9/11/01 – 8 Years Later

by courtneyanddaniel

Today was my first 9/11 in another country.  Just as it did 8 years ago, it started as any other day.  Except today, I was running ahead of schedule, making it to Monument station almost 30 minutes early for running around the City of London (that’s City with a capital “C” as it indicates a borough, a borough with lots of tall buildings dedicated to finance and government.

Eight years ago today, I was late getting ready for school.  Mom went ahead and took Cameron over to Hillcrest PDS and left me at home by myself to get ready.  I had on Good Morning America (shame on me for watching such a liberal program) and was watching the news, just as any other morning.  I believe I was putting on some sort of bottom article of clothing, whether it be a sock, shoe, shorts, when Diane Sawyer (ugh) and Charlie Gibson (even ugh-er) broke the news that there was a fire in one of the WTC towers.

Okay, I thought to myself, it’s just a fire in a huge building, but nonetheless  a fire.  They said they didn’t have any information as why there was a fire, but they held the cameras on the towers.  Of course I’m watching, taking in the news like an educated person should do, and I see the second plane hit the other tower.  I remember standing there in front of my little 13″ Emerson TV/VCR all-in-one in shock and disbelief.

Right about then, my mom walked in and yelled at me for not being ready (yet) but then I told her what was happening.  We sat there for a few minutes and then she took me to school.  Tennyson Middle School.  I was in the seventh grade.

I forget what we did in Mr. Bishop’s class that day (probably little to nothing, as usual) but I think we had the news on.  I remember all the students being pubescent teenagers, not quite sure what to do, but being gawky while doing so.  I had Mr. Montgomery’s math class second period and all of the kiddos were begging him to turn the TV on.  He said he’d only turn it on during passing periods.

At the end of the hour, he turned on the TV to the Pentagon.  I don’t really remember much about school for the rest of the day.

After school, I remember watching Peter Jennings.  I think I watched Peter Jennings all night (I went to bed at some point, but I don’t remember when).  I remember watching George W give his speech standing atop the rubble with a bullhorn (thank God it wasn’t Al “I-don’t-drive-a-diesel” Gore).  I remember just sitting there and crying for families and a country that was seriously wounded.

This was the first day I remember crying because I felt so hurt and unsure.

Now whether or not you, my faithful reader, agreed/supported/disagreed/whatevered with George W, I think he was the right president for this time.  I can’t imagine anyone having to do this, but he was the man for the job.  I’m talking that instant in time.

(Because I keep deleting further comments about other politicians, I’ll continue…)

Somehow after this day, I felt a deeper sense of patriotism.  I enjoyed showing it.  I tried showing it today, but all I really had to wear was my flower embroidered shirt.

I wish more people would show their patriotism outwardly.  Stand up and show something!  Not just passively giving excuses for the guy who can’t follow the rules for flying our flag, “Oh, I’m sure he just hasn’t had time to replace his tattered flag…”

Patriotism has become a new taboo as we can’t “offend” anyone.  Seriously?  It’s America.  It’s the USA.  We’ll accept your culture if you keep with ours.  (You came here because you wanted a better place, right?)  It’s called “assimilation”.  My ancestors did it in the late 19th century coming from Germany.

That is one good thing about the UK.  The whole thing about “political correctness” isn’t a constant worry in my mind (like it is in Boston).  I can see the day when we can’t identify gender, race, religion, hair color, shoe size, chicken or beef?, vegetarian, I can’t even think due to the absurdness, but one day the people will not have any characteristics because they can’t be spoken of.  Humans would be numbers as name would also be infringing on cultures.

See, it’s absurd.

Stepping off my conservative soapbox.  That’s conservative, not republican.

Political parties should not define a person but rather the person’s beliefs, morals, and actions.

That’s a mature statement right there.

All in all, I think about how much the world has changed in the past eight years and how I’ve had to change with it, and for that matter, how the rest of the world has had to change with it.

God Bless America and keep your dollar strong!