "we're going to get these bastards." She was offended by his rhetoric and rage. I guess it wasn't okay to be pissed off, according to her. I was pissed. The senator was pissed. I think a lot of people were pissed. She wasn't. But it wasn't worth arguing with her. Nothing I said would've gotten through to her anyway.

I watched more of the coverage after class. By then, they had figured out that another plane had been hijacked but crashed in Pennsylvania. I spent most of my time thinking about how the world had just been turned upside down. In my mind, the US had just become Israel. This was going to be the beginning of constant acts of terrorism in our cities. Buses would explode. Shopping centers would be bombed. Chicago would be the new Tel Aviv. I don't remember anything about my last class. I just wanted to go home.

I was one of those people who did nothing but watched the news for about 3 weeks. I wanted to know everything that I could. I think that time was also the beginning of my addiction to the internet as a news source. I got sick of waiting for people to tell me things. It was easier to just look it up myself. Up to that point, I had been fairly interested in world events (more than the average person my age), but I started to read more and more.

I wish I had something profound to end this on, but I don't. I do remember something that my dad told me though. He said that "this is your event." He said that every generation has one event that shapes their mindset, their priorities, their view of the world. His generation had the Kennedy assassination. My grandparents had Pearl Harbor. My generation has 9/11. I guess the lesson is that everything can change in one day.

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About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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