Chapter 91(1): Five years later

I wrote this earlier but didn’t actually post it. There is no explanation.

Recently I read a popular blog post regarding the September 11th anniversary coverage in the media (the post was popular, not necessarily the blog). Essentially, the author stated that he was tired of hearing about it. I won’t repeat him, you can read it for yourself.

Five years ago I woke up at 8:45am to shower before class, and as I normally do I checked my computer for new e-mail or instant messages. Once I went unidle I received an IM from my friend Art, telling to to turn on the TV, as “a plane just hit the wrld trade centr”. I woke my neighbor up with some door pounding, and twenty seconds later we were greeted with what has become a familiar image. I spent the next ten minutes waking up the rest of my building.

In a way, I’m not tired of hearing about that day, even five years on. That day will be one of the defining days of my life and of my generation. Terrorism strikes a nerve because of the “every man” quality of it. Any of us can be on a plane or in that office building. The people who died didn’t deserve to die, they hadn’t done anything that put them in a position to make a choice. I think that’s what gets to people about flying in airplanes. You have an incredibly larger chance of dying in a car than in a terrorist act or a plane accident, but people fixate on planes and terror because they don’t have their hands on a wheel.

The part I am tired of is what the war let us as a nation do. I doubt George W. would have been elected to a second term without September 11th and the ensuing wars. Notice how I say wars, not war.

I’m tired of everything the government has done in the name of terror. I’m tired of color coded warning levels with no meaning. I’m tired of the word terrorist being used as the new catchall evil doer. I’m tired of someone telling me to be afraid.

But I’m not tired of September 11th. I don’t mind hearing about the fireman who ran towards the building before it collapsed so he could help more people. I don’t mind hearing about how the nation came together and for one day played on the same team.

I’m not usually a big fan of the actions of the United States, but sometimes I’m rather fond of America.

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