11 September 2006It definitely feels a bit inappropriate to be celebrating something on September 11th, but it just worked out that today is our halfway point. 42 days down, 42 days to go. I've been watching the coverage all morning and it's really bumming me out, and I keep thinking the same thing that everyone must be thinking: "Those 5 years went by quickly." The whole thing still seems a little bit surreal. I was in New York City in March of 2005 and I saw Ground Zero, and it just didn't seem real. It was like seeing a celebrity in person and noticing how different they look. Some things are so huge that they just jam my system and their significance doesn't register.
Five years ago today I was on my way to take an exam in philosophy class at Cuyahoga Community College. The first plane hit while I was driving, but since I was listening to a CD and not the radio, I had no idea. Once I got to school I noticed a large crowd of people gathered around the TV sets in the galleria. I knew something was going on, so I joined the crowd and saw a large building with a hole in it, and I couldn't tell which building it was. I asked someone near me what was going on, and he told me that someone had bombed the White House. I told him that it didn't look like the White House to me, and he said, "They'll show it in a sec." It was about time for class to start, and when I got there our professor told us that class was cancelled for the day. I went back to the Galleria and watched the second plane hit. Being so far away from a small TV set, and getting mixed stories from the people around me, I decided to go up to the newspaper office and check the computer there. While I was trying to piece it together, my advisor walked in the room. He looked visibly shaken. He greeted me, and I asked him what was going on. I still knew very little. Before he could tell me much the phone rang, and it was for him. I only heard his side of the conversation, which was "Hello?" "Other than totally devastated?"
Obviously, five years later I think I mostly understand what the attacks have meant for our country. Without getting too political, I will close with this: Whatever measures our government is taking, and for all the people that were killed on that day in New York and since then in Afghanistan and Iraq, I hope it all means that we don't have to see anything like this happen again.