When I first started blogging, my boyfriend told me, "I can't wait until you get your first hater comment. Then you'll really know you've made it." He was joking, of course, but it's true. Posting what the vast majority of people already think is essentially playing it safe. No fresh perspective, no thought-provoking dialogue to trigger a novel viewpoint in a new (or familiar) reader.
Well having said that, it should also be perfectly clear that I have no intention of offending anyone through my writing, and if this post seems offensive, in any way, I apologize ahead of time.
On September 11, 2001, a group of 19 militant extremists took the fate of innocent people into their hands, resulting in what is generally now referred to as "The Terrorist Attacks". For those who were there, on site witnessing the pandamonium first hand, I can't even begin to imagine the feelings of chaos and helplessness. The rest of us, however, stayed glued to our televions sets, radios and phones. We assumed the uniform pose of confusion and disbelief; our hands covering our mouths and our bodies huddled together with family, friends, or complete strangers. We watched, stunned and united in the terror of the events unfolding before us. Soon the twin towers fell, and along with them our seemingly impermeable sense of security.
I'm sure everyone has their own recollection of where they were and what they were doing when the planes hit. Personally, I was 16, just waking up to go to school. My radio alarm went off, and in my sleepy haze I wondered into the living room and informed my mom of the radio claims that a plane had just crashed into the Pentagon. She inhaled sharply, and we turned on the television. We stared at the destruction; speechless.
At school I joined my classmates as we went from class to class, our eyes fixed on every television. Ironically, the only teacher that turned it off was my U.S. History teacher, so we could "get some work done".
This event has no doubt caused unimaginable grief and despair to a vast number of people. In some way, whether large or smalle, we were all affected. Some were killed or injured and some had family or friends who were killed or injured. Many still endure the PTSD that often follows a traumatic event, not to mention the lives that were lost or forever changed by the ensuing war.
This is all irrefutable, and by no means do I intend to make the degree of these peoples' suffering seem any less severe than it was (and still is). My point is this: we, the United States, are the fortunate ones.
How fortunate am I, that I don't live in a country like Somalia, the generally thought to be most corrupt country in the world? Or Chad, where you are most likely to die as a child? I don't live in a state of constant pain, corruption and fear. I don't have to worry about a renegade lighting my house on fire, being murdered for showing too much of my wrists, or the possibility of my future child being kidnapped. I don't have to worry about my future son being turned into a soldier of war at 9 years old or my niece being used as a sex slave.
What happened was an incredibly cruel moment in my country's history, but when I think of it, I try to think of all that I am fortunate for now. I know death, violence and destruction still occur in places in America, but they do not consistently occur on the scale we witnessed that day.
The 9/11 attacks have taught me to be grateful for the country I currently live in. Grateful that similar attacks do not happen here on a daily basis, grateful that we have the technology to be able to broadcast and inform others throughout the nation. Above all, I'm grateful that we have the means to rebuild, and grateful that I am here, in my nice warm bed, healthy, safe, and blogging.
How did 9/11 affect you?