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Monday, September 12, 2005

The First Time I Laughed After 9-11

I promise I will get to what cracked me up, really made me laugh 'til I cried. But first, I must get through the story of that day. I always thought I would write it for my daughter, try to communicate to her how everything changed that day. Since I have not done that yet, this may be a first attempt at that project. This is not eloquent, it is primitive. It is true, and not always flattering to me. I said some things, and thought some thoughts, that are not my most rational nor most noble. It's where I was that day.

When I dropped LG off that morning, her second week of kindergarten, Miss Sheila told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. How odd, and how sad, I thought. And I also thought that she was talking about the World Trade Center in Baltimore, the closest building I knew of with that name. I told her that I knew someone who worked there, and I hoped he wasn't at work.

On the drive home, I turned on talk radio. There was speculation that it wasn't an accident. I went into my house and turned on the TV. While I watched the first building burning, I saw the second plane fly into the second building. Oh, dear God. I called my husband. I told him we were under attack. They had the television on at his office; his co-workers were on the phone with family members, too. Jif said that one of his co-workers said a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. This pissed me off. "IT DID NOT," I said stridently. "Why do people have to do that? Isn't it bad enough without people making up shit like that, to make it sound even worse? What is wrong with people? I am watching CNN right now. Don't you think if someone crashed into the Pentagon it would be on CNN?" And then there it was. The Pentagon, too. Our country was under attack, as I stood there in my living room, between New York and Washington, D.C. I didn't know it yet, but behind me, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, another plane had become a weapon.

I don't know how people in other parts of the country functioned during those first few minutes, then hours. I know that here, we felt like sitting ducks, very likely to be next on the list. I called LG's school. "Cindy, have you heard...." The secretary interrupted me. "Come and get her, Susan, we're getting everyone out of here." I don't know whether children in other parts of the country were sent home. Ours were.

I drove back to the school, and I remember, will always remember, how blue the sky was. I couldn't tell you the shade of the sky on any other day of my life. I walked into the tiny private school where the fearless, wonderful director was, well, directing. Kids, parents, teachers. I don't know what was on my face, but she and another mom, who happened to be a U.S. Marine, grabbed me and we three hugged for just a moment. There wasn't anything to say.

I took my child home. And I was angry. I was furious that her memories would forever include the day I picked her up early from kindergarten, when people were crying in the hall, and the TV was on in the middle of the day. And I was angry that she wouldn't get to grow up cradled by the same illusions that I was. When I was little, I was taught that other people wanted to BE us. Americans. My daughter would know that other people wanted to KILL us. I didn't know that until embarrassingly late in life.

I got LG occupied in her room and I went back to the TV. The towers were still standing. And I was proud of that. I remember thinking, "You thought they would fall. They're not falling." Then they fell. And the sound that they made sounded like I imagine hell sounds. And then, even though I knew people had died, I became proud again. And I tried to make deals with, and threaten, those people who had done this. And I tried to look on the bright side.

"Please don't fly into the Statue of Liberty."
"Don't you DARE fly into the Statue of Liberty."
"At least they didn't fly into the Statue of Liberty."

I kept watching what I couldn't believe I'd seen. I thought that second plane flying into the tower was the worst thing I had ever seen. Until I saw panic-stricken people throwing themselves out of those high, high windows. Then I decided that THAT was the worst thing I had ever seen.

Until that night on the news, when I saw a new "worst thing I have ever seen." The news was about the world's reaction to our trauma. I saw a woman in a deli in Pakistan, pointing at the television where a plane was flying into a building, and I saw her laugh. I saw this pretty, dark-skinned, fat woman pointing at the first worst thing I had ever seen, and laughing. And clapping and dancing. I saw another human being rejoicing about what had happened. That was it, the worst thing I had seen. And behind her was a red, white and blue Pepsi machine. And I said to her, "Then give us back our fucking Pepsi."

I cancelled my clients that night. My daughter was supposed to have ballet class. I took her. They could do a lot of things to us, but by God, they would not stop little girls from putting on their pink leotards and dancing. Not if I could help it. Ballet was cancelled.

Back at home, the neighbors gathered in our backyard, just standing there, talking, wanting to not be in the house with the TV any more. We all said we never really noticed the planes flying over our houses, until they didn't.

That night in bed, I saw the news when I closed my eyes. I liked the world better with my eyes open. I didn't sleep. I worried about what stupid, hateful thing "we" would do during the night, to retaliate. Against whom, I didn't know. In the morning, I thought, "Al Gore is the happiest man in the world right now." No one would have signed up to be President under those circumstances. Then I thought, "Gary Condit is the happiest man in the world right now." He, who had been on the news for weeks, would not ever be returned to prominence in the news again.

In the days that followed, they said the killers were from Afghanistan. I felt like I'd done something very wrong, because I didn't know Afghanistan. I knew nothing at all about "them," least of all, why they'd want to kill us. Then I saw where they lived. I saw caves and dirt. And I said, not without pity, "They live on the fucking moon. No wonder they hate us."

I cried for the people who died. For the brave ones who tried to save others. For the ones who never knew what happened. And I cried for the people who lived. Who knew their loved ones were dead; and for those who still didn't know. And for those who were working so hard to rescue, then to recover, victims. I cried a lot. I cried for kindergarten children who would not grow up as oblivious as I was; who would not have that precious luxury of feeling that while we are HERE, we are safe. As long as I didn't know it wasn't true, it was true. And even though I recognize now that that oblivion was part of the problem, I would still give it back to my child if I could.

I started teaching my daughter even more about our country. I have always been very, very patriotic. I remember riding on the train with LG to the Million Mom March a couple of years earlier, and telling her, with tears in my eyes and voice, what we were doing, and why we were doing it. Mostly, I told her we were doing it because we could. Because we are Americans, and we are free to say what we want. I went to grade school at a time when every single day, after we said the Pledge of Allegiance, we sang, "My Country Tis a V."* That's what I thought we sang, anyway. "My country, tis a V; sweet land of liberty, of V-I-C." I didn't know what that meant, but I knew that my country was a sweet land of liberty, and that this guy, "Vic" must have been someone very important. After 9-11, I started to teach my child those kinds of songs. I sang the national anthem every freakin' day on the way to school, for weeks after that. And I cried.

I let her watch parts of shows about the Taliban, particularly their treatment of women. She knew what a burqa was, and that it was a bad, oppressive thing that she and I did not have to wear.

One afternoon, LG and I had been out shopping. We were in the car with the radio on, when the announcer said that it was time for everyone in the United States to stop what they were doing and say the Pledge of Allegiance together. LG knew the Pledge by then, so we said it, and then she asked me, "What does 'liberty' mean?"

I started trying to explain it, and became very emotional. My patriotism overflowed, as I blinked back tears, swallowed hard, and said, by way of explanation, "There are no Moms and daughters out driving in Afghanistan today. They have no liberty. Women aren't free to drive there..." I stopped to collect myself, and a few moments later, LG leaned forward in her booster seat and touched my shoulder, and said, so sweetly, "Mama, I know you're sad because the Afghanistan Moms aren't allowed to drive, but look at it this way: it's probably for the best, it keeps them safer, because if they could drive, they'd just be crashing into everything, because of those things covering their faces."

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, got me laughing again. And again.


*"My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing..."




44 heads are better than one . . .

Well, you brought tears to my eyes.

That's beautiful. Children are so magnificent.

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

My grandfathers funeral was that day, and I couldnt go because my husband at the time works in Chicago, in the heart of the city, for a massive corperation, one that deals with computers and has military clients, and a large middle eastern employee base. They were told no one could leave the building, all the city was in a panic, chicago would be next they all thought,O'hare...people were getting attacked for the color of their skin, they wanted their employees safe. My husband had our car.

My children had no idea what was going on, they didnt close the schools and they didnt inform any of the grade school kids what was going on. I still dont know how I feel about that, sort of angry because of what it was, but also sort of relieved for the same reason. I remember being in second grade and the annoucement over the loud speaker that President Reagan had been shot and we were to observe a moment of silence, and I remember thinking, does this mean we are going to be attacked? Will someone take over our country? What happens if he dies? Can anyone just come walking in and makes us into Russia? It was very scary to me at the time and I prayed he wouldnt die.

I also feel angry that my kids and nieces have to grow up in an age where someone blowing themselves up to kill us is a possibility. It makes me angry and sad.

I actually lost friends after the attacks, people who thought it was amusing and that was what we deserved for flaunting our country and way of life. I actually knew two people who thought it would be funny for halloween to go as a tower and a plane and bump into each other all night. I use the past tense there, I knew them, I dont any longer. Sick. Sick sick sick sick sick.

There were several shops burned, broken into and destroyed in our town after it happened, and my son has a very close friend who is Muslim and it was really tough for him here.

I honestly dont know how long it took before I laughed again. But I will always remember that day so vividly as well. The days that followed were a blur for along time to come.

Though I do remember laughing at the new airline restrictions back when they wouldnt let people bring tweezers and toenail clippers on planes. The image of someone trying to take over a plane with a pedicure set was amusing in my head.

 
Anonymous lawbrat said...

That was very touching. Honest and open. Innocence lost and yet maintained at the same time.
I just dont have the words for what I want to say.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Aaaaah, leave it to the lovely LG to bring things back to as much normalcy as they'll ever have again.

As the events unfolded that day, and of course there was no getting to cnn.com, most of use were huddled around the helpdesk where there is TV, watching in disbelief and horror as the towers fell, the Pentagon was hit, another plane went down in a field...and then the CEO walked past and grumbled loudly about how there was zero productivity in the office, and why did we need to see all this? I don't think any of us were ready to pretend like everything was normal and OK yet. I still shake my head about the fact that he actually said that to us while all that tragic, horrific history was being made, and none of us had any idea what would happen next.

 
Blogger Susie said...

SHE, yes, they really are.

jess, I know what you mean; I couldn't stand to be around people who didn't seem to "get" it; people who didn't grasp the enormity of the situation. Not that I liked to talk about it all the time, but I did need that undercurrent of understanding.

lawbrat, I think you said it very well -- "innocence lost and maintained at the same time."

bucky, CEO, unbelievable. Denial? Callousness? I dunno; I encountered some of that. It was disturbing, and very telling, about those people.

 
Blogger jac said...

LG is so innocent to understand yet what she commented is true.

You have seen in TV a woman in Pakistan laughing with joy, well ! I have seen in another country where I was working at that time, men distributing toffees with real joy, that they never care to hide. My lips just mumbled, this can't be true...this is not the way...though I hate the policies of your country.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

Primitive? I would hope that my best day of writing could equal 1/10th of your "primitive".
Living in the Philadelphia area on 9-11-01, I could not stop scanning the sky for something to happen there. Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell. I was paranoid.
I don't like the type of person I have become since 9/11 and I work everyday to change that.

*Sigh*

 
Blogger Effie said...

Oh Susie--you made me cry and then a grin came through the tears...
Thank you

 
Anonymous peefer said...

I think I've read too many newspapers and not enough stuff like this. It was good to read such a sincere and personal perspective on that day.

LG will probably remember this the same way you remember when Kennedy was shot (or do you?) - as a yucky snapshot in a life filled with love.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Sometimes kids say the perfect things, don't they?

Punkin was three and a half when 9/11 happened. She doesn't remember much of it, but I do. Everything seemed hopeless and pointless to me. I saw the pictures on cnn.com, but didn't see the video until that night. Over and over and over again. I thought about everyone involved and affected, all those souls snuffed out for some twisted person's reasons, reasons I've never understood. I worried about my sister who worked for a travel company in Chicago. I didn't know if Hubby and I should even continue to try to have another baby or how were we going to keep Punkin safe? How were we going to explain it to her, when we didn't really know why it happened in the first place.

 
Blogger Squirl said...

That was some pretty naked blogging there, Susie. Very open, honest, and poignant. And I must say that LG has a very logical way of thinking. :-)

 
Blogger eclectic said...

LG is just delightful. And so is her mom. This was tender and lovely.

 
Blogger Nina said...

Out of the mouths of babes. (smile)
I went to work early that day, to get done with paper work. John called to tell me we were under attack. While I was talking to him, he watched the second plane crash. I told a few others what he told me, and we gathered around a radio for a little bit. Then we had patients and clients coming in so I had to put that in the back of my mind. I called him at lunch and he told me about the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. With a feeling of uneasiness I had to push this information in the back of my mind, I still had work to do. In the afternoon we had either people missing appointments or coming in with stories, and trying to reassure themselves that living in Colorado, we had nothing *they* would want to blow up. On the way home I planned to do errands. But decided to go home and turn on the TV. When I did the reality of it all, came flooding in. I could have used a LG to make me laugh that night. ;)
Two weeks later we were boarding a plane to San Diego, for a conference. The plane wasn't even half full, and people were scared and rightfully so. If John was scared, he never let on. I boarded that plane with a defiant feeling. You are not going to make me change my life. If you are going to get me, it will be while living my life, not being afraid sitting at home. I did realize that day that people looked at me a bit with suspicion, because of my dark hair. I wanted to tell them, my Ancestors have been here since recorded history, instead I just ignored their stares. I realized it would have been a good time to be blonde. :)

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

I refused to be pushed in one extreme direction or another by this.

No way could I say that "we deserved this." As if those people on those airplanes or in the trade center had a direct say in our foreign policy.

On the other hand, I was sickened by a lot of the conversations I heard take place between supposedly educated people, about how "they" should all go home ("they" who?) and how it would be okay to beat the crap out of any random Arab or Muslim one encountered.
Both extremes made me ashamed of people I know.

OK, I've been sincere twice here now. That needs to stop. My verification word is ojokrufs. That sounds like warped pig latin.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Oh, and my use of "they" was not a slam on Nanina's use of *they* (she and I posted at the same time, I think).
And also what Nanina said, Jim is very dark haired and skinned (he's got a lot of Chippewa and Shoshone blood), and he got a lot of suspicious looks in airports and such for a long time after 9/11.

And my verification word this time is qtnog. Like eggnogg, only cuter.

 
Blogger Susie said...

jac, you, my friend, are obviously able to make that vitally important distinction between hating policies and hating people. I wish more people could understand the difference.

william, as always, you're too good to me. We all changed that day, for better and for worse. No going back. I know you understand that deep concern for our symbols -- the Statue, the Liberty Bell; even though no lives may have been lost if those kinds of things had been targeted, I so desperately needed to have them be safe. I find it a strange, but not uncommon, reaction. And of course, lest someone misunderstand, we would certainly have preferred the loss of the symbols to the loss of life. But we were so thankful that those symbols remained. Remain.

effie, yep, me, too. I know just what you mean.

peefer, thank you for that perspective, and yes, I do remember. I was at home watching Romper Room, and I remember my Mom getting very, very sad.

CK, I remember the same kinds of thoughts. Not only, "how can I keep her safe," physically, but "she's not supposed to know about such ugliness, not yet, and I can't protect her."

squirl, that was pretty naked, huh? Good thing it's still warm, here :)

Aw, thanks, eclectic.

nina, I felt defiant, too, in moments. Then crushed, then back up swingin' again. You raise a LOT of feelings, memories, about that time. Maybe for next year's 9-11 post, if I'm still blogging then.

sincere bucky, Extremism is shameful, often hateful, no matter whose it is.

 
Blogger Nina said...

Bucky, I think we did post at the same time. I didn't take it as a slam . . . I put *they* as I did because that day I wondered who the heck *they* were? Even to this day when I hear people say *they* it is like finger nails on a blackboard. Growing up on a reservation I heard *they* and *you people* quite a bit.. . . true story. I am driving along I-40 and I stop to get gas, in front of me was this man. Getting directions to Casamero Ruins . . . so the nice lady gave him directions he seemed somewhat frustrated that he still had more driving to do and he said, " Why didn't *you people* build these ruins closer to the interstate? The clerk and I both busted up laughing after the door closed behind him. I guess the Old Ones weren't thinking about future interstates.

 
Blogger Nina said...

Well I sure hope you are still blogging next year . . . Feelings, memories, about that time, yes. It forced me to look deeper at my fellow human beings. It helped me to see how much of it was ignorance and fear. I learned how to be a little more tolerant of that ignorance, or at least I tried to be. With my feelings against racism and for religious freedom it wasn’t always easy.

 
Blogger LadyBug said...

Susie, that was tender and raw and honest and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.


(P.S. This is about the fifth or sixth time I've tried to comment. Blogger is apparently being pissy again. Which reminds me, The Drama Queen's lastest Word (as in, the word she uses overandoverandover; does LG do that too?) is "apparently," but always said exactly like this, "Well, appaaaaaarently...." Oh, and my secret code word is hvheni, which makes me think of heiney, which is, appaaaaaarently, exactly what Blogger is being. (See how I came back around to my point? Go. Me.))

 
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

How I love that LG could put it all together like that for some much needed laughter. Kids are amazing!

 
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

This is just beautiful, Susie. Thanks.

 
Blogger mrtl said...

Whatever, Susie. This is raw, yet beautiful and eloquent.

What's most lovely is who brought back the smile and the laughter. Kids can do that.

 
Blogger August95 said...

Tears again. Your write so beautifuly Susie. I don't think any of us will ever forget that day and that awful second plan. I am never far from tears on this subject. It clings to my soul.

 
Blogger Ern said...

Thank you for sharing that. I don't remember the first time I laughed after 9/11. I remember a lot about how I did feel, in that day, and in the days to follow. Numb. Shocked. Confused. But LGs comment sure would have made me laugh, too! Between you and Sheryl, my ovaries are gonna start twitching!

 
Blogger Nilbo said...

I was in a chat room (do I hang my head in shame? No. Dooce's comments were a chatroom, too.) when the news first broke. Someone came in and interrupted the slap-ass and silliness with "Dudes - a plane just plowed into the World Trade Center!"

"Moron." "What kind of idiot toodles around in a Cessna and can't see the WTC?" "Cessna, hell. This was a f*ckin 747!"

I have a TV receiver that gives me picture-in-a-picture, so I snapped on CNN while the chat went on. In seconds, the slap-ass was over. The mood turned sombre, serious. Then the second plane hit.

To that point, it had been possible to believe this was a tragic accident. And in fact, CNN still clung to "We don't know what's going on, exactly ..." for a few more minutes, until nobody could deny there was an attack underway.

I sat, glued to my computer, watching, listening, and talking to devastated friends as the day unfolded.

I'm Canadian. I'm not sure if this event had the same immediacy for me that it did for my American friends. I'm not sure I ever felt it in the depths of my soul. I can empathize, but that's not the same thing, is it?

Thank you for telling me your story of that day. It brings me that much closer to understanding - REALLY understanding - what this meant to my friends.

The most powerful piece I've ever come across on this topic can be found here: http://www.tomatonation.com/thouart.shtml

Sars writes her own eye-witness account of the day - it's chilling, graphic, beautifully written and filled with raw emotion, and I think it should be on every school curriculum in America.

Out of every hideous event will come stories of the triumph of the human spirit and the good in us all. One such story is a book entitled "The Day The World Came To Town" by Jim DeFede. Find it in your bookstore, or at Amazon.com, and read it - it will fill your soul with love and admiration and a renewed appreciation for all that is right with our world.

Never a bad time for that ....

 
Anonymous Sharkey said...

I remember the color of the sky that day too, and I remember exactly where I was when I heard about it on the radio on my way into work. I couldn't bear to watch much of the coverage because I was in the midst of my own personal hell and couldn't deal with anyone else's. On September 12 I received my breast cancer diagnosis, and the attack helped me maintain some perspective. I remember thinking, At least I have a chance to fight. Those people never did.

 
Blogger Vajana said...

I think I want to print this out, it was so wonderfully written.

So many emotions on that one day.

2 years ago my husband and I went to NYC to the site and I bawled like a baby.

I remember that night walking outside on my porch and looking up in the sky...we are on a flight path but that night there were no planes...eerie, quiet. I wondered aloud if we'd ever be the same again.

And the thought of my children growing up in such a different time was unbearably frightening to me.

Your daughter has a great sense of humor!!!

 
Blogger Trudy Booty Scooty said...

What a beautiful post. It brought back everything I was feeling that day too. I'm on the west coast..and refused to send my kids to school. There were planes unaccounted for and the fear was so overwhelming.

There is a large Muslim population here. It was so hard on all of them. They are loving peaceful people..not extremists. Most are US citizens. People can be so cruel.

You sound like a wonderful mommy. :)

 
Blogger Southern Fried Girl said...

Sometimes it takes a little person to make you see things differently. God bless the little people. :)

 
Blogger laurenbove said...

This is a great post Susie. I love every bit of it and am most especially fond of the end that got you laughing. I think we all need more of that. You gotta love the kid's perspective. They're so bloody honest and pure hearted.

 
Blogger Torrie said...

Thank you for this Susie.

 
Blogger echrai said...

What a fabulous story. So heart-wrenching and real.

 
Blogger SassyFemme said...

I'm not exactly sure what to say, just laughed at your daughters comment, but with a heavy heart thinking of that day. We live near a flight path. It was very strange not seeing planes fly overhead for those days.

 
Blogger Jen Spedowfski-Martin said...

How beautiful that was..... Thanks for sharing it. It made me laugh too.
I was five months pregnant with our third child that day and I just remember crying and crying for days on end. Being out in CA the schools kept the kids in but I wanted to grab up my oldest son and take him home. I remember alot of crayon-colored paper flags that year.

 
Blogger abcd said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
Blogger abcd said...

I had to start over with my comment. I went a little over the top. Liberty is one of the greatest things we know in our lives. We can only hope every human will experience the same in their life, even in this country.

Shoshie
(who has been hiding)

 
Blogger momo said...

Beautiful!

 
Blogger Spurious Plum said...

This, right here, is the reason I've missed blogging. You made me cry and laugh. You made me want to hug you and LG even though we've never met.

You talented thing you. I've missed the Susie!

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Will the dapper Biscuit be gracing our screens today?

Love,

Mannerless fan

 
Blogger Susie said...

nina, your "interstate/ruins" story just leaves me shakin' my head. Lordhavemercy.

ladybug, thank you, love. And you are just ALL THAT, the way you make a point, grrrrlll.

kranki, kids are amazing. They so often have just the right perspective, when we have lost it.

you are quite welcome, hoss.

mrtl, well whatEVer! Thank you, and yes, kids bring joy when you can't imagine that you'll feel any joy.

august95, thank you, and yes, what you said is poetic and true: it does cling to the soul.

ern, watch out for those twitchy ovaries :)

nilbo, thanks for sending us to good reads.

sharkey, I'm so late in talking back here, but I remember I sent you an email. It did occur to me at the time, "how in the hell do people deal with their own private traumas, while we're all dealing with this shared one?"

vajana, of course you're welcome to this, I'm glad it had some meaning for you. I know exactly what you're talking about, those eerily empty, quiet skies over our homes.

trudy, what a great name you have! Thank you, and yes, it was, and still is, difficult for those who were considered "guilty" by association, or simply by accident of birth.

sfg, absolutely. They are wise beyond their years, if we just take time to listen.

LB, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed. You know, some people, when I told them this story, thought it was very funny. Some didn't get the humor at all. I do a lot better with those who "get it."

torrie, of course you're welcome, honey.

echrai, thank you, you're very generous.

sassyfemme, I know; that's one of those "little" details that it seems stuck with many of us about those days.

jen, oh, I can only imagine being pregnant and so distressed then. Yes, lots of little crayon and construction paper flags, lots of songs and stories about America.

shoshie I've been thinking of you. I just saw elsewhere that Nikki is still on the Gulf coast. I hope you are both (all) OK. You are right; liberty is precious, and not everyone "here" has it.

thank you, momo.

Oh, plum, I've always felt huggy toward you. And licky. And bitey. ;) So happy to "see" you.

bucky-the-ill-mannered, you got it. I don't really think you're ill-mannered; that's just one of my favorite Hillbillian expressions.

 
Blogger Annejelynn said...

children are priceless

 
Anonymous KT in North Carolina said...

LG made me laugh too.

I was at the community college on 9/1/01 preparing to go in and take an exam when two young fellows ran up to me, a stranger, and blurted out, "They flew two planes into the World Trade Center. Cool!" I kid you not. At that moment I truly felt the generation gap between me, a 42-year-old person and these kids who thought of violence in terms of video games. Nobody mentioned the events in the classroom. I didn't know enough about it to report, but I was very alarmed. As soon as I finished the biology exam, I went out to the parking lot and heard the radio commentary. Like Susie, I remember the beautiful blue sky that day and I was thinking how glad I lived in a rural location where terrorists would not be likely to attack. Unbelievably, classes were not canceled, so I had to go back in and take a Spanish exam. In this class you couldn't leave when you turned in your test because we had some class time afterwards. I remember sitting in the back of the classroom almost in a panic and wanting to bolt. I was very angry that the instructor didn't allow us to leave. Before I went home, I stopped in the student lounge and saw those awful images on the LARGE-SCREEN television. By this time the reality of the situation had seemed to penetrate the hearts and minds of these young people and they were very somber. I wondered if they realized that our world here would never be the same...

 
Blogger Susie said...

annejelynn, absolutely :)

KT, good to see you again. That story is just astonishing. I can imagine how you felt, that "what is WRONG with you" feeling. I remember that some of my clients were pissed that I cancelled that night. I found that I didn't have much patience for those who appeared to not be affected by the events of that week at all. I think for those of a certain age, the world really will never be the same. I wish my child knew what it was like before. And since that's not possible, I hope it will somehow get better, as a result of lessons learned. I'm not really seeing that happening yet, though, sadly.

 
Blogger bigger_Daddy said...

(This is Erin, masquerading as Bigger_daddy - long story).

I was working. It was my 2nd day back to work after my gallbladder surgery. It was also my 25th birthday (today is my 30th). I worked in a call center at the time and I pretty much gave up on answering the calls. I was in total shock. I remember CNN.com was taking FOREVER to load. Later that day, I was in the cafeteria at work, watching the news on TV and crying and someone told me I shouldn't be crying on my birthday. But 2,996 people died, how could I not cry?

 


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