Remembering

11 09 2008

7 years ago today the world changed.  I was a sophomore in college in Sacramento, CA.  At around 6 AM, Nathan Neff, one of my room mates began yelling for everyone to get up.  I was not pleased, but when I found out the reason for the wake up call I was stunned.  How could this happen?  Surely this is a terrible joke!  Classes were canceled and we found ourselves sitting in front of a TV in a pizza place.  I remember that no one said a single word for what seemed like hours.  There was a lot of crying.  Everyone reached out to somebody for personal contact and comfort.  The images that we were seeing were too terrible to be in anything except the most absurdly unrealistic movie.  This was not supposed to happen to us.  This was not reality.  This was a violation of not just NYC and Washington DC and Pennsylvania, but of the entire American mindset. 

Life has never been the same.  I remember the incredibly eerie feeling of not seeing any planes flying for days.  The rumours were flying.  San Fransisco was next.  They were headed for LA.  There were still 6 planes missing.  My life changed that day watching people running from the towers being engulfed in a gigantic cloud of ash.   Suddenly I felt vulnerable for the very first time in my life.  Suddenly bridges and the capitol were being guarded by tanks and armed soldiers.  Entire streets in downtown Sacramento around the capitol were closed. 

I remember flying 3 weeks later, going from Sacramento to Louisville, KY.  The soldiers were still in the airport carrying loaded M4’s.  They weren’t there to smile and wave.  They were serious and I was glad.  Security was different and its never been the same since. 

There are a lot of times when I want to gripe about having to get to the airport so early, about having to take my shoes and belt off to go through the security checkpoint.  But then I remember and I don’t complain. 

Life has changed, there is no doubt about that.  Frankly it’s amazing that we haven’t had another attack since 9/11.  In this area, at least, our government has done a fantastic job of protecting our country.  However, we as a nation cannot forget what happened.  I know that I never will forget waking up to the sound of yelling voices and the unimaginable horror that followed.  May God bless the families of all of the victims of that terrible day and may God bless the United States of America.

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2 responses

12 09 2008
Cheryl S.

Great Post Nathaniel
I too, was in Sacramento and remember those exact things. My daughter was on her way to college, and I called and asked her to return home. I felt the need to be sure she was safe, and did not know what else might happen. I find myself starting to “be at ease” so to speak. And then on Sept. 11th, I do remember the horror that our country faced, and realize that life is forever changed. I thank God, George Bush, and the men & women in our military that we have not had another attack in these past years. Whatever faults one may wish to say about our president, I believe that he is, in large part, responsible for the lack of terrorist activity in this country since that fateful day, and I give him credit for it.

12 09 2008
Rachel

Always get a kick out of your posts… but I really enjoyed this one.

I’m shocked too that we haven’t experienced another 9.11. But am thankful! My husband works at Travis AFB here in the East Bay of CA and was told that there are over 50 active terrorist groups in the East Bay area alone. I was really shocked to hear that. I knew there were terrorists state-side, but I didn’t know there were that many.

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