#77 | Tuesday, September 18th, 2001
today
---in my world...

As I was playing "The Unforgiven" by Metallica in Class Piano at Wiley E. Groves High School, an announcement came on the P A system stating that two planes had hit the world trade center. At this point I was wondering who did it more than anything. It was announced that there would be no open lunch, and everyone would be required to remain in the building for their lunch hour.

It pushed me into my mind, into my truest self for the rest of the day. It tested my beliefs.

I wondered what this would come to mean. Bush's missile defense system would almost certainly pass now. That may start an arms race for another cold war. I wondered what the economic ramifications would be. The world still operates today, but when the heart stops beating, it takes a while for the organism to die. But I know for the good and the bad of it, I still believe that America will survive.

Most of the students gathered in the media center (library) , where three TVs were set up tuned to the national news. When I walked into the media center, the twin towers (120 stories high) were standing. When I walked out, they were not. I rushed over to grab a computer so that I could get more information from the Internet, Unfortunately, www.cnn.com was unreachable. I can only assume that it was because there were too many people trying to access it. I checked my livejournal friends page, and there were already plenty of posts about it. I had a conversation with someone that I really wish I could talk to more. We probably wouldn't have spoken at all if not for this event. Than I had to convince a kid I sometimes talk with that America is not always in the right and that our foreign policy really screws with other countries, as the first confirmed reports came in about the pentagon being hit.

When I walked into science fiction class, there was a TV set up. We were going to watch the TNT version of Frankenstein, but it was tuned to (local) channel 7 that was getting a feed from CNN. One of the students was acting as an antenna, holding the end of the antenna chord, since the TV was not meant to receive local channels. The sound came and went and the picture was fuzzy, but we watched for the whole hour and a half class period. As reporters said that the leadership of the nation had become scattered for fear, I looked outside into a small courtyard. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. Sunlight streamed into the courtyard between the leaves of a single tree. The leaves looked like glitter as the wind blew around the sunlit leaves. It was a beautiful day and I wondered if I know anyone who knew anyone who died today. (and if not, how many degrees of acquaintance would I have to go out.) A recent IM conversation indicates that the answer could easily be yes.

I was surprised to see another TV in the choir room where I am a teacher's aid for the gifted and talented class. As I typed out a cast form for a play, I heard Tony Blare (Prime Minister of England) state that terrorism was not America's problem, it was a problem of the free democratic world. I typed the second draft as President Bush assured everyone that there would be strong actions taken against whoever did this. I paused what I was doing to look at the TV again. I saw the footage of the buildings falling and of people jumping from the top floors. Nobody is willing to speculate on how many people have died today. I watched a long list of closings. The city of Detroit seems to have shut down almost entirely.

I got out of school a half hour early. I was thinking when I walked home, listening to cure and watching the trees, that somewhere, right now people are dying under mountains of rubble. There is another world of ruins where everything is covered in dust and soot. There is a wasteland of death on this planet. The sunlit trees that line the street will never be effected by two buildings that fell over hundreds of miles away.

I got home and my dad started talking about punishing the perpetrators. He started talking about Osama bin Laden, and how he must be killed. Furthermore, that the whole area should be nuked. I hope he doesn't mean this.

And everyone is afraid

---empathies...

It is my understanding, that few people actually fathomed the experiences of New York this mourning.
Imagine your building shaking. Smoke is rapidly filling your office. You can't get out, or breathe. You're only hope of escape from the smoke is out the window. You are a hundred floors up, and suspended in the air, the Earth begins to fly toward you. The G forces start to become too much for you to take. You realize that your life is going to stop as you start to black out.
Imagine that you are going to visit a friend in California. Moments after your flight takes off, four men come out with guns. Two of them stay in the cabin and two move into the cockpit. You know that you will not be going to California as planned. You assume that it's going to a third-world or non-extradition country. You try to remain calm. You encourage your beloved spouse to remain calm, because if you do what they say, everything will be all right. You notice that the plane is loosing altitude. A moment of panic, than a moment of chaos, than ?

These are not soulless numbers. These are human beings with the same emotions potentials, thoughts, and relations as you and I. Take all the beauty, love, sorrow, determination etc that make up yourself (and all of you that you will never know), multiply it by ten thousand and wipe it off the face of the Earth. There must be so much sorrow in the world right now, and rightfully so.

---speculations of future...

I wonder what is going to become of the nation and the state of the world. If we find out that there is a government behind this, it will certainly lead to war. If not, it may lead to war anyway. I have seen a bloodlust awaken today. The people of this country want vengeance. I don't know if (as a country) we are willing to wait to find the ones who are actually responsible for it until we go on a killing spree.

I know that Bush's missile defense system will be made now. There's no logic to this. A terrorist doesn't have access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the defense system wouldn't do anything in this situation. Nevertheless, the fear that was created today will lead to that system being made. I am almost certain that other countries will spend an equal amount of money to match us. This could easily escalate into another arms race.

I wonder about the economy. There was a lot going on in those buildings. I doubt that the effects will be felt for a while, and I don't know too much about economics, so I won't speculate.

I don't think that saying that this could start WWIII is entirely unreasonable.

I doubt that whoever did this has aided their cause at all.

---philosophically...

What many people felt today is exactly what I've been talking about recently. Our society is based on certain assumptions and securities. We can operate within the school system when we know that the government is stable. The school system is layered on top of the government. You don't have to know about what the government actually is in order to operate in the school system. But if the government becomes unstable, than you realize that all the worlds layered on top of the government are unstable. It is the same with a business on top of the economic system. When the outer constructions feel a shaking up in something that was thought to be stable (so stable that we decided to build on it), we feel that our world is collapsing.

---the state of America...

We have our fingers in everything. America's foreign policy is rarely the central topic of any news broadcast, but our military is actively involved in other parts of the world all the time. We exert pressure and force on other countries for our own benefit based on our own ideas. We have made quite a few enemies in undeveloped countries.(and quite a few more in developed countries now that Bush is in office). It is unclear now what we are doing, what we want the effects to be, and what the effects actually will be. History tells and hindsight is 20/20. An example of this from the past is Panama. We helped Panama to revolt so that we could come in later to build the canal. We dealt with Iraq basically so we could keep getting oil. That is the way that our foreign policy works. I am not justifying the attack, because it is unjustifiable, but it is also unjustifiable to think of the United States as 'the good guys'. We aren't. We don't act for a universal justice (not that any sense of justice is universal anyway) we act in our own interests.
We did the same kind of thing in Kosovo. We bombed buildings and killed innocent people, simply because it was easier than actually going in and doing what we wanted physically.

We have gone a long time without real war. There is always war somewhere, weather we want to identify it as that or weather ABC news covers it. This isn't that dramatic of a change, except that it will directly effect you and me.

Our economy and society have been blindly barreling forward for so long. We are only concerned that the machine runs smoothly. Now is a time to consider what there is besides the machine?
And weather humanity is more important than the machine

---humanity...

This was so sad. There is no rational reason to do this. Whatever they tried to accomplish, it won't happen by killing people. There was so much beauty that vanished today?

But in my heart I know that nothing really disappeared. Our perceptions of time moved on to moments that don't include these people. They existed, thus they exist, and nothing can take that away.

But it is sad that all those songs had to end, and that they will not develop and grow and flow anymore than they have already.

Palestinians celebrated in the streets. I don't care who you are or who you're fighting. You don't celebrate the destruction of human life. Why can't we take a moment to realize what we may be destroying before we take action? Why can't we look up and see things from outside our ever-limited perspective?

With thoughts, prayers, love, empathy and wonder

Dracumancer
Dracumancer | 18 | Michigan

#78 | Tuesday, September 18th, 2001
I was at school. When I found out... that was a different story. It was French class, third period, and I was just sitting there playing around when my friend Mark came in to get signed out for the day. And the way he said it echoes through my mind, "Dude, did you hear about the terrorists?" He's a hippy figure. The teacher got aggrivated and thought that he was spreading rumors about terrorists in the school, so he was kicked out of the room. And then the news began a-brewin', and the teacher soon apologized to him for her rude actions to the truth.
Diana Scott | 16 | Georgia

#79 | Tuesday, September 18th, 2001
I was getting ready for my 9:30 CST class in my dorm room at Western Kentucky University, when a friend of my roommate called to tell us to turn on the television. The channel he gave seemed odd - I remember recalling that it was the news channel and wondering why we would want to watch it. Then we turn it to the channel and there's a slow motion shot of a plane slamming into the WTC. I skipped my classes that day to keep up to date on the news as it came in, and frantically called everyone I knew that is in or knows someone in the military to check on them as well.
Nichole Murphy | 19 | Kentucky

#80 | Tuesday, September 18th, 2001
You know what!? I was listening to the radio, and the DJ announced, "Oh My God! New York has just been bombed! I can't beleive it!! Ladies and gentlemen, this ould be World War III happening right now!" I tuned the TV to channel ABC and all these other channels, and all of them were filled with the coverage of the attack. I ran to my dad's room and told him. He had "actually" ran to the TV. Haha
Judy | 13 | Texas

#81 | Tuesday, September 18th, 2001
I hardly ever watch television in the mornings as I get ready for work. On the 11th, though, for whatever reason, I decided to turn on the television after I got out of the shower. I grabbed the remote and turned the set on (it was already tuned to ABC) then walked back towards the bathroom without even looking at the screen.

It was Peter Jennings' voice that made me turn back around. Why the heck was Peter Jennings on Good Morning America? Then I saw it - smoke coming out of both WTC towers. Then they replayed the video of the second plane's impact. I was... numb. I stood there unmoving, just watching the events unfold.

Work! I still had a job, so I had to get dressed! Hurriedly, I finished dressing and left my apartment. I got in the car and tuned in to the local AM talk radio show just in time to hear that the Pentagon had also been hit. I couldn't believe it... after the horror I had just seen on television, yet another attack had occurred in the few minutes it took me to walk from my apartment to my car.

I don't really remember much of the actual 20 minute drive to work... I spent the entire time listening to the ABC Radio broadcast, still in total disbelief. Even now, one week later, it's all too surreal.

God be with those still searching, those grieving, and the rest of us who feel a mixture of grief, anger, and relief. Above all, God be with those now making decisions that will affect the future of every last one of us.
Kevin | 28 | Texas

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